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November 16, 2008

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Karl

"Indeed, despite invocations of tradition, morality and family values, it seems clear that the only honest explanation for Proposition 8 is religion."

The problem with this statement and the broader argument of this post is that it ignores the role of social-religious movements that nearly all Americans would suggest have been good for the country. Take for example the abolitionist movement, which was fundamentally based on and spread through religion. Do you really suggest it would have been "un-American" for these abolitionists to have passed a referendum outlawing slavery in a given state because their abolitionist positions were based on a religious as opposed to secular morality? If not, then your point appears to actually be, "religious folks can impose their views on others if YOU agree that doing so will serve legitimate ends." Your problem then, is not that the laws are based on religion but that you disagree with what the religion says. In the end, you are not protecting some American aspiration but attempting to regulate whose ideas and motivations are are valid in the political sphere.

While I don't necessarily agree with the policy of Proposition 8, I do find it offensive that you would want to silence from politics those with religious motivations. You suggest those supporters of Proposition 8 should use free speech to convince others "to persuade others freely to embrace and to act in accord with their religious beliefs." Perhaps, instead of silencing the political power of these groups, you should instead attempt to persuade them to embrace and act in accord with your secular morality. Doing so would be much within the historical tradition and certainly my aspirations for America.

Nathan Richardson

Isn't there a correlation-causation issue in your argument? Just because 80+% of religious people (defined as those who self-identify or go regularly) support a position does not necessarily make that position a "religious belief" that they are attempting to force the state to enforce.

Going to church may just be correlated with a worldview that includes political or moral beliefs that are not religious per se. For example, if you found evidence that regular church-goers supported increasing defense spending, but non-church goers opposed it, I doubt you would conclude that this is a "religious belief" - just that church attendance correlates with a culture that has certain views on national security. Surely separation of church and state does not require rejection of any policy disproportionately favored by the religious.

I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong that religious belief is driving opposition to gay marriage, but I think you need more evidence to prove this, rather than just saying that it is "obvious" from statistics that show correlation. The rest of your argument depends on this being true.

Uzair Kayani

Some literature suggests that "direct democratic" outcomes like initiatives and referenda are especially myopic: they lead to the oppression of minorities, bad economic policies, and religious or knee jerk lawmaking.

This is because direct democratic processes fail to mediate the voters' passions through the deliberation or interest group bargaining of legislatures. The "yes or no" format of initiatives does not allow affected parties to reach a compromise. There are no middle grounds.

Also, direct democracy takes away the public choice advantage of minorities: in the typical legislature, the small but cohesive minority forms a stronger interest group than more diffuse majorities do. This allows minorities to protect themselves in the legislative process. In initiatives and referenda, on the other hand, the up or down vote doesn't allow for diffusion among majorities, so that they might defeat minorities every time. Animus will follow close behind.

A suggested solution is heightened review of all initiatives and referenda. We could use the "Guarantee Clause." US Const Art IV sec 4 guarantees a "republican form of government" in every state. This Clause could be used to apply stricter scrutiny to initiatives and referenda than to legislation. This is because direct democracy undermines republican government by overriding the legislature's ability to bargain or deliberate.

This approach makes sense as a matter of American political theory. Consider that the Federalist Papers repeatedly extolled the virtues of a republican government with checks and balances over direct democracies.

If this Guarantees Clause approach doesn't work (though it ought to), then we might turn to Equal Protection, as Professor Stone also notes.

I think Proposition 8 could be read the same way that the housing initiative in Hunter v. Erickson and the constitutional amendment in Romer v. Evans were read. It might fail rational basis (or stricter) scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause. This may be dicier than reviving the Guarantees Clause, though.

Roach

There is no way to separate "religious beliefs" from moral beliefs for most religious people. Religious beliefs were central to the abolitionist movement, as well as the 1960s era civil rights cause. Both religious Christians and religious Jews found Jim Crow and other acts of racial discrimination intolerable and acted in accord with their unified moral beliefs--moral beliefs informed by reason, religion, history, literature, and sentiment, as well as religion--to fight for particular causes.

It is in fact possible to oppose gay marriage for non-religious reasons, as in the natural law tradition, which is self-consciously not based on "revealed truth" but instead on chains of reasoning based on an older, teleological philosophical tradition stretching back to Aristotle.

