Hopefully you have your General Election Voter Information Guide handy, because I don't have links readily to each of the propositions. I am instead going to presume you have the guide nearby for reference, or have already read or have heard something on them.
This one is short and sweet. Here's the backstory:
In March 2000, voters passed Prop 22 (61% to 39%) to specify that only marriage between two members of the opposite sex be recognized as valid in the state of California. In May 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that the statute enacted by Prop 22, as well as other statutes in place that limit marriage to a heterosexual pairing, violated the equal protection clause of the State Constitution. The ruling also held that same sex couples had the right to marry under the State Constitution. As the result of this ruling, what California voters voted against is now considered valid and recognized by the state.
Prop 8 sets to uphold what was decided in the passing of March 2000's Prop 22, this time by amending the State Constitution so that a bench of liberal judges cannot reverse what voters have approved.
Arguments for and against are many. This is one of the few cases in which the arguments for and against a measure are directly related to the counterpart.
Advocates for argue that failure of this measure will mean teaching of same sex marriage in schools to students as young as 2nd grade. Opposition rebuts that this is not the case, and is a red herring to boost approval ratings for the measure. I fall back on the tried and true belief that history repeats itself. Same sex marriage is legal in the state of Massachusetts, where same sex marriage is taught to 2nd graders. 1 point for the yes vote.
The opposed say that this is unequal treatment and discriminates against same sex couples. Advocates of Prop 8 rebut that this measure is not discriminatory because same sex couples already have equal rights to hetero married couples under law. Until married, a man and woman are not legally considered to be "next of kin" in the event of emergency or disaster. Until married, insurance will not allow benefits to the other half of the unwed couple. These are rights already afforded to same sex couples, without the certificate of marriage. In a way. it could be argued that the same sex couple is favored under law in this manner. In any case, any same sex couple currently has equal rights under California Law, so this argument against carries no weight. Another point for the yes vote.
Opponents to this measure suggest that the failure of this measure can only result in a positive fiscal impact to the state by way of increased consumer spending by same sex couples seeking to celebrate their nuptials. There is no rebuttal made to that argument. 1 point for the no vote.
In my personal opinion, the (then illegal) antics of one San Fransisco Mayor Gavin Newsom were inexcusable. He knowingly and blatantly acted in defiance to the voters' decision to uphold the traditional definition of marriage by holding a simultaneous ceremony of same sex couples en masse. This forced the issue, bringing it to the State Supreme Court, in San Francisco. Newsom knew what he was doing, and what would result with this team of judges.
I apologize, but I cannot remain impartial in this matter. We as a state approved this once already, and no judicial body has the right to reverse the decision of the voters. That isn't Democracy. It's a rouse. It is the very reason that we petition to remove persons from office when they do not, or will not, act in the interest of those they represent. It is long past time that we show Gavin Newsom, and this judicial body, that we will not stand for their tampering with voters decision.
Vote your conscience. Vote your heart. By all means, though, step out and take part in the freedom given us by this country and make your opinion count. VOTE!