This article is from Rev. Ortiz, a Hispanic pastor in the LA area. It appeared in the Pasadena Star News.
IT'S unfortunate that the Whittier Daily News ("Our View," Oct. 9) and some religious leaders in this community (Guest View, Oct. 5) have such a simple view of the issue of homosexual/same-sex marriage. To see marriage as a "human comedy," where people are only concerned about just "loving each other" and "sanctifying" their "devotion and feelings" for each other is a tragedy of narrow vision.
This simpleton view creates a monster like a cyclops! Such is the case when this newspaper sees life from only one dimension and encourages you to vote "no" on Proposition 8. Marriage is far more complex than even this newspaper's editorial cared to admit. As one who prepares couples for marriage, officiating 10-20 ceremonies per year, and serving this community for more than 37 years, please allow me to broaden your vision.
When you vote "yes" on Prop. 8, you understand the broader dimensions and implications of fundamentally changing the definition of the most important bedrock relationship of our society - marriage, and its inevitable corollary - the family. By inserting the true meaning of marriage into our state constitution you send a clear, concise message to our culture and our children that only the union of one man and one woman rightly qualifies to be called a marriage in its most basic form and purpose. Marriage was intended to create families, not just "loving, devoted" couples.
When you vote "yes" on Prop. 8, you are siding with more than 61 percent of California voters in 2000 and with 1.1 million California citizens in 2008 who signed petitions to put the proposition on the Nov. 4 ballot. You agree along with every culture, every country, every religion, every society and every honest social scientist from the beginning of time that the union of a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation, where children can be nurtured and raised in a stable and secure family environment.
When you vote "yes" on 8, you are not trying to punish or prohibit gay people from living their chosen lifestyle. Prop. 8 does not change or object to rights already established in law for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights and end-of-life care issues. When you vote "yes" on Proposition 8, you are proclaiming loudly that you don't want your children in California's public schools to be taught that homosexual/same-sex marriage is the same as your marriage to your wife or husband.
In fact, you keep your fundamental right as a parent to be the primary teacher of your family's core values, and not have that right taken away as it has already been done in Massachusetts. When you vote "yes," on Prop. 8, you will keep the fundamental right of free speech and religious freedom intact for your pastor, rabbi, priest, imam, elder, or faith leader when they act, teach, preach, or speak from religious conscience against the practice of homosexuality. This religious freedom is in jeopardy of being called "hate speech."
When you vote "yes" on Prop. 8, you will agree with me and my colleague, Felice Austin, in "Ask a Christian," when she says, "Proposition 8 will ensure that church and state remain separate in California. It will prevent morality from being legislated on either side. It will not infringe upon already established rights for homosexual/same-sex couples. It will protect the rights of people and organizations that believe in the traditional family from those who would use the muscular arm of the government to punish those that disagree with them."
We the people of California have the right to define what a marriage is. We're voting "yes" on Prop. 8 on Nov. 4.
The Rev. Jim Ortiz is senior pastor of My Friend's House Assembly of God and president of Whittier Area Evangelical Ministerial Alliance.