That said, for sincere religious people, truth does not contradict truth, and the teachings of the religion itself rather than independent philosophical reasoning are more than enough to inform their subjective moral views. For a religious person, one cannot seal off, ignore, or not act on the basis of revealed truth in making decisions on personal matters as well as public matters. It's true, such reasoning would be more persuasive to nonbelievers insofar as it is grounded in a secular and philosophical moral vocabulary, but it's quite a stretch and an implicit denial of revealed truth to say it should be set aside as suspect and illegitimate in public matters. This is particularly so when the very American religion of Christianity, the religion of the great majority of Americans, the idiom in which so many of our national discussions have taken place since our Founding, has since time immemorial classified homosexual sex as something sinful and, at the very least, not something that should be given a legal imprimatur in the form of a state-sanctioned marriage.

I think Stone's proposal of reducing religious voices to second class status is also likely to be something done selectively in a crude, results-oriented manner. After all, what other than a Christian view of marriage allowed the very American America of the 1890s to insist that Mormons abandon their anti-social and undemocratic practice of polygamy? Does anyone think the abolitionist cause was illegitimate insofar as it was populated by sincere Christians? Should we revisit the rationality of the anti-slave cause insofar as the Christian insight of our equal dignity before God informed so much of the anti-slave cause? After all, the post-religious social Darwinists of the early 20th Century thought this was all so out-moded and old-fashioned, whether we're talking about Margaret Sanger or Herbert Spencer.

Geoff Stone's argument comes down, once again to "I want what I want and don't care what institutional structure of the federal government gives it to me and those similarly situated." Not exactly persuasive when it's essence is revealed, and this is doubly so when Stone's shaky historical assumptions--such as the incantation of the term un-American without reference to actual American history--are exposed as the propagandistic bunk that they are.

Shawn

"That is, quite simply, un-American."

After all the complaining the left has done regarding being called "unpatriot" or "un-American" regarding their lack of support for the Iraq war I would've thought they would be judicious on the use of this particular brush. I guess not.

Claiming that religious affiliation and voting patterns results in illegitimacy of the results sounds awfully convenient. The voters have decided. Try convincing them they are right instead of insulting them. It's better the will of the people be enshrined then the policy preferences of a few men in black robs. Now that sounds "Un-American."

LAK

Karl,

I think you're missing the point. It's not problematic if a law overlaps with religious belief or even originates with some religious tradition, e.g. murder or abolition. It is problematic if the only justification for that law is blind religious belief (and certainly if the law's only purpose is to deny equal liberty and protection of the law to particular groups. Unlike the instant case, murder and abolition of slavery can be justified by secular logic and employing reason. That is the important distinction - in the absence of religious doctrine, can you justify the law. If not, then I agree with Stone that you've got an establishment clause issue on your hands.

Nathan, the argument for causation is certainly supported if you follow the money that supported the passage of Prop. 8. But more importantly, did you hear any justification for this law other than religious belief? I didn't.

Uzair, I'm with you. What is the point of having constitutional protections if you can amend the constitution my majority popular vote? All you need is a few hundred thousand signatures to get a constitutional amendment up for vote by ballot initiative in California. It is absurd.

Roach, what are the purported arguments from natural law about why same sex marriages should be banned? And is it your position that even if certain moral principles could be justified without the use of religion, is it the role of our government to impose morality on the people when the practices at issue have no externalities associated with them, that is, they don't violate Mill's harm principle. It is one thing to believe that pornography is wrong. It is another to believe that the government should ban it.

Shawn, you make the same argument that southern slave owners made. The voters decided there too. Thank God for the black robes and Constitutional protections of minority interests.

crj

The constitutional issue seems to me to be the reverse of what has been suggested. Virtually every state allows officials of religions to perform weddings. And different faiths shave different standards ( for some, for example, there can be no prior non-church annulled marriages).Suppose that religion E (no guessing) believes that their faith requires that same gender couples be entitled to be married within the rubrics of their faith. Can the State reverse that religious decision and deny to the faith their right granted to other faiths to marry those that their faith allows?

Uzair Kayani

Thanks, LAK.

I want to stress (again?) that allowing religion to dictate public policy in any matter whatsoever is a mistake. I am more drawn to the absolute "wall of separation" ideal.

