9th Circuit: Prop 8 is Unconstitutional

February 8, 2012

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ invalidation of 2008’s Proposition 8 is a just, moral, and righteous decision. This is a decision that all Seventh-day Adventists who are committed to religious liberty and the gospel of Jesus Christ can celebrate. It points out unjust and immoral discrimination by its right name. It sets the nation further in the trajectory of recognizing full equality of gays and lesbians in all areas of life. This decision affirms the truth that the moral arc of the universe indeed bends toward justice.

We concur with the majority decision which said, in part…

Although the Constitution permits communities to enact laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 should have been enacted. … Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort. –Judge Stephen Reinhardt, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
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Prop 8 Deemed Unconstitutional

August 4, 2010

Today, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that Proposition 8 violates the constitutional right to equal protection and that California “has no interest in differentiating between same-sex and opposite-sex unions” in a 136-page decision. The ruling comes after nearly six months of arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Judge Walker wrote: “The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples.”

Adventists Against Prop 8 affirm the court’s ruling. We note that in this decision, Judge Walker has ruled that the only basis for objecting to same-sex marriage is religious, and while religious officials are free to either marry or not marry same-sex couples, the state—because we believe in the separation of church and state—has no right to discriminate based solely on religious grounds.

We reiterate the statement made on this site in advance of the November, 2008 vote on Proposition 8:

Adventists in the United States have historically defended the concerns of minority groups (even when they have disagreed with them on specific positions and practices) and have strongly objected to the use of religious arguments and means for establishing even what they consider to be public good (such the establishment of “blue laws” to fight widespread alcohol consumption on Sundays or the institution of prayer time in public schools). Adventists, as a people of faith and prophecy who have given special attention to apocalyptic events outlined in Revelation 13 and 14, have always advocated the safeguarding of rights of individuals and groups — even when we have disagreed with them — and the non-intrusion of overtly religious language and rationale in the formation or alteration of public policy.

Today’s ruling is an important step for proponents of religious liberty and equality as this case advances toward an eventual, inevitable decision from the United States Supreme Court.


Adventists Against Prop 8 PSA–See Why These Adventists are Voting “NO”

October 13, 2008

Hundreds of Adventists from a broad range of backgrounds and professions have now signed on to the Adventists Against Prop 8 petition. Here are a few Adventist leaders talking about why they’re choosing to vote “no” on Prop 8. Please share this PSA widely. We’d love to hear from you too. Post your own 30 second (or longer) clip on our YouTube channel about why you’re voting “no” on Prop 8.


Defend Religious Liberty – Vote NO on Prop 8

September 19, 2008
We urge Seventh-day Adventists in the State of California to vote “no” on Proposition 8, a ballot initiative titled “Eliminates Right of Same-sex Couples to Marry,” on November 4. We also urge the Seventh-day Adventist Church State Council to rescind its support for this Proposition.

We believe that this Proposition, which would amend the California State Constitution to define marriage as only “between a man and a woman,” breaches the spirit of religious liberty, separation of church and state, and non-establishment of religion that Adventists have long cherished.  By supporting this Proposition to define marriage from a religious perspective, many, including the Church State Council, are in danger of imposing their particular religious, theological convictions upon the general public.

Adventists in the United States have historically defended the concerns of minority groups (even when they have disagreed with them on specific positions and practices) and have strongly objected to the use of religious arguments and means for establishing even what they consider to be public good (such the establishment of “blue laws” to fight widespread alcohol consumption on Sundays or the institution of prayer time in public schools). Adventists, as a people of faith and prophecy who have given special attention to apocalyptic events outlined in Revelation 13 and 14, have always advocated the safeguarding of rights of individuals and groups — even when we have disagreed with them — and the non-intrusion of overtly religious language and rationale in the formation or alteration of public policy.

We believe that Proposition 8 can lead California — and the rest of the nation because of the significance of the state — down a highly troublesome and dangerous road toward religious definitions and arguments becoming a key part in shaping public policy, especially in matters that deal with private practices and rights of individuals.

While individual Adventists will hold a diversity of views on same-sex marriage and the role of religion in public life, all Adventists ought to consider carefully the serious religious liberty and church-state implications that Proposition 8 presents.  We urge the Church State Council to rescind its support for Proposition 8.  We encourage Adventists in California to vote “NO” on Proposition 8.

SIGN THE CHURCH STATE PETITION NOW!

Please share this with your family and friends too. Non-California endorsers are welcome!

(We encourage all the signers to provide their full names.)

To learn more visit our Frequently Asked Questions about Prop 8.

You can also watch (and share) our new Adventists Against Prop 8 PSA.