October 10, 2008

Editorial:

Parental Notification and Gay Marriages Two Controversial Propositions

This year the State of California has 12 propositions on the ballot. Of the 12, two are highly emotional, controversial, and have attracted their fair share of attention this year. The Propositions are Prop. 4 Parental Notification before an abortion is performed and Proposition 8 which will nullify the right for same sex marriage.

Proposition 4: Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy. Initiative Constitutional Amendment - Majority Approval Required

Shall the California Constitution be changed to prohibit abortion for an unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent, legal guardian, or, in limited cases, substitute adult relative?

This is now the third time that this proposition has come before the voters, each time it has been tweaked to address voters concerns, and the first two times it has been defeated at the polls. In the past two elections La Prensa San Diego has endorsed this proposition.

Basically Prop. 4 will make it a Constitutional Amendment that a young woman under the age of 18, the doctor must inform the parents or guardian of the woman 48 hours prior to an abortion procedure. This time around the tweak in the law from the last election is that if the young woman is unable to tell her parents/guardian due to an abusive relationship that the doctor can inform another adult relative of the young woman.

The main argument against this proposition is that in situations where a young woman can’t tell her parents because she could be abused or because she simply can’t face the family with this news that the young woman will resort to back alley abortion services or worst yet possibly commit suicide. This is a strong argument and one that has defeated this proposal in the past.

Our position on this issue has always been that emotionally this is still a child, that ultimately the parents are still responsible, and that at a time such as this, when a person is making a decision as tragic as an abortion, that family support is crucial.

As parents we have tried to put ourselves in these circumstances and have looked at this issue from a supportive family perspective and we have focused on the aspect of finding out after the fact which we find unsettling to say the least.

The opponents to this proposition argue that in a supportive family situation in all likelihood a child/young woman would have the courage to talk with a supportive family member, be it the father and mother, an older sister, or cousin and inform that person what they are going through. The opponents’ argument is that they are protecting that child/young woman who cannot turn to a supportive family member and faces the danger of self abortion, back alley abortion, family abuse, or suicide.

It is a state law that minor children are entitled to receive, without parental consent or notification, the same types of medical care for a pregnancy that are available to an adult. In 1987 the State Legislature enacted a law that required consent from a parent or court in regards to an abortion by a minor. This law was struck down by the State Supreme Court. In the last three years this proposition has twice been defeated at the polls.

The State Supreme Court has spoken to this issue. The voters have made their position on this issue loud and clear, that a minor does not need to notify their parents/guardian.

We have heard the voters’ voice on this issue and they have said NO to Prop. 4. We will stand with the voters and support a No Vote to Prop. 4

Proposition 8: Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. Initiative Constitutional Amendment - Majority Approval Required

Shall the California Constitution be changed to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry providing that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California?

Whereas opponents to Prop. 4 had the support of the State Supreme Court and the voters, Prop. 8 is different. In the year 2000, California voters approved the designation that a legal marriage is between a man and woman. It was the State Supreme Court (in May 2008) that denied the provisions of Prop 4, citing that it violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. Same sex couples have been getting married ever since the May 2008 ruling.

A Yes vote on Prop. 8 would be a vote for marriage as legal only if it was between a man and woman. A No vote would allow the State of California to continue recognizing the legal union between same sex marriages.

First and foremost, marriage is a statement of love between two people. Same sex marriage as a legal union will not diminish the value of heterosexual marriages. Legal recognition for same sex marriages provides a sense of pride, dignity, accountability, and as the State Supreme Court ruled: equal protection under the law.

Gays and Lesbians have been a part of society since the beginning of time. This is a community that continues to grow and speak out. The Gay community is an integral part of our society and their elected numbers continues to grow. We can no longer marginalize this part of our community. Rejecting the legal designation of a Gay marriage will do nothing more than to polarize this community toward working harder for full recognition as a part of society.

This proposition is nothing more than one group trying to impose their moral standards on another. Fortunately, the world is made up of many different people and you simple can’t contain all people in a single box. Instead we should celebrate our differences and work together to make our world a better place for all to live in happiness and in love.

We believe that if two people are in love and they want to get married, we as a State should not legislate against the happiness of these people. We Urge a No Vote on Prop. 8

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