Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Proposition 2

For those of you who aren't aware, there's a special election in Texas this November. One of the items on the ballot is a so-called "protection of marriage" amendment. Just wanted to share some of the reasons that this is a bad idea.

1. Amending the Texas constitution is unnecessary.

Texas already has laws prohibiting same-sex marriages. An amendment would add to the number of laws in Texas without adding to their substance. If legislators expected these laws to be overturned because they are discriminatory, a constitutional amendment might be effective. However, based on the fact that every member on the Texas Supreme Court is elected, and every one is also a Republican, an amendment is unnecessary.

2. Amending the Texas constitution will not help defend the sanctity of marriage.

As described by the Texas Legislative Council: "If the purpose of the proposed amendment is to defend the sanctity of marriage, that purpose would be better served by state laws addressing the high incidences of divorce, adultery, and family violence that occur within traditional marriage between a man and a woman and that are more damaging to the institution of marriage, the welfare of children, and the stability of society, than same-sex marriages."

3. The imprecise wording of this amendment will have unintended consequences for women and children.

For example, it will reduce protectections against domestic violence for women and children in common-law marriages. (This is because of the section establishing that the state and its political subdivisions could not create or recognize any legal status identical to or similar to marriage.)

4. I don't think the following argument would convince my conservative co-workers, but this sort of amendment clearly discriminates against gay and lesbian couples.

That's why other states have overturned laws banning same-sex marriages: courts have ruled that the equal rights sections of their constitutions conflict with such laws. If you doubt that having your marriage recognized by the state confers any benefits or rights, visit this site and have a read.

The Texas Secretary of State's website contains more information about *all* the propositions in the November election, as well as arguments for and against.


connor said...

I read the benefits and all I can say is, any ladies out there want to get married?

Kyle said...

I'm really afraid that this proposition will be accepted. It would be such a step backward for equal rights and teaching of tolerance. But, people still think that America has to be some impossible and non-existant ideal. There are just so many double standards wrapped up in the demonization of gays.

Paul said...

If they weren't serious it would be so silly.

How on earth prohibiting gay marriages "protects" same sex marriage - where the reasoning is in that - completely eludes me. I guess they figure it will convince young people who'd otherwise marry the opposite sex to marry the same one instead.

Kyle said...

I actually heard someone say that he was for this bill because making gay marriage legal would be an example of a few people telling the majority what to do. That makes absolutely no sense to the point of making me want to cry.