Straight Talk Advice

Oct 08, 2008

Youth panel weighs in on same-sex marriage

DEAR STRAIGHT TALK: I enjoy the window into the minds of youth that your column provides and I’d like to ask them a question. Gay marriage became legal in June in California, but in November, voters have a chance to reverse that decision and etch into the state constitution that marriage is strictly “between a man and a woman.” Where does youth stand on this issue? Should marriage be something only a man and a woman get to do, or should it be available to same-sex couples as well?

Woodland, CA

DEAR WOODLAND: In four years of writing this column, no issue has inspired more passion in the youth panel than defending the rights of gays. At press time, nearly 80 percent of the panel’s input supported same-sex marriage. To read all the panel comments, click the comment tab at the end of the column.

Taylor, 19

I have two gay cousins, one male, one female, whom I love dearly. If they want to marry and call it “marriage,” who am I to judge and prevent that? I don’t believe being gay is a choice. My mom recognized my female cousin was gay when she was 4 years old. That could’ve been me.

Britney, 16

This topic is reminiscent of racial segregation. I believe being gay is not a choice; it’s like having a different skin color. No matter your skin color — or your sexual orientation — we are all still people. Most people against gay marriage cite the Bible. But I’m a Bible-follower, too, and it does not definitely say marriage must be “between a man and a woman.”

Dominic, 22

When I think of marriage, I think of a man and a woman, but the fact that this is a legislative issue is ridiculous. This is the so-called “land of the free.” The role of government is to protect our rights, not to bicker over making them exclusive.

Michael, 16

If gays want to marry, it’s not the government’s position to interfere. They do no harm. On the other hand, I’m unhappy with how the gay agenda is pushed. In almost every movie, a gay or lesbian couple is kissing. Gays have the legal benefits of marriage, why do they need to call it “marriage?” What will be next?

Elise, 17

I have no problem with gays, but marriage is ordained of God and should be between a man and a woman. However, if same-sex couples love each other and wish to be together, they should have many of the same benefits as married couples.

Bird, 18

The marriages a church performs will remain the choice of that church. But the right to a civil marriage should be open to anyone.

Jack, 18

This country preaches that everyone is created equal, so who among us is good enough to say gays can’t get married?

Graham, 15

Gays and lesbians should have equal rights in everything — including marriage. There is not a single reason to refuse them. Some Christians don’t believe in gay marriage. This confuses me. Jesus, himself, said: “Do unto others what you would want done to you.”

Betsy, 20

I have never considered gay marriage complicated. When two people are in love, regardless of their sex, they should be able to get married. Where I get confused is when gay couples are allowed the same rights as married heterosexual couples but aren’t allowed to actually say they’re “married.” Excuse me, but what the heck is the difference?

Lennon, 22

People say it’s in the Bible that marriage is between a man and a woman. Have these people ever heard of “separation of church and state”? If you don’t think gays should be allowed to marry, move to the Middle East where the church rules the state. Oh wait! There are terrorists there!

  1. By Lara, 17, age , on 10/08/2008

    I think people should be able to marry whoever they want to, and I think its not fair that people feel like they have the power to decide if it should be allowed or not. It makes me sad how narrow minded and selfish people are. So what if they have a problem seeing two men raising a child, or something, that’s really just their own issue. They should get over and not make it the gay couple’s problem when it’s really just their own narrow minds that are somehow offended by same sex marriage.

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  2. By Rachel, 17, age , on 10/08/2008

    Marriage is the act of declaring your love to your partner and the world. This should not be limited to same sex couples. It’s not as if one type of couple has any deeper love than another; all should have the right to signify their love.

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  3. By Jack, 16, age , on 10/08/2008

    I really don’t think same-sex marriage should be called “marriage”. Give gays the same benefits, but call it something else. It’s been tradition that marriage is between a man and a woman. I have no problem with homosexual marriages, I just think it should be called something different.

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  4. By Jacob, 18, age , on 10/08/2008

    This subject is one that is very close to my heart. I strongly believe that

    all people no matter who they are should have the right to get married. Who says that two men or two women cannot fall in love. Love is what marriage is really all about. And for those who believe that God does not want gay people to get married then why would God create gay people and why would God allow gay people to have feelings of love? I do not believe that gay people should be looked at differently just because the square block does not fit into the triangle hole. People who get married should also get all the tax breaks and legal mumbo jumbo even if it is two men or two women. Whoever I decide to marry one day, be it man or women, I want to be able to hold my head up high and say to all people and tell them I love this person and plan to spend the rest of my life with them.

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  5. By Farren, age , on 10/08/2008

    I love this column!!!!!

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  6. By Hannah, 17:, age , on 10/09/2008

    This topic hits pretty close to home…My brother and his partner have been together for 8 or 9 years, they are “married” in the sense that they invited a bunch of people to a ceremony they had, they exchanged vows, and wedding bands. They live in Oregon so this law doesn’t really affect them, but my whole argument is that they have been happily together longer than most of the heterosexual couples that are in my life. My family is big on getting married and getting divorced pretty quickly. I don’t understand why a heterosexual couple can get married for say a week and have all the legal rights but a strong homosexual couple that will probably be together forever ever or close to it can’t. It doesn’t seem fair from what ever angle I look at it. I think gay marriage should be legal and, really, who cares if another couple in love marries? It doesn’t affect the people that have a problem with it unless they let it. And really who has the right to tell people who they can love and who they can marry? That seems to me more wrong than a homosexual couple getting married.

