This Date in UCSF History: No on Prop 22


Originally published in Synapse on February 24, 2000.

Synapse urges everyone in the UCSF campus community to cast their votes in the upcoming election on Tuesday, March 7.

If you need more persuasion to get to the polling booth, Proposition 22, also known as the Knight Initiative, should be enough. This initiative, which states, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California,” is deceptively simple.

As so eloquently explained in an op-ed piece by Orien Richmond and Patrick Unemori in the January 27 issue of Synapse, this initiative is not just about preventing gays and lesbians from marrying, but also “represents a wedge issue to further a larger conservative right-wing agenda.”

Stanford University's Professor of Law Michael Wald has composed a report analyzing the issues of same-sex marriage from the perspective of California marriage and family policy. Here are a few of Wald's key points:

• Marriage is an important social institution that should be preserved and encouraged (marriage promotes the emotional and economic well-being of adults, enhances the capacity of parents to promote the well-being of children, and promotes stable relationships)

• Marriage is not an unchanging tradition (women once had to give up all property and decision-making powers to their husbands, and interracial marriages were once illegal in California)

• Same-sex couples have relationships and raise families just as heterosexual couples do (all of the evidence indicates that children raised by same-sex couples arc as well off as children raised by heterosexual couples)

• Denying same-sex couples the opportunity to marry constitutes discriminatory treatment and deprives them of all of the advantages for which marriage is a gateway, thereby harming both the adults and children

• Recognizing same-sex marriage would advance the state's general interest in marriage and family.

Recent polls show 52 percent for the initiative, 39 percent opposed, and 10 percent undecided. Your vote does count! We hope to see you all at your friendly neighborhood church or garage.