ASF sponsors debate on marriage proposition

by Michelle Thornton
Special to the Times

Speaking to a crowd of more than 130 students, the University of La Verne debate team and two outside speakers discussed only 14 words.

“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” This is Proposition 22 in its simplest form.

The event was held in the University Quad where Joel Wood, a volunteer from the Yes on 22 campaign and Michael Eselun from the No on Knight campaign, which was named after Pete Knight, who wrote the proposition, stated each of their opposing cases honestly and eloquently.

Ward called Prop. 22 a “family issue,” saying that “families are the foundation of any society.”

He responded to the No on Knight campaign poster that called Prop. 22 divisive, intrusive and unfair, by stating that homosexual couples would not be losing any benefits that heterosexual couples reap and because of this felt that the institution of marriage did not need to be involved.

In Eselun’s opening statement he openly admitted to being gay and celebrating his 22 year anniversary with his partner Scott. He said that Prop. 22 is about unfairly drawing lines between the privileged and the unprivileged, lines that prohibit him and his partner from sharing the same right as heterosexual couples.

“This is not a pro-family initiative, this is an anti-family initiative,” Eselun said.

He brought to the floor the issues of what is a “traditional” family, reminding listeners that our society is comprised of many non-traditional family structures. For example, he said, adopted families, single parent homes as well as homosexual families none of which are seen by society as “traditional.” He says only 7 percent of families fall under the “Leave it to Beaver” type family structure.

Other issues such as the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s movement were also discussed in addition to the comparison of divorce rates between homosexual and heterosexual couples and existing gay rights.

“You can’t help compare the different civil rights movements from the past years because there are similarities that you learn from those and there are parallels,” said junior Maria Munoz.

Following Ward and Eselun’s speeches the debate team began their parliamentary style debate in which the opposition team of senior Justin Jones-Rodriguez and junior Sean Krispinsky argued their views with the team of junior Stefan Chacon and Ernie Minner who debated

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