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Editorial: Gay Marriage, Abortion on the California Ballot

La Opinin, Editorial, Staff Posted: Oct 09, 2008

Editor's Note: In November, California voters will decide on Proposition 8, which would change the state's constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage and Proposition 4, which would require parental notification before a minor terminates a pregnancy. Spanish-language newspaper La Opinin published editorials this week opposing both propositions.

An unnecessary proposal

Proposition 8 seeks to amend the California Constitution to expressly guarantee that marriage must be between a man and a woman.

We believe this is an unnecessary initiative that would impose a constitutional restriction on rights now held by a group of Californians whose mutual commitment before the law and society poses no danger whatsoever.

The idea behind this initiative and the title its proponents wanted to give it was the "California Marriage Protection Act".The state attorney general changed the title to the more accurate "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry."

That right was declared in May by the California Supreme Court, ruling that such a ban is discriminatory. To arrive at that decision, the judges based their opinion on a 1948 legal precedent that determined that it was illegal to prohibit marriage of couples of different races.

It is subjective to claim that the voluntary marriage between two adults is a threat to an institution which, ironically, these people are fighting to join.

The true threats to marriage are lack of communication, infidelity, domestic abuse, and economic pressures.

The driving force behind the measure comes from Evangelical, Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, Orthodox Jewish, and Adventist congregations, with money, sermons, prayers, fasting, and very respectable and respected opinions.

But that does not mean it is acceptable to impose these beliefs on all of society, and much less, change the State Constitution.

We recommend voting NO on Proposition 8.


A limited political agenda

For the third time in four years, voters have been presented with a ballot initiative like Proposition 4, requiring parental notification before a minor terminates a pregnancy. Voters have rejected it twice and there is no reason for them to change their minds.

The measure argues the parents' right to know what their daughters are doing, which should be a part of regular family communication in a normal home. The problem is that this reasoning seeks to overturn a law aimed at protecting minors who come from abusive homes.

Proposition 4 represents a variation with respect to previous measures by including an "alternative family member notification." Actually, given its legal dynamics, this change could create more problems for the minor afraid of telling her parents about the pregnancy.

This fact doesn't matter to the measure's proponents, because their intention is simply to impose a legal restriction on abortion at any cost.

One example of this was baptizing the initiative "Sarah's Law," to call attention to a specific case, as has occurred on other occasions. The difference is that this Sarah never existed. The case chosen was that of Jammie Garca Yanes-Villegas, who had nothing to do with the initiative, because she was a married resident of Texas in 1994.

The fact that the proposition's sponsors could not find a single case in California and have wrongly used one that occurred 14 years ago in another state shows how unusual the situation is that the initiative is trying to remedy. This is the case of a solution in search of a problem.

Moreover, it is estimated that fewer than 3% of teens get pregnant annually , and that the vast majority tell their parents about it. In the few cases they don't, it is out of fear of violent reactions, being kicked out of their homes, or as victims of rape or incest. The current law protects this minority.

We believe the efforts invested in this initiative would be better aimed at preventing teen pregnancy and promoting regular family communication. But those promoting the proposal are only interested in a limited political agenda to change the law and restrict the right to abortion, a legal medical procedure.

Vote no on Proposition 4!


Related Articles:

Get Us to the Church on Time Gays Rush to Marry Before November

I Should Have Chosen Abstinence


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