Melissa Etheridge Shares Her 'Family Glee'

10/30/2008 at 12:00 PM ET
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

"Wow, that’s lame." That’s the opinion of 9-year-old Beckett Cypher, son of songstress Melissa Etheridge and her ex-partner Julie Cypher, with regard to Proposition 8 — a ballot initiative in the state of California which threatens to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. In a commentary written for The Daily Beast, Melissa, 47, recalls the "long strange trip" she took in becoming mom to Beckett, as well as mother to his 11-year-old sister Bailey Jean. Navigating a "trail of red tape" just to obtain health insurance for her kids, or to ensure that she could visit them in a hospital in the event of an emergency, Melissa’s efforts were hampered at every turn; At the time, California law prohibited social workers from approving adoptions by same sex couples, Melissa notes, and it was only when she would appeal that decision before a judge that her adoptions became legal.

"I give thanks to these great people who truly believe in equal rights and risked so much for so many families."

When the California Supreme Court earlier this year declared same sex marriage legal, it was cause for celebration in the home Melissa now shares with wife Tammy Lynn, with whom she has 2-year-old twins Miller Steven and Johnnie Rose. "We told our children about it and all danced around the room in family glee," Melissa writes. "We knew the only way our rights could be taken away was through a ballot measure and a constitutional amendment revoking the rights of same sex couples…And now here it is." As election day nears, Melissa is confident in the outcome, and says she already knows how she’ll deliver the news.

"I will be waking up with my children on November 5th and I will be fixing them breakfast as I usually do. I look forward to telling them that prop 8 was defeated. I am sure my son will say, ‘Good, that was lame.’ Yes, lame indeed."

Source: The Daily Beast

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Sheri on

Any person who chooses to open their heart and home to adoption gets high honors in my book.

As an adoptive parent, Melissa will have no problem (despite her marital status) visiting her children in the hospital, and it’s despicable that she would distort the situation to suit her wants.

It’s time for us to stop being a “me, me, me” society, and start looking at the big picture. If we look to God before we look to ourselves and this world, wonderful things will happen. If not, well, the economic crisis should be a warning to us all about where our selfish attitudes are taking us.

My family and I will be voting YES on 8.

Susan on

Sheri – you say it is time to stop being selfish. But then you say we should deny some people the rights that others will receive. And it is not just about being able to visit your children in the hospital and the like. It is the very idea that the government has classified as you “not good enough to marry.” It is shameful and sad. I am proud to be a straight woman who can stand up for the rights I have and help others get the same. Vote NO to proposition 8 and help families BE families.

phoebe on

The sad thing is, this whole legal mess should be a no-brainer. However you personally stand on gay rights, there comes a time when you have to stand back and wonder exactly what it is you’re objecting to with this prop 8 deal. To me, it comes down to the fact that I believe in a person’s right to be happy and to live their life in a way that makes them so. I am a heterosexual woman so this would not affect me in my everyday life if I were from the US (I’m a Brit), but I absolutely think it’s terrible that people think they have the right to judge others, when all they are wanting to do is to love and be happy and have that recognised publicly. They shouldn’t be dismissed, they should be applauded, and I think Melissa is fantastic for what she has said.

We have civil partnerships over here in the UK and I’m telling you, I was so proud to watch one of my very best friends marry her wife, because it’s something they shouldn’t have ever had to wait for. I will be keeping my fingers crossed and wishing you guys in America all the best for when this particular verdict comes in. In case it isn’t clear, I’m with Melissa on this one! What a beautiful family she has.

Di on

I just would like to say that I respect Melissa Etheridge personal choices, however,I am resident of CA and I voted yes on Prop 8 because I feel that marriage is for straight couples only and I consider myself to be a liberal democrat.

Prop 8 does not have anything to do with taking anyway rights. Same sex couples have/had the right to form domestic partnerships which granted them the same rights as married couples but for some reason there are those who are fixated on the word “marriage” and they want the have the choice to get married even though domestic partnerships or civil unions gave same sex couples the same rights married couples have.
If I wanted to marry two guys at the same time I could not do that because from the beginning marriage has always been defined as a union between 1 man and 1 woman and think it should stay that way in CA, other states can make a different choice.

Sheri on

I made my comment about visiting her children in the hospital because she made a misleading comment regarding her parental rights, and I felt it needed to be addressed.

If prop 8 does not pass, our children will be taught about alternative lifestyle choices beginning in elementary school, without a parental opt-out option or prior notification (check out what they have done in Massachusets as well as in San Francisco). In my home town of Big Bear Lake, our local wedding chapel has closed, the owners have lost their license and they are being sued becuase it was against their Christian faith to perform a gay marriage.

What about the rights of innocent children? What about the rights of parents? What about the rights of clergy and people who have acquired licenses to marry others? What about the rights of Christians? What about the Bible … you know, that ageless book the American constitution was originally founded upon by George Washington?

Yes on 8.

Sheri on

Civil unions are legal in the State of California.

Susan on

Di – you say people “are fixated on the word marriage.” What if the government were to come down and say, “you can’t marry. But what does it matter, you can have a domestic partnership.”

