Resist What Divides Us: No on 22


Proposition 22 on the March 7 ballot would add this provision to the state’s Family Code: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Brief and deceptively simple, this proposal changes nothing, for California law already limits marriage to a man and a woman.

As a ballot measure, however, Proposition 22 increases intolerance and deepens fissures within our society. In this context, the proposal enshrines in law a social ostracism of gays and lesbians. And it heightens the hostility toward those whose religious beliefs have led them to support the measure.

This is a proposal that should not be on the ballot and that should not pass.

Yet we recognize that many people of goodwill will vote for it out of the conviction that it upholds the sanctity of the family as defined by their religious traditions. Cardinal Roger M. Mahony explained the support of the Catholic hierarchy for the measure as a way “to assure that God’s plan for marriage and family life described so fully in both the Old Testament and the New Testament remains the bedrock upon which marriage is respected within our society.”


But opposition to Proposition 22 does not equate to support for gay marriage in California; even if the measure fails, gay marriage still will not be legally valid here. Voters should reject this ballot proposal.

California, as the most diverse state in the nation--indeed on Earth--must resist that which could divide us based on who we are. After the vote March 7, we must continue the urgent and paramount endeavor of building a society based on inclusion as a basic principle rather than on division, one that values tolerance and promotes justice, one that affirms the inherent dignity of every person.