Locke made an argument long ago that if Turks had split loyalties between the state and their faith then they would be unable to serve the state: they would be automatically- and perhaps rightfully- suspect if they owed loyalties not only to the political head of the societies that nurtured and endorsed them, but also to the hierarchic faiths that indoctrinated them. They would have two bosses: the people (or monarch) and the potentate. We have moved away from monarchies to democracies, but the question of split loyalties between society and faith remains.

What happens if we allow religion to have a say in civil matters in a democracy?

The poor voter who picks a privately religious candidate because that candidate shares his civic ideals will always be trumped by the head (or Hydra) of that candidate's religion. On civic ideals the voters have an equal say, but on religious matters the voters are up against a disingenuous religious veto power.

And why is religion disingeneuous when it speaks to other view points (or religions)?

Because religion lies (even if unconsciously) to make secular reason agree with it. Suppose some religious potentate tells a president that flirting is a capital offense. The president (faithful as he is) takes it upon himself to sell that idea by any means necessary. He draws upon secular rationales to justify his irrational religion.

And what is this president doing when he sells his religion through non-religious means?

He is lying to the electorate. And he is fine with lying, because even as he lies to his people, he is "true" to his faith.

This is a fine recipe for for intellectual retardation and eventual civil war.

Undisclosed

"But they have no right – indeed, they violate the very spirit of the American Constitution – when they attempt to conscript the authority of the state to compel those who do not share their religious beliefs to act as if they do."


What is the principled distinction between "religious beliefs," which are illegitimate aims, and "general conceptions of morality," which you consider legitimate? Aren't both conscripting the authority of the state to compel those who do not share their beliefs to act as if they do?

I assume you roll into your definition of "general conceptions of morality" contested conceptions such as the desirability of gay marriage or the belief that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is a denial of equality.

Anonymous Bosch

I'd like to stake out a position somewhere between that of Roach and Uzair. I agree with Roach that it is somewhat absurd to expect people with religious convictions to ignore those convictions when making political decisions. If religion is concerned with, as the Div School tells us, "the ultimate concerns" of reality, how can one not take those concerns into account when deciding how to run a society?

However, I think it behooves those with religious convictions to -- without giving up those convictions -- agree to participate in the public sphere using the tools of rational discourse (i.e. discourse that does not require faith or revelation). By entering into rational discourse on a subject, we each accept a set of common terms (such as the law of logical noncontradiction), upon which we can build consensus. You and I might reach a consensus about an issue if we argue within the terms we learned at Chicago; we are much less likely to reach any sort of consenus if I am arguing from the terms of Buddhism and you are arguing from the terms of Christianity.

Such a strategy would not, as Uzair contends, necessarily mean that Politician X would need to lie about or hide his religious convictions. Rather he would say openly, "I believe that action A should be legislated against because the revealed truth of religion Y says so; however, argument P and scientific datum Q also show that one does not have to accept Y's revealed truth to reach the same conclusion." If P and Q are convincing enough, the body politic would agree, and X would have fulfilled his duties to both Y's revealed truth and civil society. If P and Q are not convincing enough X would have to go back to the drawing board and come up with new arguments.

Francis Beckwith

Geoff:

Do you happen to know how the atheist vote went? Or how about the vote of "those who don't believe that religious claims have any epistemological status"?

Anonymous writes: "By entering into rational discourse on a subject, we each accept a set of common terms (such as the law of logical noncontradiction), upon which we can build consensus."

But at this point I can merely announce to you that I reject this principle. Thus, on its own grounds it is not a common term and thus cannot be employed in rational discourse. Thus, your position is self-refuting.

FJB

LAK

"I agree with Roach that it is somewhat absurd to expect people with religious convictions to ignore those convictions when making political decisions. If religion is concerned with, as the Div School tells us, "the ultimate concerns" of reality, how can one not take those concerns into account when deciding how to run a society?"

Why is it absurd at all? It is entirely rational. I, as a student of Aristotle and Hegel and Marx, believe in Telos and Truth, and this results in having a number of quasi-religious beliefs. I think that pornography is wrong. Hell I even think a lot of the recent surge in homosexual practice and culture has more to do with with culturally contingent gender constructs and widespread gender alienation as a result of crude capitalism than it does with any person being born with a particular phenotype.

But the question of whether I can or should impose my beliefs on others through the law, beliefs that are difficult to ground in fact and sound argument due to their speculative nature, is an entirely different issue. No way am I comfortable imposing beliefs that require some amount of faith in the absence of rock solid secular argument when I'm aware that rational minds could disagree. That's the whole point of separating church and state. It's not that difficult to understand and certainly not when there are no externalities involved.