And if to you it is the same, where is your fear? Would it diminish the love you have for a man in a heterosexual marriage? No. It is fear and terror of what you do not understand. You cannot stick your head in the sand. This is NOT going away. People are born how they are born and no amount of culture, or shame or any external factor is ever going to change that.

People are who they are. Don’t make that wrong.

Brandi on

Sheri, not everyone is Christian or religious and does not view the prop through that lense. For me personally, that has no effect. It’s about equal rights and for that reason if I lived in California I would be voting no on 8. I applaud Melissa for her efforts to get the word out.

Susan on

Sheri –

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

What about christians you say? That is rather myopic, isn’t it? First note, gay marriage does not mean you HAVE to marry a gay person, it simply means you CAN. If a grocery store circular comes around and beef is on sale, you can CHOOSE to have something else. A crude example perhaps, but effective. Secondly, there is NO OFFICIAL RELIGION OF IN THE U.S. Yes, many people are christian – but that does not mean their rights are more important than others. And if you agree with that, then logically, you would agree that the rights of straight people are no more important than those of gay people. Jeez, people are PEOPLE. This country has christians, muslims, jews, buddhists and more. What about those who do not believe in the hereafter? If you choose to act as though your own religion is more important (not as a matter of belief or principle, but out of righteous indignation), you are being selfish. And I believe in your first post you said we need to stop being selfish.

It all comes down to tolerance Sheri. And it is sad that your tolerance only extends as far as it would affect you.

Susan on

One more thing Sheri – Thomas Jefferson wrote the constitution. Not George Washington. And it was not based on your Bible.

nicole on

I don’t understand what the problem is of young children learning of “alternative lifestyles”.. to me that is a good thing! to teach children when they are young will help eliminate ignorance and hate. i personally don’t think melissa ethridge “decided” be gay, she was born that way, and either way she is a person who lives in america, where you are supposed to be free. her wanting to marry is the same as a man and woman. yes, a man and woman can live together and be “common-law”, but you have to ask yourself, although you’d have the same right as a couple who had a wedding and built an actual marriage, would you want to settle for it?

~ Beth ~ on

I am on the East coast so no voting on this for me. But I have to put my 2 cents in. I am a heterosexual woman – married 8 years to my wonderful husband & have 5 spectacular children together. That being said, I am all for gay marriage. Why shouldn’t 2 women or 2 men get the same right as my husband & I? Who cares what they do in the privacy of their bedroom? Love is love no matter who it’s between.

Di – you said that people get fixated on the word “marriage”, but that’s exactly what you are doing. People opposed to it say it’s only a word – no big deal. But for the people that don’t have the right to it they could also argue that if it’s “just a word” then why can’t they have it too?

Sheri on

Right back at ya, Susan.

I’ve been asked to by the State of California to tell them my opinion on whether Prop 8 is right or wrong. As a Christian, the Bible is the authority I go by. The Bible is very clear regarding homosexuality as well as marriage. Irregardless of the outcome of the prop, I will not treat people differently based upon sexual preference, gender, religion or the color of their skin. Before YOU judge ME, perhaps you should know me, Susan.

Yes, you are right, Susan, it was Thomas Jefferson. Sorry about the mix-up. You really believe printing money with “in God we trust” on it was a mistake? You really believe reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance wasn’t put there on purpose?

Susan on

Sheri – you say you would never judge someone on the basis of their sexual orientation. So, denying them the right to be married is…. a favor?

No, I freely admit that I am not a perfect person. I am not a Christian. But I do NOT judge or decide for others what is best for them. I think that Christianity is a religion with an enormous capacity for empathy. My brother married a wonderful Catholic woma. (In fact we love her so much, we threaten to keep her and ditch him – large family, maaaaaaany jokes). I do not know you personally, so I do not judge you.

So what is next? Only Christians can marry? Because honestly, that is just as ridiculous. Perhaps less so. People can convert. They cannot stop being gay. We are who we are. I wish I were different in many, many ways. My only recourse is the be the best version of what I was born as.

Having said that, I do applaud you for exercising your right to vote. I disagree with you. But it is your vote and your responsibility. And you should use it how you see fit. I am only try to sway you – not deny you. Perhaps you should do the same.

Susan on

Okay okay. Last thing (for now). Harry Truman added the reference to G-d in the pledge of allegiance in the late 40s to get people to buy more flags during the beginning of the cold war to show the U.S.S.R. how strong we were and to show those G-dless commies how formidable we were.

Sheri on

“And it is sad that your tolerance only extends as far as it would affect you.”

What part of that wasn’t judgemental?

Sheri on

How sad that you cannot even type His name, as if it’s a 4-letter word. What is this world coming to? And people wonder why we are having a Day of Prayer on Saturday. God help us all.

Astrid24 on

Sheri: In your own words, “I absolutely would never treat anyone different based upon their sexual orientation.” Isn’t taking away their right to marriage “treating them differently” based on their sexual orientation? You can believe what you want, but don’t force your beliefs on others. If you disagree with gay marriage, by all means don’t get one. But because you personally do not believe in it does not mean other people should have to live by your beliefs.

