Mormon Inquiry

Mormon Inquiry

Some Prop 8 answers

In an effort to improve the signal-to-noise ratio in the Prop 8 comment threads, here is a link to comments by a California law prof posted shortly after the election. A couple of key paragraphs:

Note that Prop 8 does not affect registered domestic partnerships. It also does not affect antidiscrimination laws (Unruh) which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It very likely does not even affect the Marriage Cases ruling that sexual orientation is a protected category (except as to the specific application to marriage).


Registered domestic partner gives all of the legal rights as marriage, on a state level. Marriage is restricted by federal law, so on a federal level, marriage will be man/woman, regardless of what a state says.

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posted December 8, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Separate is not equal

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Eric Nielson

posted December 8, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Excellent perspective.

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posted December 8, 2008 at 5:40 pm

As a husband, I’m allowed to visit my spouse in an out-of-state hospital. As a California registered domestic partner, there are some states where I’m not allowed to visit my same-sex domestic partner in the hospital.
It’s unfair & wrong.
Repeal DOMA.

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posted December 8, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Seperate but equal didn’t work 50 years ago and it won’t work today. Wait and see.

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Nate W.

posted December 9, 2008 at 1:20 am

I think the post misses the point: Kaimi is right that gay couples still have legally recognized unions in the state of California, with all the rights and responsibilities of marriage. However, rights isn’t the point–equality is.
What is the motivation of a state to have one institution for opposite-sex couples and another for same-sex couples when there’s no functional difference between them? People for and against prop 8 agree on one thing: the word “marriage” is a symbol of something special. The only logical motivation to reserve the word for opposite-sex couples is that including same-sex couples will somehow take away the specialness of the word. So same-sex couples are segregated out of the institution of marriage not for a functional reason, but to signal that their relationships are different, and by the same token, lesser, than opposite-sex relationships. Passing prop 8 didn’t protect religious freedom; the only thing it did is to make it clear that the state believes that gay relationships are not equal in dignity to straight relationships. That is a classic violation of equal protection written into the California Constitution.

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Chino Blanco

posted December 9, 2008 at 5:58 am

Here’s what I really wish we’d see more of from faithful Mormon bloggers: stepping up in the wake of Prop 8’s passage and holding the Mormon leadership accountable for the positions taken during the campaign. Because considering the comments made by the Mormon leadership in the course of the campaign, they’ve left themselves no excuse for continuing to support the unequal treatment meted out to Utah citizens under state law. This is not about meeting with Affirmation (which they should already be doing anyway), this is about getting behind the proposals from folks like Equality Utah.
So, if the Mormon leadership wants to involve itself in politics, how’s about their getting involved in Utah politics and doing some good in their own backyard? Otherwise, their buddies can run full-page NYT ads from now until the millennium and it won’t put a dent in the church’s hard-earned anti-gay reputation.

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posted December 9, 2008 at 6:40 am

If domestic partnerships/civil unions aren’t standard I believe they can be standardized across the country. One of the purposes of prop 8 is to defend the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This is before the term marriage is rendered meaningless by its use to describe all kinds of relationships, not just SSM. And if the state must come to recognize SSM/other relationships the same as HSM, then what children are taught about it in schools, regardless of what parents want, will continue, and free association and expression of religious beliefs will be affected.

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posted December 9, 2008 at 9:27 am

Let’s just get rid of the term “marriage” and make it civil unions for everyone gay and straight. This will mean that straight people will be entitled to lose out on all the special privileges afforded them by marriage, but hey – it’s a small price to pay in exchanging democracy for religious tyranny.

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Randy B.

posted December 9, 2008 at 10:08 am

The reason the church focused on California rather than say Massachusetts essentially boils down to the notion that as California goes, so goes the nation.
So, while Prop 8 may not have technically eliminated rights in California, there little doubt that the passage of Prop 8 set back — and was intended to set back — the movement towards gay equality nationally.

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posted December 9, 2008 at 11:24 am

“Here’s what I really wish we’d see more of from faithful Mormon bloggers: stepping up in the wake of Prop 8’s passage and holding the Mormon leadership accountable for the positions taken during the campaign.”
In other words, you with faithful Mormon bloggers weren’t so danged faithful.

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Cruz Control

posted December 9, 2008 at 11:57 am

The obvious intention is to imply that same-sex couples are not denied equality under California law. Who are you kidding?
If you’re interested in honesty, you will also want to post an analysis of more than 1,100 federal benefits associated with marriage that cannot be accessed by gay couples or their children. In fact, most of the protections of marriage are federal (Social Security, Estate Tax Policy, Military Pensions)…and many others accrue from the interstate recognition that is afforded relationships.
And never mind that the same people who are pointing to the “fairness” afforded gay couples through domestic partnership are the same ones who are fighting them everywhere they can. The LDS church has proclaimed an interest in fairness. When are we going to see their support for civil unions in Utah?
Obfuscation masquerading as honesty. Orwell would be proud.

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Bob W

posted December 9, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Whats great about this is now Iowa court system is hearing the case of SS couples there. More significant than California because Iowa actually reflects the rest of the country. California is increasingly becoming an island in their politics.

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posted December 9, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Cruz Control,
Even with SSM legalized in Cal. you won’t see those benefits until the federal DOMA is overturned (as per the post linked at the top).

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Cruz Control

posted December 10, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Agreed, Jack. That’s the point.
The same people who initiated and want to retain DOMA are now disingenuously pretending that same-sex couples have equality under domestic partnership laws. They don’t.
And those who are now pretending to accept civil unions and domestic partnerships for gays as a way to “protect” marriage show no signs of pushing to have those unions recognized at the federal level–in fact they’re lobbying against it.
They want same-sex couples to accept a weak substitute, even after having achieved full marriage recognition in some states. Let’s be honest–that’s not going to happen.
So much for improving the signal-to-noise ratio.

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Your Name

posted December 13, 2008 at 5:46 pm

“If domestic partnerships/civil unions aren’t standard I believe they can be standardized across the country.”
Then you are mistaken in your belief. Many States either passed laws or changed their Constitutions to explicity ban not only marriage, but civil unions, domestic partnerships and any other form that “resembles” marriage, and to explicityy deny the inherent benefits and obligations (I think the legal term is “the effects”) of marriage to same-sex couples – ever! Hence, in Michigan, an employerr may no longer grant health coverage to same-sex spouses, even if they wanted to.
Randy B.
“while Prop 8 may not have technically eliminated rights in California”
Sorry, but it very much did eliminate rights in California. The right to equal treatment under the law was granted by the CA Supreme Courts under its euqal protections clause. Prop 8 was just as UN-Constitutional (both in its affect AND in its method – the Constitution cannot be changed by a simple majority of voters, it has to be done by a 2/3 majority – in the Legislature) as the 2000 voter initiative that also denied gay citizens equal treatment before the law.

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