'Yes on 8' Abuses Instinct to Protect Children

    Dear Editor,

    It has severely dented my faith in humanity that in the 21st century, California, a state which I would consider representative of one of the most progressive, educated and liberal populations in the United States, attained a majority in favor of legislation based on discrimination.

    What I have observed is people congratulating each other and saying they have done a great service for the children of America.

    Sometimes the best way to win an argument is to make a perfectly valid argument about an irrelevant point, particularly one involving children or puppies — basically anything cute.

    People become irrational when you put a child in front of them. As a scientist I understand; it’s animal instinct, there’s 400 million years of evolution behind a drive to protect our offspring at all costs. Put the welfare of a child, particularly a girl — given a natural male tendency to protect the female sex — into an argument and you can illicit an irrational response. Then you can attack the moral conscience of anyone who opposes your position regardless of the debate, and it’s no longer a debate about equality, it’s “Do you hate children or don’t you?” I don’t know about you, but I don’t hate children. Hating children is just immoral.

    Picture the scene. You’re on the 7 a.m. flight, you dealt with traffic, having your personal space violated by security and have the misfortune of being seated next to a screaming, banging, spitting little creature. The rational part of your brain says this is a six-hour flight and it has already reached over and yanked out my earphones three times. But instinct takes over. I don’t hate children, I don’t want everyone to think I do, so I’ll force a smile and tolerate it, irrationally so, until the end of the flight or the little so-and-so dumps grape juice on my laptop, whichever comes first.

    To the population of California who voted yes because you were convinced it served to preserve the welfare of your children, I hope in 15 years they thank you for doing what you were most likely falsely convinced into thinking was best for them. One thing I would like to witness, however, is that little girl turning around to her parents and saying, “You claimed it was detrimental to my welfare to be exposed to same-sex marriage before I could understand it, yet you exposed me to it when you made me an unwilling participant in a campaign I neither understood nor supported.”

    Finally, a note on morality: I find it hypocritical for organizations claiming to conserve moral and family values in society to misappropriate millions of dollars, to conduct a campaign of lies, with the intent of legalizing discrimination. But that’s just my opinion, and if they believe that they can rationalize their actions by taking a moral high ground and saying they are pursuing what they believe to be a moral cause, well, that’s called denial.

    — Andrew Telford
    EAP student from Ireland

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