Brandi on

Um, Sheri? Some Jews don’t write out God as a sign of respect. Let’s be open to other ideas and traditions.

phoebe on

Like I said, I’m not American, so I can’t vote on this, but from my perspective, this really is a case of respect, and that to me means that a person’s sexual orientation and the offshoots of that should not mark them out as different from anybody else. I wholeheartedly agree with gay marriage because I know that I do not want my daughter to grow up in a world where her rights may be limited simply because of who she loves. And yes, that is what it is, because until people are seen as equal in the law books, they will not be seen as equal elsewhere.

And for the record, I have zero problems with my daughter being taught about so-called alternative lifestyles, whatever that may entail, because I want her to be raised with a respect for all people and their ways of life. Those who object to their children being taught about gay marriage in school should at least have the backbone to object to them being taught about all types of relationship, since there really is no difference. We love who we love, and that’s what it comes down to. No one should have the right to regulate that, or put limitations on it.

Sheri on

I didn’t know that, Brandi. Thanks for educating me. 🙂

Sheri on

No, it’s not Astrid. I’m also against people marrying their pets, adults marrying children, bigamy and polygamy. Just because I don’t agree with those things and would vote to prevent those things from being legalized doesn’t mean that I would treat them differently in my community.

Sheri on

As my final statement on this matter: In 2000 we voted, and 61% of voters passed that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Because four activist judges overturned the people’s vote, we need to pass this measure as a constitutional amendment to restore the definition of marriage as 1 man and 1 woman. The prop does not take away any rights or benefits of domestic partnership. Under CA law, “domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections and benefits” as married spouses. (Family Code 297.5)

Susan on

Sheri – In Judaism we are discouraged from typing His whole name. Rather, we put the dash in for the O.

Susan on

Sheri – I am sorry that we will have to disagree. I take umbridge with you saying I am judgmental, but you are entitled to say what you feel is right. I hope you change your mind. But that is what is great about living in a free society – you don’t have to. Think before you enter the polls. Two women or two men in a marriage is not horrible. Like any other marriage it can be great, or it can end. It is not, as you compared it, the same as marrying a dog (horrible of you to say), polygamy, or marrying a child. No. It is two consenting adults, in love, marrying because they want to.

Pogue Mahone on

Not everyone agrees with redefining marriage or same-sex marriage, but it doesn’t mean they hate gays; they just disagree.Just because someone doesn’t agree with you it doesn’t mean they hate you.

dearling on

Darn it, I forgot one thing in my rambling. Yes, Sheri, the vote in 2000 happened that defined marriage as man and woman. But, one of the great things about democracy is that voting isn’t a one time thing, and like with the African American civil rights movement, things that were once voted on and made legal can be made illegal in the future with new elections.

Vika on

You’re right Phoebe, it is a case of respect. And to respect a homosexual would be to tell them the truth. The truth is, they are not born homosexual and that there is another, greater way to find love. (look up

Susan, 94% of quotes in the Constitution come from the Bible or Biblically based references from other authors.

The Merriam-Webster definition of tolerance is “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own” Let’s respectfully disagree with one another instead of name calling.

That said, I am against 8 and gay adoption because of my religious beliefs, but also because of some scary statistics…

* 73% of psychiatrists say homosexuals are less happy than the average person, and of those psychiatrists, 70% say that the unhappiness is NOT due to social stigmatization

* Homosexuals account for 3-4% of all gonorrhea cases, 60% of all syphilis cases, and 17% of all hospital admissions (other than for STDs) in the United States (5). They make up only 1-2% of the population

(For more statistics go to

I would be afraid that Melissa Etheridge and her partner will not be around long enough to watch her children grow up.

Kerri on

Sheri — your attitude and others like you is what drove me away from the church I was raised in. And for your information, I AM a Christian, and I belong to a church that puts the golden rule above all else: treat others as you wish to be treated.

So unless you’re OK with being told you can’t marry the person you’re in love with, you’re forgetting one of the major messages of Christianity.

Honestly, I don’t understand how discrimination is ever considered “Christian.” I look forward to raising my children with God in their lives AND acceptance towards others.

Bren on

Wow! Interesting reading! Thanks… 🙂

For anyone that cares, I will be voting NO on 8, my little sister is gay and I want her to be able to marry her partner if they choose to. The same way I can marry my fiance. We need to learn to RESPECT others choices, just because I don’t like girls and my sister does it doesnt makes us any different. And if my daughter gets taught about gay marriage in school, fine with me. I will get to explain to her we are ALL different, we all like different things and we need to respect EVERYONE regardless of their prefrences.

I believe God loves us all the same.

BTW – Melissa has the best songs!! he he

Dee on

Laws are enacted for protection. So what will prop 8 protect against? How does man/man or woman/woman marriage hurt those who already have that freedom?

It basically comes down to fear, which fuels discrimination and hate. All evil thoughts and action trancend from fear.

I pity those that live in fear. I can not fathom life dictated by fear.
I can’t help thinking that somewhere somebody must have hurt those living in fear.
Real shame. What a waste.

Nicola on

Fiction: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…

* Fact: Prop 8 is about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn’t grant the right, the constitution guarantees the right. Prop 8 is about whether Californians are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.

Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.

* Fact: California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction that they don’t agree with. California law already covers this and Prop 8 won’t affect it.

Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exempt status.

