To anyone who grew up in the 1960's, we remember the violent convulsions of that period in our national history. The riots after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The water canons and the dogs loosed on people fighting for equal treatment under the law and in society. The image of Governor Wallace standing at the entrance of a school, attempting to physically block an African American from entering. To anyone who lived through that period the words: "What about the children?" are a chilling through back, the last attempt by those who want to deny equal treatment under the law.
Then, it was a cynical or, ignorant attempt to create a sense of guilt in those asking for equal treatment under the law. After all, what would the prospects be for a child of mixed race? Think of the discrimination they would have to suffer. Stop being so selfish, you should sacrifice your own personal happiness "for the children." Of course, when we think back to those days now, we see through these "arguments" as simply a last refuge for bigots or, individuals so blinded by the bigotry of their day that they fail to see the inherent injustice in such claims. We know that there are many children raised by single parents, grandparents, same sex couples. We know that what is truly important is that a child be raised with love and care. The Proponents of Prop 8 know this too, but, they choose to focus on the genitalia rather than on the hearts of parents/guardians.
Today, the proponents of Proposition 8 are guilty of the same tactics employed by bigots forty years ago. Ironically, it is they themselves who continually claim that Proposition 8 is about "marriage". No where in the wording of Prop 8 are children mentioned at all. Yet, proponents have seized upon this issue in an attempt to generate fear in voters. They try to accomplish this in two ways.
First, as my own bishop wrote in his "pastoral" letter for July "they will brainwash your children". The idea here is that somehow, gay and lesbian persons 1) can change some one's orientation and, 2) that gay and lesbian persons will be able to use the public education system to accomplish this mass "conversion".
The first point is, of course, ludicrous. Psychology informs us that orientation is not "a choice." For more detailed information on this, please visit: www.LAtherapist.homestead.com/gaypage Most of us discover our orientation at the time we go through puberty. One of the greatest fears that young gay and lesbian adolescents have at that point in their lives is that, their orientation will cause them to be rejected by the people that they love most--their family. So, most of these adolescents try to "pass" as straight, in effect to lie. This in turn, leads to self hatred which is why 33% of adolescents with same sex orientation will seriously consider suicide. The idea that an adolescent would "choose" this is a contradiction of both science and common sense.
The second point, is simply untrue. The State Superintendent of Schools has attested to this and the California Teacher's Association has endorsed voting for NO on Prop 8. Marriage is not required to be taught by the State of California. Local school boards decide what the content of Health classes will be in California. Any parent or, legal guardian can opt to remove their child from Health class if, they object to the content of the class based on either religious or, moral grounds. Proposition 8 proponents have deliberately spread inaccurate information, citing examples from Massachusetts. They know that California's laws are not the same as Massachusetts but, they're interested in winning not in the truth. They point to a primary grade field trip, where the students attended a same sex couple's wedding ceremony. They fail to mention that EVERY student at that event had to produce a signed permission slip from their parent/legal guardian to attend that ceremony. They know the law, it is merely inconvenient for them to state the full truth so, they don't.
So, why have the proponents of Prop 8 made this such an issue? Because, fear works in elections. No matter that it is irrational, no matter that it is deceptive, no matter that it is unethical. It works. Considering that Proponents of Prop 8 claim to be acting in the name of God and morality, one has to ask: How does violating one of the ten commandments of God accomplish that? How does using children as a prop to deceive people advance morality? I guess they've decided that the end justifies the means.
- Boycott the Knights of Columbus
- A wedding sermon.
- An open letter to my parish community.
- Why was a college student in the car of drunken Archbishop-elect Cordileone at 12:26 AM, when Cordileone was arrested for a DUI?
- When the Church married Same-Sex couples.
- How It All began
- The Supreme Court’s Decisions and the New Mason-Dixon Line
- What the Vatican & American bishops DO NOT want you (and Politicians) to know.
- The Morality of Sex, gay & straight.
- San Francisco in archbishop Cordileone’s sight