The Prop 8 debate has always been more than a battle between two clashing definitions of marriage, but a fundamental question of the limits of government. Do we have the right, through government, to enforce our own personal morals and preferences? Are our human and civil rights subject to veto by a popular vote, or are they fundamental principles enshrined in our founding documents?
People have the right to be rude to the waiter, to smoke on their porch or to curse in front of strangers, though I find each of these things objectionable. We have, as Ezra Taft Benson said, our own rights to “life, liberty, speech, and conscience,” among others. These rights cannot be taken away by a vote. Similarly, my opinion on the moral rightness of any sort of consensual marriage is entirely independent from my opinion on whether it ought to be legally allowed by the federal government.
As a people who have been persecuted and driven out of the country or underground in the past for living a sort of marriage that the “majority” found objectionable, we ought to reconsider government involvement in the act of marriage at all.