* Fact: Nothing in Prop 8 would force churches to do anything. In fact, the court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

Tracy on

I hope for Melissa and all the others in the gay community that prop 8 is soundly defeated. Seperate but equal isn’t equal, so a civil union is not the same thing as marriage.

Sheri on

Using your point of view if 8 doesn’t pass it’ll be back on the ballot next election

ann on

Uh Susan-
Thomas Jefferson didn’t write the Constitution that would be James Madison as he is known as Father of the Constitution. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.

Leigha on

I don’t understand how a lot of people can say “marriage is sacred” but still probably enjoy watching couples get married on reality TV.

So, a marriage between a man/man or woman/woman isn’t sacred, but a couple who marries on TV for a million dollars is sacred?

Get real.

susan on

Touche Ann! That’s what I get for trying to be a know it all. 🙂

DiamondGirl on

It’s so ironic that hetero couples have been avoiding marriage for years now – look how many celebrity parents on here are not married – and gay people are fighting just to be called “married.”

How many times do we hear “we don’t need a piece of paper to make us a family” from couples with multiple children and years together?

It can get SO confusing 🙂

Di on

I think it is interesting how people assume that just because you are against same sex marriage you are somehow scared, or fearful of gays etc. which is not the case for me. People are opposed to gay marriage for a myriad reasons one of which is that from the beginning, marriage has always been about 1 man and 1 woman.

In my opinion, I think some of opponents of Prop. 8 are divisive and extremely intolerant because they do not understand how someone can have a differing view point.
I think it is unfortunate that the CA Constitution has to be amended to exclude same sex marriage but the courts have spoken and the only way to override the court’s decision is to amend the constitution.

Same sex couples want to get married because they want the rights and obligations that come with marriage but domestic partnerships already give them those rights so what is the real problem here. There are certain groups of people who want to impose their values on others and their attitude is if you don’t like it (gay marriage) too bad b/c it is going to happen whether you like it or not but in CA we do have the power to say No with a “yes” on Prop. 8.

AllieYuppy on

PEOPLE!! STEP OUT OF 1950, AND OPEN YOUR EYES. Turned out rock-n-roll wasn’t the “devil’s music.” I thought God created every man to be equal… It’s sad that people feel it’s “immoral” to be gay. It’s more immoral to deny someone equal rights because God made them different than you. See the real world for what it REALLY is. See people for who they REALLY are. Vote NO! on Proposition H8te!!!!

Anon on

I am a woman who has recently begun to come to terms with my bisexuality. I’ve been in relationships with men in the past, but I’m currently in a relationship with a wonderful, wonderful woman. We’ve been together for almost 2 years, and though it hasn’t been easy to be open (many people haven’t been so nice), I look forward to one day being able to marry her. Luckily, I live in a state where that is legal (for the time being) and Melissa Ethridge has been an inspiration for me to be more comfortable with who I truly am. And most of the comments on here have made me feel so much better–for all of you who support gay marriage, I do really, truly, honestly appreciate and thank you.

For those who don’t–I respect your opinions, but I am hurt by them. I like men, just like (most) of you do, but I also like women. I love my girlfriend and want to marry her. Why is that so different than if I wanted to marry a past boyfriend of mine? Would that really hurt any of you?

I am a Christian, but I truly believe that marriage is a civil right, not a religious right. That said, I don’t want to be discriminated against by wanting to MARRY my girlfriend. A civil union is a civil union, but why can’t I marry my girlfriend just like you have married your boyfriends? Just because the person I want to marry is of my same gender does NOT mean it’s any different than if I were a boy, or if she was a boy.

When you are deciding what to vote for, please keep in mind that just because I am bisexual doesn’t mean I’m not a person, who doesn’t want to be married just like you do.

Lilly on

Thank you Susan and Nicola for your well-put statements.

I already voted No on 8. Separate but equal was already found to be… well, not equal. Teaching about tolerance and acceptance should be something we should encourage, instead of stuffing it down and prohibit it.

I’m straight, Catholic, and so is every member of my family and we are all voting (or have voted) NO on 8. I don’t want our Constitution amended to eliminate the rights of others. That’s taking a step back and reversing progress.

girlJordan on

I truly don’t understand what is wrong with some people. In a world that is filled with so much hate I cannot and will not understand why there are some who want to deny same-sex couples who are in love to marry and have the same civil liberties as everyone else.

How exactly do these couples affect your everyday life? Oh, wait… they don’t.

It disgusts me. Same-sex couples are not hurting anyone by being together and as human beings they deserve to be treated with the same amount of respect as everyone else.

I applaud Melissa Etheridge and others in her position for speaking out.

And in case anyone is wondering, I’m straight.

Danyelle on

I just wish people could be happy together, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Being gay isn’t a sin, so why shouldn’t they have the right to get married? Live and let live. Gay marriage isn’t hurting anyone.


Ada on

Some people really make me sick.

People who call themselves Christians and then have the audacity to judge others.

People who think that their religion should be heralded above all others, and that their religion alone should dictate the comings and goings of our government.

