By Gerry Gamel
Editor Mason County News

Early voting continues through Friday, November 4th in the Texas Constitutional Amendment election. The actual election day will be on Tuesday, November 8th.

Such elections traditionally have a very low voter turnout. Most folks just don’t want to make the effort to study each of the issues involved, and to then head to the polls to cast their ballot. This year, several folks are predicting a higher than normal turnout, mostly because of Proposition 2 on the ballot. If you haven’t heard already, that is the amendment to prohibit gay marriage, or any arrangement similar to marriage.

I’ve written my opinion of this piece of trash before, but felt compelled to do so once more because of the dangerous precedent I feel it sets for our wayward lawmakers. The proposition states, “The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

Texas already passed a “Defense of Marriage Act” which prohibits gay marriage, so this amendment is nothing more than political grandstanding on a hot-button issue. Passing such an amendment is redundant when the law is already on the books.

Additionally, passage of the amendment would make Texas one of the states that specifically writes exclusion of a group of people from equal protection of the law. That’s not a distinction any of us should proudly embrace.

Supporters of the amendment keep proclaiming that they need to “protect marriage,” and the best way to do that, in their mind, is to make sure gays can’t get married. In Massachusetts, the only state in the union where gay marriages are completely legal, heterosexual marriages have not suffered. In fact, Massachusetts has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. In Texas, where amendment advocates want to protect marriage, we have one of the highest divorce rates in the country! Perhaps if we want to protect the institution of marriage, we should start with the heterosexual population first and explain to them that adultery, spousal abuse, alcoholism and emotional immaturity are the greatest threats to matrimony!

Many people feel that by casting a vote for Proposition 2, they are making a moral statement about their opposition to homosexuality. I worry what happens if these same people decide to start making moral statements about Judaism, Islam, blacks or Hispanics. If the Constitution of the State of Texas is rewritten to specifically target homosexuals, and to thus give some people a feeling of moral superiority, why not take it the next logical step and outlaw the practice of religions with which we do not agree! Why not continue and prohibit specific races of people from marrying, thus ensuring that only one race, and one religion endures!

Do I think that the Legislature of the State of Texas made a mistake in passing this proposition? No! A mistake indicates that they didn’t know what they were doing and that they accidentally wrote legislation, took a vote, and passed it along to the voters of the great State of Texas to cast ballots. That’s a lot of “whoops.” It wasn’t a mistake, it was political grandstanding at it most flagrant, and it’s time the people of Texas stopped allowing our elected officials to get away with it.

Whether you vote early or wait till November 8, vote NO on Proposition 2 and send a message back to Austin that the legislature was supposed to be working on education funding reform, not peering into bedrooms and selectively passing legislation that affects thousands of families across the Lone Star State.

Vote NO on Proposition 2 and continue to embrace whatever moral position you have on homosexuality, without inviting the state into our personal lives more than they already are.

Vote NO on Proposition 2 and tend to your own marriages. With one of the highest divorce rates in the nation, maybe we need to start looking into a mirror to find our solutions rather than looking to the legislature!

Finally, vote NO on Proposition 2 and do something truly moral by preparing a meal for someone who has no food. Get your family up EVERY Sunday and get into the pews at church so that you can learn more about what God really does want you to do. Get your children into the Sunday school classrooms, even if they complain and ask to sleep in, for their own good. Do something truly moral and look inward at your own life before trying to find a way to elevate yourself morally above others. After all, such pride, in the eyes of God, is also a sin.

It’s all just my opinion, but it’s what I wish would happen.

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