The wording that The People have legally added to the state constitution in California, by the passing of Proposition 8 is quite simple -

"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California"

That's it.

Just 14 words are being blamed on taking away the civil rights, of a minority group of individuals. Hogwash! All those 14 words have done, is express how the majority in a free and Democratic society feel about a major social and moral issue.

Those 14 words have been placed in the state constitution to confirm the teachings of most major religions in the world.

Most civilized societies throughout human history, reflect the same social and moral standards, stated in those 14 words.

Following the California Supreme Court hearings, where the validity of Prop 8 was argued - most legal analyst walked away feeling that the courts would ultimately uphold those 14 words - passed last November - by The People.

Proponents of same-sex marriage, continue to warn that if Prop 8 is left to stand - that gays and lesbians will be faced with archaic civil rights abuses.

These advocates continue to insist that the issue of same-sex marriage has everything to do with civil rights and equality. If we look at the possibility of Prop 8 being upheld by the California Supreme Court, then exactly WHAT "rights" could those who practice homosexuality be denied?

Here are the facts...

If we consider the original 10 Bill of Rights - if Prop 8 is upheld, homosexuals have absolutely nothing to worry about. They are still protected, just like you and I.

Okay, so what about BEYOND the "original" Bill of Rights? Are homosexuals free from slavery? Yup - Amendment 13. How about racial suffrage? Affirmative - Amendment 15. And gender suffrage? Uh huh - Amendment 19. Poll taxes? Amendment 24. Right to vote at age 18? No problem - Amendment 26!

A few other concerns that you might be having about the civil rights and equality of homosexuals - if Prop 8 is upheld:

• Yes, they are STILL free to live with whomever they wish and wherever they wish.
• Yes, they are STILL protected against discrimination in housing, employment and education.
• Yes, they can STILL drive!
• Yes, they can STILL enter into same-sex unions!
• Yes, they are STILL able to attend the church and religious service of their choice!
• Yes, they are STILL able to move about freely, and cross-state borders as they desire!

Now that you really KNOW the facts, it should be quite clear that the same-sex marriage debate - is NOT about either civil rights, or equality. It is about whether or not mainstream society ought to be FORCED to accept the morals and values of a minority - as normal.

The majority of society is still opposed to same-sex marriage. However, there is no intention to take away the basic human rights of anyone in this country, regardless of orientation. In the end - don't you think it is a bit underhanded to market and insist that the courts rule against Prop 8 on the basis of "civil rights", when no fundamental rights are even barely at risk?

Those "14 words" are simply not to blame for all the fuss being made about the civil rights and equality issues, of the gay and lesbian community.

Once again, those who desire to preserve traditional marriage, have no intention or desire to take away the "rights" of any other group of people. Personally, it is becoming exhausting to continually be asked to defend, from an equal rights perspective - my position on same-sex marriage. From now on, I am going to direct those who just don't get it - to this post.

It is my personal belief, as a Christian - that to do all that we can to preserve and defend the traditional family, as God has ordained it to be - is worth our very best efforts!

Kathryn Skaggs

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