PLEASE. Why don’t you take your nose out of the Bible long enough to stick it in a history book, where you can learn about this lovely little thing called “the separation of church and state,” which is one of the founding premises of our great nation. Its a great read.

sonya on

think about this…a tad bit over 40 years ago, it was ILLEGAL, meaning, you could (and many did) go to jail for marrying across color lines. I am black and my fiance is white, and the thought that being in love and wanting to be married could land us in jail because we want to be married is the most ridiculous. this was the law, no if, ands or buts. it is not the place of the government to legislate who can marry. what infuriates me even more id the “well, then, people will want to marry goats…”/ we are talking about two people, that are in love and want to have certain rights that are only afforded to married couples. civil unions are not acceptable. we learned in this country a long time ago, that separate, is never equal. i will be voting no on 8, and i urge everyone in california to please think about what your yes vote means and the future implications mean and follow your heart (i know, just as strongly as i feel, yes voters feel equally as strong), but please just think.

Carey on

God bless you, Sheri. Don’t be discouraged by the others here who are putting you down. They don’t think it’s ok for you to have your own opinion.

dearling on

Marriage has not always been a religious OR 1 man, 1 woman “thing;” it has various meanings, both religious and secular. As it stands now, marriage is a legal contract sanctioned by the state. A certificate of marriage is issued by the state of California, not by any church. The law must remain separated from the church in this respect; a separation of church and state is a fundamental premise of this country. As is free speech, which people can use to explain to their children their beliefs on a myriad of issues, including homosexuality, parenting, or celebrity babies, etc.

Sarah on

Carey, it’s not that the posters are against Sheri having an opinion. People are rightfully concerned that those opinions will stifle the rights of others. Voting yes on Prop 8 will devastate so many people and families. Have your own opinion, but please do not try to force your way of life on to others.

I cannot make you change your beliefs. But, please please think about the heartbreak you r “yes” vote will have caused thousands of families not only in California, but across the nation as well. I am sure you value your family. Respect that others value theirs just as much.

Nita on

Hi Sheri-

You have a right to your opinion, there is no doubt about that, and I respect it. However, educate yourself about what the Bible truly says about homosexuality and you might be surprised!

I am a Christian as well, who happens to be a lesbian. Why should the state, meaning the government, have a right to decide a law abiding, tax paying citizen can be discriminated against? Aren’t we as American citizens granted the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? What gives you, or anyone else, the right to decide how I should find my happiness?



Misty on

How many years ago was it that women weren’t allowed to vote? How many years ago was it that African American people were not citizens, and had absolutely no rights to anything? Do you not realize that by voting yes on Prop 8, you are basically saying that gay people are second class citizens. You are also saying that they don’t deserve the same freedoms and rights that YOU have. How would you like it if tomorrow the Government decided that all of us women can’t vote anymore? How would you feel if the government raided your home and took you and your kids and told you that you and your husband aren’t married anymore, and that you had to marry somebody else?

For those of you that say that the Bible is against it, let me ask you this. Who wrote the Bible? Don’t you realize that the text that you read today was passed down through “oral histories” through several generations before it was written down? After it was written down, how many different languages were these oral histories translated into? Do you really think that there isn’t any chance that things could have been lost in translation, or changed around on purpose to serve somebody’s purposes at any time? (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, do you remember playing the telephone game when you were a kid? Where everybody gets in a circle and one person whispers something in the next person’s ear, and then they turn around and do the same to the next person? By the time it gets to the last person, it is usually *completely* different than what the first person actually said. Do you really think that considering the fact that we all know that the Bible was written by humans that they couldn’t have changed anything? Seriously, think about this. How many of you call Muslims extremists and other things along those lines? Do you think that they don’t take their “sacred text” and twist it to use to their advantage in any way, or to prove a point?

Lilly on

Susan, wonderful, thoughtful posts. And really, everyone, for sharing your opinions. My simple belief is that if every citizen, regardless of preference, had equal rights and could be happier, a happier nation is a stronger nation, period. Why vote on something that will make some people unhappy while still allowing your own comfortable life? It makes no sense. Melissa’s music has made countless people happy. She deserves some of that in return.

Di on

I think it is great how CBB has provided a forum to discuss this issue.

I hope Prop. 8 passes because it will send a message to the rest of the country that in CA, marriage is a union for men and women only which is something a majority of Californians already believe.

I think it is important to mention how the support for Prop. 8 cross racial and socio-economic lines. I have seen “Yes on Prop. 8” signs in a wide variety of neighborhoods.

In regards to how Prop. 8 will affect same sex families, I would argue that the impact will be minimal. Prior to this summer, gays could not get married anyway and yet they managed, like Melissa Etheridge to form strong families. In addition, celebrities from Nicole Richie, Halle Berry to Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt have chosen to start families outside of marriage and they seem to be very happy. So many people have stated on this blog that marriage is simply “a piece of paper” so it interesting to see how the same people are giving so much weight to marriage.

Lastly, I do not see why same sex couples find it necessary to define their relationship in the context of an institution (marriage) which has historically been limited to heterosexuals. Straight people have marriage and same sex couples have domestic parternships or civil unions, this how it should be. I have my opinion and ultimately, the citizens of CA will decide for themselves.

no on h8te on

I agree with Nicola – well said!!
you basically said everything I was trying to say

annaleeeeee on

I think it is interesting how people assume that just because you are against same sex marriage you are somehow scared, or fearful of gays etc. which is not the case for me. People are opposed to gay marriage for a myriad reasons one of which is that from the beginning, marriage has always been about 1 man and 1 woman.

