Sunday, August 17, 2008

State Constitutional Amendments

For those of you in California you may have heard about this or even had the First Presidency letter read in your ward, but for those of you who don’t know, in California, Arizona and Florida there are constitutional amendments that are going to be voted on sometime soon to ban homosexual marriage. The Church is stepping up efforts to support the passing of the amendments and is actively trying to get the members to do the same. Here is a link to the Church commentary on it on the Church website.

If you want to read a technical legal interpretation of what is going on in Arizona and California my dad has a blog where he is commenting on this (if you want to comment on his site you can, his site is open for comments and he would enjoy it). He give a good legal explanation of the legal precedent used by the California Supreme Court in support of homosexual marriage and also the legal precedent used by the Arizona Supreme Court against homosexual marriage.

What it comes down to is that in California the Supreme Court ruled that the rights of the individual are the foundation of society and that the family, and marriage, is something in addition to the individual and that marriage and family have no legal status above and beyond that given to things such as jobs, contracts and clubs. Thus in California rights belong only to the individual and the individual has no inherent duty or obligation to society other than their own self-interest.

In Arizona on the other hand, the Supreme Court has ruled that the family and marriage between a man and a woman is not a legal entity and does not and is not subject to the same legal parameters as a contract or any other type of legal arrangement, because the family is the fundamental and basic unit of society. Thus the courts and the law do not have jurisdiction to change the status of marriage, but the government does have the obligation and the interest to preserve the family. My dad included a quote from the case in Arizona that I found very interesting.

“Nevertheless, the state is also vitally concerned with the establishment of marriages because marriage is a relationship in which "the public is deeply interested, for it is the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress." Nelson, 604 F.Supp. at 593 (quoting Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 211, 8 S.Ct. 723, 729, 31 L.Ed. 654 (1888)).” Moran v. Moran, 188 Ariz. 139, 933 P.2d 1207 (App. 1997)

So if you want to look over any of the legal arguments used in California and/or Arizona you can consult my dad’s site. He has all the info and links there if you want to read over it. I think that this would help put things in perspective and if you want to know what is going on with the debate the Church links and my dad's blog can help with all the info and commentary.


  1. Yes, I am in California and the Church is making a very big deal here. It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

    I hear, most people in California support the measure the church wants to pass. The problem, like always in elections, is half the people who support X won't show up to vote.

    It doesn't matter if there is more of you then them, if more of them show up, they win. The only opinions that matter are the ones of those who actually vote.


  2. Okay, I admit I can think of situations where you don't vote but your opinion still makes a difference in an election outcome, but for most people "to first order" only the opinions of the voters who actually vote matter.

  3. "Okay, I admit I can think of situations where you don't vote but your opinion still makes a difference in an election outcome" -- Perhaps, but such situations are rare and often convoluted mental exercises. We need to make a difference for the best! The church has been very clear on this! The point is, and it is the important part -- "DON"T JUST HAVE AN OPINION, VOTE!" Let's make a difference this November!


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