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  7. By Mariah, 16:, age , on 10/09/2008

    No one should be denied the right to marry the person they love. It should not be up to someone else who you can or can not be with.

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  8. By Meghan, Auburn, CA, age , on 10/12/2008

    I think that it is ridiculous to get to vote on this. Gay Marriage should be legal without a vote. California has already passed this law and it should stay this way. No one has the right to take away marriage from someone else. Voting yes on prop 8 will NOT eliminate same sex couples.

    Voting no on prop 8 isn’t making you a homosexual. it says you’re willing to give someone else a right that straight couples get handed freely.

    Some straight couples have abused marriage. Then why should we deny someone marriage when straight couples so freely use it like a toy?

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  9. By Meghan, Auburn, CA, age , on 10/13/2008

    I recently wrote this essay called “The Validity of Marriage”
    “Straight marriage would become less meaningful if we let gays get married, because if you think about it, the sanctity Britney Spears 55 hour marriage, I mean, that would kinda lose its validity.” This is just one of the reasons Tyler Oakley put in his Why Gay Marriage Is Wrong video. This is a 2 minute 52 second video of the reasons he has heard of why people think gay marriage is wrong. The entire video is completely sarcastic but the reasons are actual people’s opinions. Proposition 8, also known as the Eliminates Right of Same Sex Couples to Marry Act, bans same sex marriage. Who has the right to take away someone else’s rights? Voting yes on prop 8 will deny same sex couples marriage.  No one has the right to take away another human beings rights. Voting no on prop 8 is not denying your religious views, moral standings or personal beliefs. It gives someone else a right that straight couples are handed and, as some celebrities and everyday people have shown, taken advantage of.
        Proposition 8 eliminates gay couples right to marry. The issue I’m arguing is why to vote no on prop 8. Though this may not directly affect you, this issue affects those around you and, in some cases, those you love. California and Massachusetts have already passed bills stating that same sex marriages are valid. If this has already been passed in California, why is this still a problem? Some people are biased and narrow-minded towards gay couples and homosexuality in general. Religion has played a large role, as have moral standings and personal beliefs. says that “because public schools are already required to teach the role of marriage in society as part of the curriculum, schools will now be required to teach students that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage, starting with kindergarteners”. This statement is completely false. Nowhere in Prop 8 does it state that schools must change their curriculum or talk about gay marriage being valid. On “Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it. A Sacramento Superior Court judge has already ruled that this claim by the proponents of Prop 8 is ‘false and misleading.’ In fact, the ‘case’ that is cited in the ad is from Massachusetts…the proponents knew what California law said, so they used another state, again to mislead voters.”
    So, what are the solutions? It comes down to a simple choice. Yes or no. A biased yes vote will take away something that isn’t yours to take. An ignorant yes vote does not eliminate same sex couples. A no vote will give same sex couples the right to marriage. Everyone deserves equality. My close friend Nicky Garcia, who is a proud gay man, says this about his feelings on Proposition 8, “Until a short while ago interracial marriages were illegal. We are an advanced society and as such, equality is key. We need to unite as human beings, not segregate ourselves into lesser or greater categories. Love is love. And how can loving another person be wrong.” He gives a strong point. How is loving another person wrong? If loving another person isn’t hurting any other people where is the problem? “Father we were so in love and that’s what I find so odd, our love was pure and nothing else brought me closer to God”. This is an excerpt from the song “Absolution” from the musical Bare: A Pop Opera, which is a tragic tale of a contemporary “Romeo and Juliet”, in which two young adults fall in love, however pressures of their peers causes everything to go wrong; later resulting in the suicide of a main character. In no way am I saying homosexuality will bring you close to God or whatever religion you are associated with. I am questioning what is the issue when two people love each other? I don’t see one, “but my religion says it’s wrong.” Voting no on prop 8 isn’t going to make you a homosexual or ask you to be a homosexual. In another part of Tyler Oakley’s video he says, “If we let people get married that are gay don’t you think that it will encourage other people to be gay? I mean, when I’m around tall people I get taller.” Homosexuality isn’t something you “catch”; voting no doesn’t make you a homosexual person. Voting no gives someone who is in a same sex relationship a valid marriage.
    “How does this affect me?” you might be asking yourself this. This affects you through your gay friends, co-workers, neighbors, and/or family members. Though you may not be in a same sex relationship yourself, you may know someone who is. This affects all voters and same sex couples. I want those who are biased and narrow minded to realize that everyone deserves marriage and has the same rights as a straight couple. Your no vote will be giving someone you know or someone down the street a fundamental right that shouldn’t have been taken in the first place.
    Why not just vote yes and then it’s out of sight out of mind? Just because it’s not on your mind doesn’t mean it’s not searing in someone else’s. An anonymous contributor has to say this: “When a person even considers moving out of this very state that he (or she) has grown up in to marry someone they love, it is far beyond me to understand why that is alright. Marriage benefits are the least of anyone’s worries, regardless of whether or not I am recognized in the ‘eyes of the state’ as a ‘valid’ marriage, I will be married” and another says: “Denying homosexual partnership legality only strengthens the choke hold that society has placed on all homosexual people to be afraid to be themselves, living their entire lives – possibly – lost in the darkness of self-doubt”. This will always be an issue if this proposition is passed. Marriage is a commitment between two people who love each other. At least that’s how I would like to view marriage, not a spur of the moment 55 hour “fun thing”. If a same sex couple is taking marriage more seriously than straight couples why deny them that? Voting no on Proposition 8 will give same sex couples valid marriage. Step up and let marriage be between two people who love each other. How is a 55 hour marriage more valid than a 55 year marriage between a same sex couple? Voting yes on Prop 8 will deny same sex couples a valid marriage; no one has the right to take another human beings rights away. We are equals and all deserve love and marriage. Vote no on Proposition 8.