So why wouldn't I take those concerns into account when running a society? Because despite them, I understand the role of government its to protect people's liberty and freedom, so I am only willing to impose my beliefs when they are of the sort where I am completely confident I have it right, and certainly not where they would impinge on the liberty of others. I think pornography exploits is women and takes advantage of the poor and psychologically vulnerable. AM I going to try to make it illegal when I know rational minds disagree? No way. I simply won't purchase any and will remind those who do they are harming women and diminishing the role of love in society in favor of crude sexuality. Free speech is a good thing. Hijacking laws to impose a religious belief about which reasonable people could disagree is not.

Kimball Corson

Can not a good agnostic or atheist be repulsed by the mental imagery of gay sex. Several terms come to mind. Might such activities in the same minds be considered sodomy, not to be condoned or made lawful? I think so. Although I do not share these views, I know several who do. These facts undermine the core argument here.

Historical moral sensibility here need not be a religious sensibility. Although religion has tried to preempt the area generally, it has not succeeded. Piaget´s Moral Judgment of the Child makes the point implicitly.

Tammy Cravit

I've been thinking about this, and it seems to me that there's a more general problem here. To my way of thinking, neither religious doctrine nore "historical moral sensibility" should be the basis upon which we enact laws. Both are equally suspect, because both rest on a subjective interpretation of what is right/just/moral. The lack of agreement, even among putatively non-religious people, about the limits of the right to abortion demonstrate this clearly.

Consider it this way: Murdering another human being is against the law. Though many people share the belief that murder is morally or religiously wrong, I would argue that the moral rightness or wrongness isn't the reason murder is illegal; rather, murder is illegal because it unduly deprives another person of a protected liberty interest (in life). Similarly, theft is illegal not because Judeo-christian religious text say it's immoral, but because it unduly deprives another person of her right to the fruits of her labor (money/property).

What frustrates me about the debate in support of Proposition 8 is that nobody seems able to articulate an argument in favor of limiting marriage to opposite-gender couples that can be framed in terms of protected liberty interests, independent of religious or theological doctrine. Any meaningful discourse on the limits of marriage must, I submit, ultimately rest on a legitimate state interest that is unencumbered by religious dogma.

Kimball Corson

As a matter of political analysis, public polling and the like, Geof, you may still have a point, my criticism notwithstanding. The public perception is certainly that religion has subsumed all matters moral.

Rob Johnson

LAK writes:

"Shawn, you make the same argument that southern slave owners made. The voters decided there too. Thank God for the black robes and Constitutional protections of minority interests."

Black robes didn't free the slaves. Bullets and blood did.

chad johnson

I voted for Proposition 8 and I am not religious. The idea that a people cannot have boundaries of decency is disconcerting to me, and I would have to ask where does this logic end?...I am against pornography as well, and again not for religious reasons. This seems like so much sour grapes to me, and the beginings of yet another attempt to have the judiciary overrule the democratic process.

Uzair Kayani

I think "decency" is contingent on orthodoxy in the same way that dominant religions are. Decency is not a free-standing concept; it is simply tethered to the top of a given status quo. If you behaved "decently" according to your views in Zimbabwe, you might be greeted with machetes.

There is no point having a "separation of powers" (more accurately, separation of incentives within government) if dominant strains in society must always prevail.

Stupidity often dominates (see world history).

The idea of limiting dominant thought is a recognition that dominant impulses (whether religious, ethical, or decent) must sometimes be curtailed. Consider that mobs are always "democratic" (no one is forced to participate in their pillaging; everyone's participation is strictly voluntary), and yet they are always despised.

Kimball Corson

If the word "morality" is substituted for “decency” in Uzair´s comment, he would be suggesting we have a truly free-swinging moral relativism and no free-standing concept of morality in these quarters. The implicit conclusion seems to be decency need not be a limitation on what a minority might want. While I agree with such pluralism, I am not sure I can rationalize how that can be in a democratic social order that insists on addressing the problem. Perhaps some things are best left alone, but that is hard when the state claims an interest in them. Geof´s attempt here is an end run on that process via the Constitution.

Chairm

The issue, with Propositoin 8, begins with the simple question:

What is marriage -- at its core, its essentials, its nature?

