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The key "Findings of Fact," as determined by Walker, and split into three broad categories by me:
•Religious leaders may determine independently whether to recognize a civil marriage or divorce but that recognition or lack thereof has no effect on the relationship under state law.
•Many states, including California, had laws restricting the race of marital partners so that whites and non-whites could not marry each other.
•Under coverture, a woman’s legal and economic identity was subsumed by her husband’s upon marriage. The husband was the legal head of household. Coverture is no longer part of the marital bargain.
•California has eliminated marital obligations based on the gender of the spouse. Regardless of their sex or gender, marital partners share the same obligations to one another and to their dependants. As a result of Proposition 8, California nevertheless requires that a marriage consist of one man and one woman.Eliminating gender and race restrictions in marriage has not deprived the institution of marriage of its vitality.
•Marriage benefits both spouses by promoting physical and psychological health. Married individuals are less likely to engage in behaviors detrimental to health, like smoking or drinking heavily. Married individuals live longer on average than unmarried individuals.
•Sexual orientation is commonly discussed as a characteristic of the individual. Sexual orientation is fundamental to a person’s identity and is a distinguishing characteristic that defines gays and lesbians as a discrete group. Proponents’ assertion that sexual orientation cannot be defined is contrary to the weight of the evidence.
•Individuals do not generally choose their sexual orientation. No credible evidence supports a finding that an individual may, through conscious decision, therapeutic intervention or any other method, change his or her sexual orientation.
•Same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital unions.
•Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not affect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, have children outside of marriage or otherwise affect the stability of opposite-sex marriages.
•Gays and lesbians have been victims of a long history of discrimination.
•Well-known stereotypes about gay men and lesbians include a belief that gays and lesbians are affluent, self-absorbed and incapable of forming long-term intimate relationships. Other stereotypes imagine gay men and lesbians as disease vectors or as child molesters who recruit young children into homosexuality. No evidence supports these stereotypes.
•Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians, including: gays and lesbians do not have intimate relationships similar to heterosexual couples; gays and lesbians are not as good as heterosexuals; and gay and lesbian relationships do not deserve the full recognition of society.
•Proposition 8 amends the California Constitution to codify distinct and unique roles for men and women in marriage.
•Proposition 8 singles out gays and lesbians and legitimates their unequal treatment. Proposition 8 perpetuates the stereotype that gays and lesbians are incapable of forming long-term loving relationships and that gays and lesbians are not good parents.
•The Proposition 8 campaign relied on fears that children exposed to the concept of same-sex marriage may become gay or lesbian. The reason children need to be protected from same-sex marriage was never articulated in official campaign advertisements. Nevertheless, the advertisements insinuated that learning about same-sex marriage could make a child gay or lesbian and that parents should dread having a gay or lesbian child.