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  10. By Renee, Vacaville, CA, age , on 10/13/2008

    Dear Straight Talk: I am deeply ashamed of my generation regarding their responce to same-sex marriage. Marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman that has been taken for granted for far too long. They ask who are we to judge if you love someone? Since we as a society have made this a political issue its no longer about personal feelings. What would our fore father’s say? Do I hate gay people for their lifestyle? Absolutely not! However, when you read the whole Bible, God is very clear when it comes to homosexuality. If anyone wants to make their point by using the Bible, no matter how you wish to use it, make sure you read everything. Let the facts speak for themselves.

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  11. By Emily, Auburn, CA, age , on 10/18/2008

    Not allowing same-sex marriage is nothing but systematic, governmental discrimination. It’s not right. It’s not fair. What’s next? Gays in the back of the bus? Come on now.

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  12. By Mathias, Placerville, CA, age , on 10/21/2008

    so i just read the talk for teens article in the paper today and it really confused me. A lot of these people who are all for gay marriage like to use the bible as back up. one person said that jesus says that you should do unto others as you would have them do to you. Im a christian and i totally agree. Well im just curious if they read Romans chapter 1 verses 26 and 27, where it says that homosexuality is an ABOMINATION. It doesnt make sense to me when people pick bits and pieces out of the bible to back them up, when a few chapters away from that script it tells you flat out that it is wrong. i think i can safely say that when people see two men or two women making out with each other it doesnt really make us feel to comfortable. So now that two men or two women can legally get married to each other, hey why not some guy who just really truly falls in love with his mom? can they get married? Why not his sister? As a matter of fact, why not one of his dogs if he really loves it so much. where does it stop. one thing is going to lead to another and things are going to get out of control. The way i see it, a man and a woman are capable of reproducing. everything fits together and they can have a child. With two men or two women, it wont work, it doesnt work and it shouldnt work.

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  13. By micaela, Martinez, CA, age , on 11/09/2008

    im totaly gay and i hav an awsom girlfriend. i think that all these teens r totaly right its unfair. we r no different. it might not be troditional but its the right thing for us.

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  14. By No name, age , on 06/06/2009

    You’re asking me? Well, I’ll give you my 10 cents worth!

    1) The Bible DOES say that marriage is between a man and a woman. (ex. Matthew 19:4-6)
    2) Homosexuality is a temptation, NOT genetic. Read all the stories of those who’ve COMPLETELY changed their lifestyle from gay to straight, and ALL because they found Christ.
    3) Love the people; hate the sin.
    4) DO NOT approve gay marriage. It’s only going to make people feel as though they HAVE to be gay if they feel that temptation, and painting them in a corner like that is NOT helping. Plus, if you whine about not being able to marry the one you love while others around you divorce and marry just for the sake of doing so – GET A BETTER EXCUSE!!! Those adulterers (unless they were abused in that relationship) will be punished on Judgement Day…and you will be alongside them if you choose to defy the sanctity of marriage.
    5) People have been discriminated for voting yes on 8. Isn’t that what you were whining about in the first place? Discrimination against gays and lesbians? How come hating you is a hate crime but hating us Christians is not?
    6) Even if I DID believe in gay marriage, I wouldn’t want to argue with the Big Guy Upstairs.
    7) Male and female are perfectly sound, both sexually and socially. They were physically made for each other and complete each other like yin and yang. They also play different roles in the family and community, and children need to see them together to get the real picture.
    8) Just because animals do it doesn’t mean homosexuality is natural.
    9) Laws against interracial marriage and infertile couples would be bigotry, but laws allowing civil unions instead of civil union is not. Why? Because interracial marriage and infertile couples are more likely to be heterosexual relationships.
    10) I agree with Jack, 16: “I really don’t think same-sex marriage should be called “marriage”. Give gays the same benefits, but call it something else.” Gays should have equal civil rights, but marriage is holy. And you guys want to make it “holey.” Get it?

    Conclusion: Who says how far love should go? Well, it depends on what love you are talking about. Romantic love is NOT true love, which is the infinite love God has for us. So don’t start whining about love until you’ve truly experienced it!

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