You say you are not fearful of gays , yet you go out of your way to discriminate!!
Come on!!!
Prop 8 is all about equality, and giving others the same rights that we hetro’s enjoy!
I for 1 am proud to say that I will vote YES on 8 and no on h8te!!!

no on h8te on


separation of church & state

dsmom on

Ahhh,Nita! Your statement was a breath of fresh air! Also,exactly what I was thinking. You just put it way more tactfully!

Susan on

We are all so lucky, aren’t we? To live in a society where this type of discourse is encouraged. I hope for true equality. I realize some people are not ready for that – and I see it as a true shame. Not on them, but for the people who are affected. For those who say Nicole Richie and the like have made families without marriage – the point is they COULD get married at a moments notice. If marriage is nothing more than a piece of paper (which I do NOT believe), then what could be the harm in sharing? I hope marriage comes to be seen as for all loving adults (regardless of gender, race, religion or any of it) who are willing to make a lifetime commitment. Marriage is a serious business, and we should allow all people to be considered equally under the law.

It is a short step from no gays marrying to no interracial couples no interreligious couples and then we are simply moving backwards. America used to be a progressive country. Any country that is not growing and changing is a dying country.

Sarah on

Di, if you think that the word “marriage” is so meaningless, I am assuming that you did not get one or that you won’t be getting married? But, that’s probably not true, right? You do believe in marriage…for yourself and people just like you.

I am really curious as to how you think that you should be able to decide what is right for someone else? Will your marriage fall apart because a homosexual couple gets married? Has California collapsed since homosexual couples were finally given equal rights? Of course not.

Discriminating against minorities and women was long-standing tradition. Just because something has been tradition does not make it right.

Stacey on

Sheri, as an American you really need to do some reading on your founding fathers and their beliefs.

Please start here:

Your country was founded by men who believed strongly in the separation of church and state.

phoebe on

I really do not understand where the problem is here. Even if you don’t believe in gay marriage yourself, this does not give you the right to impose this view on other people. A vote of ‘yes’ on this is EXACTLY the same as standing up and saying that you think heterosexual people are better than homosexual people, which is blatently pure rubbish. Let’s call a spade a spade here and acknowledge that anything other than no to proposition 8 is a judgement call on other people’s lives. If I was in California I would be voting no for several reasons, but mainly because I know it is not my place to dictate how another person lives their life.

If you don’t agree with gay marriage, just don’t marry someone of the same sex as you. Don’t take the right away from other people, it’s not fair, right, or morally correct. If you feel you are unable to support another person’s fight for happiness and equality, just don’t vote, but please, you can’t honestly think that you should be controlling their relationships?

I liken this (perhaps not in magnitude, but in principal) to the whole thing going on in the UK, about whether Scots MPs should vote on English issues, and vice versa. If an issue doesn’t affect you (and if you are a heterosexual Californian, this likely does not affect you, no matter what religious arguments you may make) and you can’t be happy for someone else, just abstain from the vote on this occasion, it’s better than interfering where you really have no place to.

I’m sorry if that offends anyone, but I am more offended by the notion that there are people in this world who still think that there are certain demographics of people who are second class to others. I fully support gay marriage, and kudos to all you guys who are voting no, I will be thinking of you.

Sheri on

This close to the election, I doubt anyone is going to change anyone else’s mind. Just like many Jews will not spell out the name of God out of a sign of respect, many Christians will not vote against the Bible’s teachings. Other than the most liberal Christians will not straddle the line between God’s word and the ways of the world. I’m seeing a lot of hate regarding this issue, but I’m not seeing it from the Yes on 8 side.

phoebe on

Sheri – sadly, the worst hate is coming from the yes people, simply voting yes is hate. I’m sorry, but it is. Those who can’t respect others enough to allow them equal rights are, by definition, hating on them. JMO, but still.

Ada on

thank you, sheri for proving my point about people ignorantly believing that their religions views should dictate governmental decisions.

that is not only absurd, it is basically illegal.

“Other than the most liberal Christians will not straddle the line between God’s word and the ways of the world. I’m seeing a lot of hate regarding this issue, but I’m not seeing it from the Yes on 8 side.”

as it happens, “gods word” does not equal the law as far as our government is concerned. nor should it ever. many people who are just as much of citizens as you are do not believe in god at all, or perhaps a different one altogether. whatever your beliefs may be, you have the right to live them yourself but not to impose them on others.

and its not hate that you’re seeing, its intelligence. sorry.

Laura on

I have a No on 8 sticker on my car. Last week, a man in the next lane started screaming at me about “f-ggots” in a kind of a chant that made me think that it was practiced, as if he does it every time he sees a no on 8 sticker on the road. My eight year old son was in the backseat, and we were frightened. Apparently Yes on 8 people are indeed very concerned about the welfare of children. I went home and made another donation to No on 8 in honor of my son. My husband didn’t want to explain to him what the man was shouting about, but I made sure he understood because he needs to know. I hope the experience teaches him how ugly hate can be, so that he will grow up to be a voice for tolerance and compassion. If you are voting yes because you think it somehow protects children, please think again. While the law does not affect children of straight couples (like my son) either way, its passage would be intensely hurtful to children of gay couples because it tells them that their families are not legitimate. Whether or not you approve of gay marriage for yourself, these are the only families these children have. A vote for prop 8 sends a message to them that their families are not equal. As we should have learned long ago, separate is inherently inequal.

