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Arguments Against California’s Proposition 8 Term Paper

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Updated: Jul 8th, 2020


Since the federal courts declared proposition 8 to be a null and void proposal constitutionally, there has been a raging debate on the issue, because of the different views held by different groups. Proposition 8 was a ballot proposal conducted by the state of California whose main mandate was to eliminate same-sex marriages.

This has been an ongoing process even in other states since 1998, although just like in California, the courts have blocked most of these propositions. Due to the preconceived ideologies held by most individuals who oppose same sex marriages, convincing the society that, gays also have a constitutional right to enjoy their marital rights is very hard.

Most antagonist of the idea of legalizing gay marriages argue from a tradition, religious, and procreation point of view, assuming that the world has undergone tremendous changes and all individuals should have the freedom to enjoy their fundamental rights.

The passing of California’s proposition 8, greatly infringed gays rights, because legalizing same-sex marriages does not diminish the sanctity and significance of traditional marriages, can offer all individuals an equal chance of enjoying governmental benefits, for example, social security, and gives every citizen the freedom of enjoying their fundamental rights.

In addition, legalizing same-sex marriages will give gays a chance of adopting children without having to go through tough legal procedures; hence, this will provide many orphans and other suffering children homes. Considering this, the state of California should denounce Proposition 8, because this proposition is discriminating and has created rivalry between different societal groups.

Why California Should Denounce Proposition 8

Although in August 2010, the court blocked the implementation of proposition 8, this never gave a lasting solution to the controversial debate of legalizing gay marriages, because this is a debate that involves an issue that is likely to resurface in the future. Considering the numerous changes that the contemporary society has embraced, it is purely wrong to deny gays their marital rights, just because they do not conform to certain cultural and religious beliefs held by a section of the society.

To a larger extent, traditional marriages are a stifling way of cohabitation and a myth embraced by a section of the society; hence, denying gays the right to marry means that, the society is forcing individuals to conform to its restrictive practices, which stifle development and innovation. Being gay is not a queer character, but rather, being odd is denying individuals a chance of transforming the society.

In addition, marriage is asocial construct; hence, the society should give individuals a chance of redefining the institution, so long as such changes do not jeopardize the peaceful coexistence of human societies. Just like traditional couples, gays also can also have family responsibilities; hence, legalizing same-sex marriage does not diminish the sanctity of traditional marriages, but rather it extends marital rights to a big portion of the society (Traditional Values Coalition Education and Legal Institute 1-3).

Majority of individuals who vote for proposition 8 never considered the consequences the proposition could have, in terms of access to governmental incentives, for example, social security benefits, on present gay couples and those planning to do marry. Currently, in the U.S., married couples enjoy a number of governmental incentives, which are not available to individuals who cannot participate in civil marriages including different sexes.

Although the civil union laws protects civil marriages; hence, gives couples a guarantee of enjoying some state-related rights, the laws do not guarantee an individual a chance of enjoying some federal rights. For example, a gay partner cannot make any health decision for their ailing partners, although without written instructions.

The scenario becomes worse when their partners die, because no law gives gays a right to organize any funeral for their dead partner.

Considering this, the health of many gay couples is at stake incase illnesses strike and there is no any written consent of the ailing partner. Therefore, to ensure that that state protects the health rights of every citizen, it is important for the state to do away with this proposal completely (Daniels 1).

In addition to denying couples their health rights, acceptance of this proposition will deny gay couples equal rights of accessing governmental incentives and benefits, for example, social security benefits. Most gay couples have limited access to social security incentives, for example, disability and survivor, veteran’s, and pension benefits.

The scenario becomes worse when one of the gay partners dies, because regardless of whether such a couple had children or not, the surviving family does not have any rights to inherit the deceased’s property. This is a discriminatory practice that denies most gay couples access to life enhancing incentives; hence to a large extent putting at stake their wellbeing.

It is practically unfair to discriminate a certain section of the society by denying them the chance of accessing certain important incentives, just because they have embraced a different notion about marriage. Legislators should avoid using the old colonial methodologies of stifling certain societal groups’ rights, on grounds that such groups do not conform to their definition of practices or ideas (Daniels 1).

On the other hand, denying gay couples marital rights greatly violates their fundamental rights, because it is purely wrong to listen to the majority voice, while denying the minority a chance of expressing their ideologies. The United States of America is a democratic nation, where every individual has a fundamental right of expressing and implementing their individualized ideologies, so long as they do not infringe anybody’s rights.

In addition, the backing of the Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, because it denies gays their fundamental right of equal protection.

The federal government has no power whatsoever to deny a minority group some rights, because they hold different social or religious beliefs, rather it should promote the respect such ideologies. Most s proposition 8 supporters never took into consideration the negative effects of this proposal on the wellbeing of the numerous gay coupes not only in California, but also in the entire world.

These like proposals create subclasses within a nation, and because the society looks down upon practices of such subclasses, likelihoods of them suffering are high, because of the discriminating tendency of human beings (Bloom 1-4).

Lastly, although most individuals question the ability of gay couples to bring up children, just like in normal traditional families, gay couples have the potential of bringing up children.

BY denouncing provisions of proposition 8, the society will give homeless children a chance of enjoying parental love, although the gay couples might not be their real parents of the children. It is important from individuals to note that, the idea that most children brought up in gay families are prone to abuse is a misconceived idea (William 1). Yes, children with gay parents are prone to bullying and mistreatment from their peers.

However, by arguing like this most antagonists of the idea of legalizing same-sex marriages assume the fact that, such practices occur, because of the perception that the society has instilled in children. Hence, the only solution of eliminating the practice is by doing away with any law that conforms to proposition 8, it being the only way of changing the societal perception of same-sex marriages.


In conclusion, because provisions of proposition 8 go against the fundamental rights of a section of the American society, the federal government should ensure that states denounce such propositions.

It is purely unfair to deny a section of the community some rights just because they hold different social and religious beliefs. The old traditional marriage system is a social construct that is alterable; hence, individuals should have the freedom to choose their marriage partners, so long as there practices do not jeopardize the peaceful co-existence of the society.

Works Cited

Bloom, Lisa. Prop * is simply unconstitutional. Cable News Network. 2010. Web.

Daniels, Mike. Federal Judge: Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Unconstitutional.
Secular News Daily. 2010. Web.

Traditional Values Coalition Education and Legal Institute. Same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships: are they good for families and society? 2003. Web.

Saletan, William. . The Washington Post. 2002. Web.

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"Arguments Against California’s Proposition 8." IvyPanda, 8 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/arguments-against-californias-proposition-8/.

1. IvyPanda. "Arguments Against California’s Proposition 8." July 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/arguments-against-californias-proposition-8/.


IvyPanda. "Arguments Against California’s Proposition 8." July 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/arguments-against-californias-proposition-8/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Arguments Against California’s Proposition 8." July 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/arguments-against-californias-proposition-8/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Arguments Against California’s Proposition 8'. 8 July.

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