1. Sex integration.
2. Contingency for responsible procreation.
3. These combined as a coherent whole.

No. 3 is very important. Marriage is first and last a social institution -- foundational to civil society. It is not owned nor created by the Government. Society delegates a limited authority to government to regulate the parameters of marriage -- to regulate eligibiity.

From the core of marriage the rest flows. Based on the 3 points above, the social institution has a preferential status.

This is different from a merely tolerative status, which is given to relationship types that are not outlawed. SSM is not outlawed.

This is different from a merely protective status, which is given to relationship types that have certain vulnerabilities. SSM in the form of domestic partnership in California was accorded such a status. But across the country the provision for designated beneficiaries has long-existed (prior to the call for SSM) and has been well-utilized for all kinds of nonmarital relationship types.

Marriage has a preferential status based on its core meaning. See points 1 to 3. But this is extrinsic to the one-sexed arrangement -- regardless of gayness.

We have definitive legal requirements in our laws: the man-woman criterion stands for the integration of the sexes; the marital presumption of paternity stands for the contingency for responsible procreation; and the laws that codify both protection of the private aspect and endorsement of the public aspect of marriage stand for government recognition and privileging of a foundational social institution.

The legal shadow should be mistaken for the social institution, the thing, that casts that shadow.

What I have just described is the winning argument in most state courts.

It is also in full accord with the anthropological record and with the history of human civilization. The both-sexed basis of marriage is a universal across time, geography, and cultures -- as well as religious and irreligious lines.

So without relying on a religious argument, one can certainly point to all of that and say that marriage is NOT one-sexed. And that merging nonmarriage with marriage would be unjust and totalitarian.

The core meaning of marriage is recognized by the major religions, each in its own manner, as arising from three very significant givens (i.e. things that come with being humankind):

1. The two-sexed nature of humankind;
2. The both-sexed nature of human generativity;
3. The both-sexed nature of human community.

The family, founded on the unity of man and woman, is the basic human community. It is the cultural adaptation to human procreation and to the highy social character of humankind. For the sake of social cohesion, and for civilizing intergenerationally, societies have shown great preference for integrating the sexes and for planning responsible procreation.

But the SSM argumentation seeks to cut that out, to push it to the sidelines, and to replace marriage recognition with recogniton of some substitute.

Now, if we abolish the both-sexed basis of marraige, what is the non-religious and principled basis for marital status?

What are the definitive legal requirements?

What would be core the meaning of the relationship type that is neutral regarding sex?

While the marital presumption of paternity makes the conjugal relaitonship a sexual type fo relationship, what could possibly do the same for a relationship status that is a merger of marriage and non-marraige?

I think that those who opposed Proposition 8 began with the wrong question.

They asked, why not SSM?

They need to ask, why marriage?

Uzair Kayani

Corson makes a good criticism. I should clarify that I am not a moral relativist.

I think there was a time when morality operated separately from politics. Different moral traditions were isolated, and so they developed differently, but they remained divorced from the politics that surrounded them. Morality and politics were not always the same thing. We can still discern commonalities among moral traditions when we strip them to their bare core; when we are not blinded by political hate.

Often times, morality was able to revolutionize politics. This sort of revolution happened everywhere. Prominent examples include the works of missionaries, Sufis, Buddhist monks, and Gandhi. Remember that the vast majority of "prophets" arose from states of orphanage, abject poverty, or other stigmatized ranks, so that you would have expected them to be utter failures. They were not.

But there is a reason they no longer arise. There is no pure morality these days. By that I mean that now, morality is purely instrumental. Every religious system stands as a caricature of itself: "this one is obsessed with violence"; "this one is obsessed with xenophobia"; "this one is obsessed with gender"; "this one is racist"; "this one tells lies to save the world"; "this one is hegemonic at all cost."

There was never a moral system that could so easily be broken into straw men. No one would have fallen for that. Our modern conceit makes us think that those people who converted in the past were either terrified at a sword's end or stupid enough to believe anything. But these moral systems were intricate, and they were supposed to converse.

Politics broke all of them. Consider how very little most people know about any "moral tradition" other than their own. It is comical.