Sheri on

A number of people in my town have been arrested for stealing Yes on 8 signs, and vandalizing the signs as well as the property. The hate goes both ways … intolerance of another person’s OPINION is hate.

Laura – I’m sorry to hear about your experience. I do not believe this is the “norm” for all Proposition 8 supporters – just like the people at the corner chanting No on 8 and telling people from the Yes side that they will go to hell for their intolerance is the “norm.”

Susan on

Laura – you are very brave. I admire your respect for all people. ALL PEOPLE. Because of people like you, your son will have a chance to grow into the man he was born to be – whomever that is. I salute you and I support you.

Amanda on

Is anyone familiar with Plessy v. Ferguson? It said that separate can be equal.

Brown v. BOE ruled that separate is inherently NOT equal.

My point? Societies evolve. It is time to be equal in this way too. A no vote on Prop. 8 is a yes vote on fairness, equality and family.

healthyfamilies on

Why is it so threatening to people to use the term “marriage” with regard to same-sex marriages? What do they gain by spending so much time and energy on prohibiting someone else from using the term to refer to themselves or to benefit from the legal protections that a marriage lisence offers in this country? The personal victory of it? To be able to sit with other heterosexual couples and say “phew, at least only people like us can say we are married”? If you’re ok with the idea of “civil unions” that in theory afford same-sex couples all the rights and protections that marriage does, then what is this all about? Defending a descriptive term? If defending the label “marriage” is the objective then more power to ya. It seems like there are more productive things to do with one’s time and energy.

“The state law ‘defines marriage by whom it excludes.'”
–Chief Justice Ronald George

november4 on

You have a right to your opinion. However you absolutely do not have a right to impliment laws that would force anyone else to live by your opinions. Those voting yes on Prop. 8 are most likely not going to be seeking same-sex marriages or civil unions in the future so regardless of the outcome this next Tuesday, their lives will be relatively unaffected, save occasionally overhearing a woman referring to her wife or a man referring to his husband. It will, however, significantly effect the lives of those couples seeking recognition of their committments to one another. It seems very, very backwards that those whose lives will be the least affected by a law are so adament about making sure it passes. NO on Prop. 8.

Sheri on

Which side of Prop 8 expresses hate?

Posted: October 21, 2008
1:00 am Eastern


Next to the presidential election, California Proposition 8 is the most important vote in America.

It will determine the definition of marriage for the largest state in America, and it will determine whether judges or society will decide on social-moral issues.

In 2000, 61 percent of the voters in California, one the most liberal states in America, voted to retain the only definition of marriage civilization has ever had – the union of a man and woman (the number of spouses allowed has changed over time but never the sexes of the spouses). But in May 2008, four out of seven California justices decided that they would use their power to make a new definition: Gender will now be irrelevant to marriage.

As a result of this judicial act, the only way to ensure that we continue to define marriage the way every religious and secular society in recorded history has defined marriage – as between men and women – is to amend the California Constitution. It is the only way to prevent the vote of one judge from redefining marriage, as was also done in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Which is why Proposition 8 exists.

But even though California voters decided by a large margin to retain the man-woman definition of marriage, passing Proposition 8 will be a challenge.

First, the attorney general of California, Jerry Brown, unilaterally renamed the proposition as it appears on California ballots. It had been listed as “Amends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Brown, a liberal Democrat, changed the proposition’s wording to: “Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.”

The reason for this change is obvious – to make the proposition appear as a denial of a basic human and civil right.

Marriage has never been regarded as a universal human or civil right. Loving and living with anyone one wants to live with are basic human rights. But marriage is actually a privilege that society bestows on whom it chooses. And even those who believe that any two unmarried people who want to get married should be given a marriage license should regard as wrong an attorney general changing a ballot proposition’s language to favor his own social views. What Brown did was attempt to manipulate people who lean toward preserving the definition of the most important social institution in society – people who have no desire whatsoever to hurt gays – to now think of themselves as bigots.

According to Sacramento Bee columnist Margaret A. Bengs, “a recent Field Poll analysis found” that the new wording by Brown “had a ‘striking’ impact on those newly familiar with the measure, with a 23-point swing against it.”

What we have here is truly manipulative. Four justices create a right, and then a sympathetic attorney general renames a proposition so as to protect a 4-month-old right that no one had ever voted to create.

And the left accuses the right of imposing its values on society.

The second hurdle for Proposition 8 is even greater: the multimillion dollar campaign to label proponents of Proposition 8 “haters” and to label the man-woman definition of marriage as “hate.” Or as they put it: “Prop 8 = Prop Hate.”

