Thursday, August 5, 2010

Prop. 8 and religious beliefs in society

A judge has ruled that California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional.  And he did so using arguments that are familiar to humanists:
“The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples,” Walker wrote. “Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples.”
Humanists seek an earthly (and therefore arguable) motivation for positions on important issues.  There may be a non-religious argument against same-sex marriage, but as the judge explained, the points presented boil down to belief in revealed truth.  

Why are humanists uncomfortable with strong religious, private beliefs in others?  Because there are too many cases in which those beliefs do not remain private, and this is one.  Since many people in this state hold a certain religious belief, others must have their lives significantly affected:
Alliance Defense Fund attorney Daniel Blomberg, similarly, called the judge’s decision “pretty shocking” because the trial is not only about marriage but about the “fundamental freedom of having your vote count and having the liberty to express and live by your religious beliefs.”


  1. Secular Humanists generally strongly support same-sex marriage because we do not consider the Bible as a valid source for making laws.

    A book that advocates in favor of slavery, beating women, the death penalty for picking up sticks on Sunday and worship of supernatual beings cannot possibly be a valid source for making fair and reasonable laws for a democratic society. The anti-gay movement is largely rooted in the Bible and in the Abrahamic religions.

    My feeling is that anyone who is against gay marriage should by all means marry someone of the opposite sex. I find it ironic that the very religious, many of whom are political conservatives and advocates of "minimal government intrusion into our private lives," want to dicate what consenting adults can and cannot do. How does gay marriage harm them personally? How does it threaten the institution of marriage? IT DOESN'T!

    If conservatives really want to do something about the "institution of marriage," then they would be better served focusing their efforts on reducing the divorce rate in this country, which is at around 50%. And by the way, the divorce rate is higher in red states.

    This was a good week for the U.S. Constitution, particularly the 14th Amendment. Contrary to what many religious people think, ALL individuals in this country have equal protection of the laws as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

  2. Proposition 8 never should have passed in the first place. It succeeded because the management of the No on 8 campaign was so appallingly incompetent.

    The organizers of No on 8 made the false assumption that the American people care about "fairness" and "equality" when in fact they vote their pocketbooks.

    The entire black community was in favor of Prop 8 and the organizers of No on 8 were completely blindsided and unaware of this and totally ignored that block of voters.

    The Mormons of all people are the least qualified to tell the rest of us what marriage should be and yet there was no effort to attack them. Were the No on 8 people determined to be "nice guys" - unaware of exactly where "nice guys" finish?

    The No on 8 campaign was run by a bunch of pussycats with no conception of how to win a political fight.

    To march in the streets and then go home to get a beer and watch a ball game is NOT the way of winners. If those protesters really cared about their cause they would sit down in the street and block it until they filled the jails as Martin Luther King's people did in Alabama. Without COMMITMENT they were just playing at sandbox politics and bound to lose and look ridiculous to everybody except each other.

    They made no effort to challenge the fundies' quite mistaken conception of what "traditional" marriage is. "Traditional marriage" was NEVER the same as the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

    And - worst of all - they never raised the fundamental question: Exactly WHY is a very personal agreement under the jurisdiction of government at all? Why isn't marriage a private contractual matter? Who decided governmenthas the right to tell you how to live your life with anybody you choose to invite into your bedroom?

    Gays struggling to get on board the failed system of marriage in America are like the last passengers rushing to buy the remaining tickets to sail on the TITANIC.

    If you are not getting equal treatment in a matter such as taxation then don't whine and wail - just STOP PAYING TAXES and pay the inevitable price. Gandhi didn't just petition and complain about the Salt Tax in 1931 - he just STOPPED people from paying it.

    The weak wishy-washy No on 8 campaign was doomed from Day One.

  3. Wilfredo...

    Secular Humanists generally strongly support same-sex marriage because we do not consider the Bible as a valid source for making laws.

    Indeed, many Christians would agree. The Bible is not a rule book. It is not a model for how to implement laws in a modern democratic republic. It is a book of truths and grace. When we try to take it as a rulebook - or worse, try to legally enforce it as a rulebook - we have made the mistake of the Pharisees.

    One Bible-loving Christian's opinion,

    ~Dan Trabue

  4. Jesus died for all sinners so that they would not have to receive the just punishment for their sins. The Bible says that all men have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, and that it is appointed to a man once to die and then the judgement. But no one need suffer that judgement if he repents and surrenders to God's loving mercy.