I am not morally relativist if that means that I consider all morality to be power-based. I simply think that we live in times where politics is ascendant and morality (no matter who's version) is reduced to a puppet. I am always eager to learn about faiths, but I find that the "faithful" know less than I could learn by reading the books that I supposed they had read. "The faithful" read nothing. They listen to fools, and they become monsters.

dankprofessor

I think that Rob Johnson got it when he in essence communicates the issue boils down to decency, that the decent persons must be protected from the indecent. Or putting it in other terms, the right not to be offended trumps any right to engage in same sex marriage. As the anthropologist Mary Douglas phrases it, all cultures have concepts of the pure and the unclean or the impure. And within societies there are often conflicts as to the boundaries regarding the pure and the impure. Note that Rob Johnson states: "The idea that a people cannot have boundaries of decency is disconcerting to me..." So for Johnson and others, gay marriage transcends their Natural Order and leads to a world of danger and anomie. Said position is often rationalized in a religious framework, the Natural Order is sacred, ordained by God which is the antithesis of the profane and unnatural. In terms of traditional dominant Western culture, sexuality represents the profane and can only be legitimized as sacred via marriage. No wonder that gay marriage for the traditionalists is so disturbing. Yes, Lawrence legalized homosexual acts but in terms of traditional culture homosexuality still functioned outside their moral boundaries. The California State Supreme Court attempted to change that boundary and we ended up with the passage of Prop 8.

Putting this issue in the framework of the separation of church and state obscures the issue because when the issue involves sexuality we are dealing with a long history of a cultural framework that cannot be easily compartmentalized in church and state terms.

The issue is one of the right of adults persons of the same sex to marry versus the right not to be offended . I consider the right to marry as a fundamental right that trumps any so-called right not to be offended. Of course, I was and am offended by Prop 8 and Prop 102 in Arizona, but I am not going to claim that Props 8 and 102 were therefore unconstitutional. There has to be something more just as there has to be something more for Rob Johnson.


Kimball Corson

Chairm´s model would seem to consign sex to procreation only, whereas I believe most sex, in or out of marriage, is recreational or interrelational. Rare is the event were the couple sets out to produce a baby.

I don´t think the state has any interest in such recreational or interrelational sex when no child ensues. As a mode of communication, it should be protectable under the First Amendment whether heterosexual or not.

Procreational sex should also not be of interest to the state except where it is successful and leads to the creation of a child. As a proportion of all sex, I think procreative sex is relatively rare: very substantially less than one percent, in my own experience, and I have five children (all grown, thank heavens).

Chairm´s model has the tail wagging the dog.

Curtis Strong

Professor Stone,

I find it extremely troubling that you have done a simple percentage count and then assume that Christians have only religious reasons for voting for Proposition 8.

This line of argument is pretty horrifying.

If every (or even some) laws could be invalidated based on the percentage of Christian, or even religious, people who voted for vs. against the measure when compared with the percentages of non-Christians/non-religious, then there is going to be an entire litany of problems that result:

1) Any law that is passed by a significant amount (whatever that threshold might be...let's say 80%, since that's what we're talking about here) of Christians will be nullified as contravening Church/State.

2) Christians will be bullied into voting for or against people/laws/amendments for "the right reasons"

3) "The right reasons" are apparently Professor Stone's views, since the comments have clearly illustrated the lack of a difference between "morals" and "religion" (Kayani's attempt to define morality defines nothing, and leaves morality still open to very vague, essentially useless mumbo-jumbo).

4) Even where Christians have "the right reasons," and just happen to agree because of happenstance or based on Kayani/Professor Stone's vague morality definitions, it will still be invalid because of a trumped-up cheap shot based on religious affiliation (and I thought that's exactly what Professor Stone wants to AVOID).

There are plenty of legitimate reasons to have voted against Proposition 8. Look at the cases in California and Massachussets where adoption agencies were shut down (in MA, it was a Catholic adoption agency) because they refused to give children to same-sex couples. It is silly to think that churches who have condemned homosexuality for thousands of years should be forced by the government to place children in homes where they feel a moral conviction not to. Moreover, it's just as easy to open a private adoption agency that caters to same-sex couples. The other agencies will have no option but to shut down, without any real benefit to society as a whole, or to homosexuals in particular.

Ultra-liberals have a tough time rationalizing the fact that one of the most liberal states in the nation, who can be counted on like clockwork to vote for Democrats, also voted for Proposition 8. It appears that the same-sex marriage issue isn't as clear as ultra-liberals would like to think.

Kimball Corson

Whether Christians also have other non-religious reasons for voting for Proposition 8 is irrelevant. Christians´ religious reasons are sufficient for them to vote for Proposition 8 en mass and that is the basis of Geof Stone´s proposition.

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