It’s quite ironic to see supporters of homophobic Proposition 8 using children to express their bigotry:
Gerrie Schipske makes an excellent point regarding Prop 8 when she says:
The supporters of Proposition 8 are in fact waging a vigorous campaign with the assistance (financial and otherwise) of religious organisations and are providing materials for church bulletins to remind their members that Proposition 8 “restores the definition of marriage. God himself is the author of marriage. Its meaning is written in the very nature of man and woman as they come from the hand of the Creator.”
These supporters also warn that without the passage of Proposition 8 “Californians will be forced to not just be tolerant of gay lifestyles, but face mandatory compliance regardless of their personal beliefs.” The only problem is that Proposition 8 would actually do just that – force mandatory compliance of a religious belief “regardless of personal beliefs”.
And that’s at the heart of the argument about Prop 8. It was at the heart of Lilian Ladele’s argument, Graham Cogman’s argument, and all of this religious intrusion into secular public space. Except where Britain’s laws and constitution are muddled when it comes to the place of religion in civil society, as Schipske points out there is no such confusion in California – there is strict division between church and state. Proposition 8 is a religious-based initiative to rob the state of its secular responsibility not to discriminate precisely on the grounds of religion. Ladele and Cogman wrapped their arguments up in the same way – the law they said was discriminating against them by inhibiting (they believed) their ‘right’ to discriminate on the grounds of their religion. Britain’s equality laws being muddled and set against one another as they are is one thing, but the situation in California is another. Schipske reminds us:
Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1808: “State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights.”