What is Proposition 8?
In the year 2000, over 61% of California voters passed Proposition 22, saying that a marriage in California is between a man and a woman. Earlier this year, four activist judges in San Francisco wrongly overturned the people’s vote, legalizing same-sex marriage. On November 4, Californians will vote on an amendment to the state constitution that says “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” These are the same 14 words that were previously approved in 2000.
Many churches and organizations are strongly against legalizing same-sex marriage which would make it normal and equal in value in the law and in our society. This would have profound effects throughout society, including the limiting of the rights of churches to preach and act upon their beliefs and values.
Because this is a moral issue, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is encouraging all Californians to vote for Proposition 8.
What Proposition 8 is Not
Proposition 8 is NOT an attack on gay couples and does not take away the rights that same-sex couples already have under California’s domestic partner law. California law already grants domestic partners all the rights that a state can grant to a married couple. Gay people have a right to their private lives, but not to change the definition of marriage for everyone else.
Why Vote YES on Proposition 8?
It restores the definition of marriage to what the vast majority of California voters already approved and what Californians agree should be supported, not undermined.
It overturns the outrageous decision of four activist Supreme Court judges who ignored the will of the people.
It protects our children from being taught in public schools that same-sex marriage is the same as traditional marriage, and prevents other consequences to Californians who will be forced to not just be tolerant of gay lifestyles, but face mandatory compliance regardless of their personal beliefs.
What You Can Do
On June 20, 2008, the First Presidency of the Church distributed a letter about “Preserving Traditional Marriage and Strengthening Families,” announcing the Church’s participation with the coalition. The letter, which was read in sacrament meetings in California, asked that Church members “do all [they] can to support the proposed constitutional amendment.”
Members of the many churches and organizations that are participating in the Protect Marriage Coalition, including members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are calling friends, family and fellow citizens in California to urge support of Proposition 8 to defend traditional marriage.
Members of the Church in Arizona and Florida will also be voting on constitutional amendments regarding marriage in their states, where coalitions similar to California’s are now being formed. It is expected that virtually all states will be voting on this issue in the near future.
Because the outcome of Proposition 8 will have a major impact on the whole nation, the Church is readying members in other states to help phone California voters and encourage them to vote Yes on this critical issue.
Learn more from these Web sites:
- Preserving the Divine Institution of Marriage (www.preservingmarriage.org)
- The Family: A Proclamation to the World (Issued by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve)
- Protect Marriage Coalition (www.protectmarriage.com)
- The Divine Institution of Marriage (on the LDS Newsroom site)
- NPR: “When Gay Rights and Religious Liberties Clash” (Read how religious liberties are being challenged and lost.)
- Interview With Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Lance B. Wickman: “Same-Gender Attraction” (on the LDS Newsroom site)
In the video below, young adults from California discuss their involvement in preserving traditional marriage.
Segments from a Church broadcast to Californian Church members addressing the Church’s doctrine of marriage and the Protect Marriage Coalition:
Two good videos from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council:
- Video 1
- Video 2
Update, March 28, 2014: See also “Same-sex Marriage” in Gospel Topics on LDS.org.