California and the Proposition 8

In California, the biggest campaign ads aren’t from the McCain or Obama camps. One social subject is getting big bucks and big air time: gay marriage.

California voters on Nov. 4 will decide whether to pass Prop. 8–which eliminates right of same-sex couples to marry. Polls show that the race for the proposition is tight and both sides say a loss would be devastating.

Eric Borsum was delighted when he was finally able to marry Eric Miller, his partner of nine years. But he was also worried. He knew there was a possibility Proposition 8 would pass, and if it did, his matrimony would be thrown into legal limbo.

If voters next week approve the initiative to ban gay weddings, legal analysts on both sides of the measure foresee that an episode of “legal chaos” will arise, with the legality of same-sex marriages performed between June and November suddenly in doubt.

Supporters of Proposition 8, so far, have raised $27.5 million, with about 19 percent of the money coming from outside California. Opponents have raised $31.2 million including Apple Inc. which has contributed $100,000 to the campaign against the scheme.

In a room on the top floor of an evangelical church in San Diego, dozens of Christians are engaged in 40 days of round-the-clock praying and fasting. They are asking God to stop gay marriage in California.

Many Christians accept that scripture forbids homosexuality. If gay marriage is allowed to happen, some evangelicals suggest, it would force churches to marry gays and require schools to teach gay marriage.

In case Prop. 8 fails, ministers who preach against same-sex marriages may be sued for hate speech and churches may be sued if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings open to the public.

Now is the time for us to be fair. Gay couples are requesting for a chance to play by the rules. We can give them that chance. And after all, we live in a democracy, not a theocracy.