It is apparently inconceivable to many of those who wish to change the definition of marriage that a decent person can want to retain the man-woman definition. From newspaper editorials to gay and other activist groups, the theme is universal – proponents of traditional marriage are haters, the moral equivalents of those who opposed racial equality. As the New York Times editorial on the subject put it, Proposition 8 is “mean-spirited.”

But it is the charge of hate (along with bigotry, homophobia and intolerance) that is the primary charge leveled against supporters of Proposition 8. That’s why one major anti-Proposition 8 group is “Californians Against Hate.”

Any honest outsider would see that virtually all the hate expressed concerning Proposition 8 comes from opponents of the proposition. While there are a few sick individuals who hate gay people, I have neither seen nor heard any hatred of gays expressed by proponents of Proposition 8. Not in my private life, not in my e-mail, not from callers on my radio show.

It is the proponents of same-sex marriage who express nearly all the hate – because in fact many of them do hate, loudly and continuously. But hate in the name of love has a long pedigree. Why should our generation be different?

These charges of “hate” against proponents of retaining the man-woman definition of marriage do not speak well for those who make them. I, for one, find it easy to believe that most opponents and most proponents of Proposition 8 are decent people. There are millions of decent people who think marriage should be redefined. I think they are wrong, but I do not question their decency.

Why won’t those who favor redefining marriage accord the same respect to the millions of us who want gays to be allowed to love whom they want, live with whom they want, be given the rights they deserve along with the dignity they deserve, but who still want marriage to remain man-woman?

paul on

CBB – there is more than one person in my family, and more than one posting from the same IP address. I’d appreciate if you would not change the names on the posts.

phoebe on

Sheri, I honestly do see where you’re coming from, but long and drawn out speeches do not change the fact that the people who are going to vote yes are largely voting on something which will never affect them, which in turns begs the question as to why they are even bothering to kick up such a fuss. I think there are many decent people on each side of the argument, and there will always be those who take it a step too far, but if you really want to accuse people of hating from the no side, you gotta wonder why. From my perspective, I see that these are the people who are sick of being discriminated against because of who they love and they now have to fight for the right to be seen as equal. If that comes out as hateful to some people, it’s of little surprise. Whether or not you support gay marriage yourself, if you really are as openminded and non-judgemental as you say you are, it’s a real shame you can’t just respect the love of others enough to understand why they want to get married, and stand up and say ‘I might not be a supporter of gay marriage, but I am a supporter of love and so I will wish you happiness regardless of my own feelings’.

Anybody still on the fence about this should retain the right to an opinion and a vote but also should remember that you are not voting for or against gay marriage, you’re voting for equality or inequality. When you strip it down to it’s bare bones, that’s exactly what it is.

Thanks CBB for allowing this debate!

Anais on

I’m gay and I would love to live in a state where the idea of gay marriage gets even a vote. I just don’t understand how hard it is for people to accept gay people and gay marriage. We’re not monsters, and allowing gay marriage does not automatically open the door for bestiality or pedophelia. I have a few friends who are very Christian, and very gay. I thought Christianity was all about accepting everyone. Wasn’t that Jesus’ point? To love everyone in the world, so much so that he saved our sins? I was raised in the church but am no longer a Christian, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it boils down to – being a good person and at least trying to be respectful of others.

Karen on

I honesty cannot fathom those who are so against the equality of every person to have & act upon the same rights. Good for those that have such a belief in religion, but to me there is a true line when those same “God Giving” individuals shove their opinions down my throat. It is not up to those people to judge, condemn or decide for everyone else what rights any one person should have. Or at least that is what I was taught as a Catholic. Heaven forbid that my children have knowledge, don’t discriminate & can truly enjoy & thrive in this world without limitations with EVERYONE… How amazing & beautiful… First & foremost, I trust that my husband & I have taught our children well & note that they are their own individuals who will make this country & world a better place, not what I want them to be or do. It flabbergasts me that parents think they can make their children believe what they do, that they don’t see children as entities of their own who will have an opinion & have knowledge whether or not said parent agrees. My children’s gay uncle & partner enrich their lives every minute of every day. I feel sorry for those who close themselves off from the world using religion as an excuse. It’s truly wonderful to live freely. I will vote NO on Prop 8 & I’m grateful after a lifetime of living in California to do so & as a woman.

Dina on

Sherri, you may be Christian but I am not. I’m sorry that you seem to be getting the brunt of the criticism here but the idea that because the Bible is the authority that you go then it should be the authority that everyone in this country goes by is absolutely absurd.

Regardless of which way you look at it, using religion as a justification for creating and implimenting policies just doesn’t cut it in this country. First and foremost this country was founded with the ideology that the church and state should be separate. And if you want to pull the “in practice our founding fathers were Christian” card then I can pull the “times change and we adapt” card. If you want to base our laws on the historical beliefs of 1776 then we might as well take away the right to vote for women or African Americans or reinstate “separate but equal” race laws. I absolutely respect your opinion, but I am overwhelmingly dissapointed in your assumption that you have the right to use your religious convictions as justification for policies that effect the lives of people who may not share those ideals with you.

phoebe on

Dina – that pretty much said it all. If only everyone could understand and appreciate where you are coming from, California would not seem a little darker today. And to Melissa and Tammy Lynn, I hope you keep on fighting, you deserve happiness and equality, along with many others.