I've been trying to find a way to put into words what I felt about Proposition 8 that didn't come down to "my religion teaches this" or "the first presidency of the church has asked that we do all in our power to support Proposition 8". Don't get me wrong, those are very good reasons, and I also happen to believe in the preservation of marriage as it's been defined for millenia. Still, I wanted something I could explain that didn't require a religious viewpoint to make my case, because, lets face it, many people are not religious in the slightest, and look at reasoning that uses religion as a baseline to be totally unworthy of consideration.
This is something my father sent in to a local newspaper, and thanks to him, I have permission to post it here. Were I to make my case for Proposition 8 and against same-sex marriage, this is effectively what I'd say (though my Dad tends to have a way of saying this stuff better than I do, so I'm just going to post his comments):
I am writing in support of Proposition 8 – the proposed Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman.
Many good people are concluding that denying marriage to same-sex couples is unfair. There is a logical fallacy to this. For thousands of years marriage has been considered not a right but a special privilege and responsibility for certain people. That the concept of marriage should be applied to same-sex couples is a novel and very new idea.
Long ago, it became clear that fathers didn’t always stay around to assist with the nurture of their children. Concluding that starving mothers and children in the community were far from desirable, societies created the institution of “marriage”, primarily for the protection of MOTHERS and CHILDREN.
Measures were devised for strengthening this union, such as tax benefits, increased social approval, pressure to stay together, and divorce arrangements like alimony and child support which protected the weaker parties.
If ANY union now can be called marriage, how can “benefits” for traditional marriages be maintained? Marriage and the nuclear family have been assaulted in many ways over the past few decades. Same-sex marriage could be another nail in the coffin.