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After the passage of Proposition 8, which amended California's state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, it's clear that Californian's support the idea of protecting marriage and restoring traditional family values above writing discrimination into their constitution. And who can blame them? I mean when you look at the big picture, all hell has broken loose with nearly one in two marriages ending in divorce and more children than ever are being born out of wedlock. As one Yes on 8 pastor told me, "we have forsaken the narrow path to salvation for the broad path to hell."
But it got me to thinking, why stop with Proposition 8? The way I see it, excluding gays from marriage was only a distraction from what is really at the core of the breakdown of the institution of marriage. If the proponents and supporters of Proposition 8 are truly interested in protecting marriage, perhaps there is another opportunity for California to lead the way for the rest of the nation in forcing the religion, morals, and views of a few on an entire group of people. You know the saying, so goes California, so goes the rest of the country.
Therefore, if you can't beat em', join em'. Introducing Operation: Love and Marriage, a straightforward voter initiative designed to demonstrate that even though we may be bitter at the passage of Proposition 8, gays do take family values just as seriously as their heterosexual counterparts do. So much so, that we're willing to stop working on our own marriages to focus on their families while gathering the 700,000 signatures needed to get the following propositions on the next statewide ballot.
The following are only working titles and summaries of the suggested propositions for Operation: Love and Marriage.
Me and Mrs. Jones. A simple amendment. Since fornication is a sin according to the Bible, it's time for California to take the lead in declaring adultery a crime punishable by time in state prison.
Till Death Do You Part. One out of two marriages in divorce today. Let's change those statistics by amending California's state constitution to say that once you are married, you must stay married until death do you part. Be it murder or suicide, until your husband or wife is declared officially dead by a coroner's office, you cannot under any circumstances remarry or take up another partner. Period. This is designed to make sure that marriages and traditional family values are restored and upheld. However, there is an Anna Mae Bullock/Ike Turner clause that says if you can prove your husband or wife is beating you senseless, you can petition the courts for a special circumstances divorce. A divorce will only be granted, after a special investigation ensuring that there really is physical abuse in the marriage.
No More Baby Mama's. Even with condoms and birth control pills, too many children being born out of wedlock. No More Baby's Mama says that if a man gets a woman pregnant, he must marry her. If he or she is already married, please refer to proposition Me and Mrs. Jones.
I think you will agree with me, that this is a perfect opportunity for the Yes on 8 and No on 8 sides to work together, and it's all to the benefit of protecting marriage in California. After all, if it's really about marriage, morals, values, and the children, then the supporters of Proposition 8 should have no problem championing Operation: Love and Marriage. And with all of us working together, gay and straight, we can get these laws passed in no time.
What say you? Is California ready to show America what marriage and family values are really all about?
Jasmyne Cannick is a critic and commentator based in Los Angeles who writes about the worlds of pop culture, race, class, sexuality, and politics as it relates to the African-American community. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and Ebony Magazine. A regular contributor to NPR's 'News and Notes,' she was chosen as one Essence Magazine's 25 Women Shaping the World. She can be reached at www.jasmynecannick.com.