In this entry: quotes, warm up questions, discussion questions, resources
This video reports on the state of California, which last month became the second state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage. In May the California Supreme Court said that a 2000 law which banned gay marriage was unconstitutional. But the legal status of the many gay and lesbian couples who are now marrying is uncertain because of an upcoming November ballot initiative that hopes to amend the state constitution and ban gay marriage. If it passes, the amendment would supersede the court's decision. Proponents of the amendment believe that traditional marriage between a man and a woman is degraded if gays and lesbians are allowed to marry.
"I think the longer that the world sees us as married people, and that Massachusetts has not fallen into the sea, and neither will the state of California, I think they'll start realizing that there's absolutely no difference." - Scott Hammond, gay man marrying in California
"Well, marriage between a man and a woman is a reality. And what same-sex marriage does is it obscures that reality from the public at a time when people are becoming more and more indifferent to marriage. Four out of ten children are born out of wedlock." - Bill May, Chariman, Catholics for the Common Good
WARM UP QUESTIONS:
What is marriage? What are some legal, social, economic dimensions of marriage? Can gay couples marry? Why do you think some people are opposed to same-sex marriage? Who gets to decide whether gay couples can marry?
If you could vote in California would you vote for or against an amendment that would ban same-sex marriage? Why would you vote that way? In some conservative rural areas of California the county clerks are refusing to perform any marriages, gay or straight, for now. What do you think about this decision? Do you think attitudes toward gay marriage differ from generation to generation? Why or why not?
In-depth Coverage: The Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage
Student Voice: Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage is Necessary
Student Voice: Gay Marriage Should be Allowed
Lesson Plan: Constitutional Amendments and Gay Marriage