Questions & Answers
About Proposition 8
What is Proposition 8?
Proposition 8 is a simple and straightforward voter initiative. It contains the same 14 words that were previously approved in 2000 by over 61% of California voters: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
Because four activist judges in San Francisco wrongly overturned the people's vote, we need to pass this measure as a constitutional amendment to restore the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
What does a YES vote on Proposition 8 mean?
Voting YES on Proposition 8 does 3 simple things:
It restores the definition of marriage to what the vast majority of California voters already approved and human history has understood marriage to be.
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.
What does a NO vote on Proposition 8 mean?
If Proposition 8 is defeated, the sanctity of marriage will be destroyed and its powerful influence on the betterment of society will be lost. The defeat of Prop. 8 would result in the very meaning of marriage being transformed into nothing more than a contractual relationship between adults. No longer will the interests of children and families even be a consideration. We will no longer celebrate marriage as a union of husband and wife, but rather a relationship between 'Party A' and 'Party B.' The marriage of a man and a woman has been at the heart of society since the beginning of time. It promotes the ideal opportunity for children to be raised by a mother and father in a family held together by the
legal, communal and spiritual bonds of marriage. And while divorce and death too frequently disrupt the ideal, as a society we should put the best interests of children first, and that is traditional marriage. Voting No on Proposition 8 would destroy marriage as we know it and cause profound harm to society.
Will Proposition 8 take away any rights for gay and lesbian domestic partners?
No. Proposition 8 is about preserving marriage; it's not an attack on the gay lifestyle. Proposition 8 doesn't take away any rights or benefits from gays or lesbians in domestic partnerships. Under California law, "domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections and benefits" as married spouses. (Family Code §297.5.) There are no exceptions. Proposition 8 will not change this.
If Proposition 8 passes, what will happen to the same-sex marriages that have already taken place?
Under Proposition 8, the validity and recognition of all marriage in California would be limited to a man and a woman, including past and future marriages, as well as marriages from other states or countries. The rights and obligations of same-sex couples who obtained marriage licenses before Proposition 8 passes will be up to the Courts to decide.
If Proposition 8 does not pass, will my children be forced to learn about gay marriage at school?
Yes. In health education classes, state law requires teachers to instruct children as young as kindergarteners about marriage. (Education Code §51890.) If the same-sex marriage ruling is not overturned, teachers will be required to teach young children that there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage.
Why is Proposition 8 needed? Didn't we already vote on this issue?
In 2000, over 61% of Californians voted to reaffirm the traditional definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman (Proposition 22). However, because this language wasn't put into the California Constitution, four activist judges from San Francisco wrongly overturned the people's vote in a closely divided 4-3 decision. Proposition 8 reverses the court's decision by restoring the definition of marriage as a man and a woman in the state Constitution.
Could the California Supreme Court overturn the people's vote again and declare Proposition 8 unconstitutional?
No. By amending the state Constitution directly, the court cannot declare Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional, as it did with Proposition 22. Proposition 22 added a regular statute to the California Family Code. Regular statutes are a "lower" law than the state Constitution. By adding the language of Proposition 8 to the state Constitution, which is the highest source of law in the state, the California courts would be required to uphold traditional marriage.
Who supports this initiative?
A wide range of national, state and local pro-family organizations, churches and individuals have formed a broad-based coalition to support Proposition 8. To date, the coalition represents over one million people in California. To view a list of supporters, visitwww.ProtectMarriage .com.
What will happen to the domestic partnership laws if Proposition 8 is enacted?
Nothing. All laws on the books regarding domestic partnerships will remain intact. Gays and lesbians in domestic partnerships will continue to enjoy all the legal rights and benefits that married couples enjoy. Proposition 8 does not affect those rights and benefits.
Where can I find more information about Proposition 8 or get involved in the campaign?
You can visit the Proposition 8 Web site atwww.ProtectMarriage .com or call
(916) 446-2956. There are a number of ways to get involved with the campaign, including volunteering, donating and helping to spread the word about the importance of voting YES on Proposition 8.
Vote Yes on Proposition 8!