2008: Students join fight for Proposition 8 / BYU Newsnet

See the original of this article on the BYU Newsnet website at this link.

Thanks much,

Steve St.Clair
Students join fight for Proposition 8
By Kevin Earl

29 Sep 2008
Students from California are getting involved to further a cause that will impact their home state by officially defining marriage in their state constitution as “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California,” according to http://www.protectmarriage.com/.

The International Voice for Youth club sponsored an assembly Thursday night to educate students about the possible effects of not passing Proposition 8 in November. After a speech by Lynn Wardle, a BYU law professor, the students got on their cell phones and started calling fellow students from California.

For some, this meeting was just one more way for them to get involved and answer the call of a prophet.

“This is such a worthy cause to be a part of,” said Elizabeth Clayton, president of the BYU chapter of International Voice for Youth. “It’s such a remarkable thing to know that the prophet asked us to stand up for what we believe and has encouraged us so desperately to get involved.”

Michael Bayles, 22, from Los Angeles majoring in economics, said he made phone calls and canvassed neighborhoods before coming to school this fall. Even now his dad, a bishop, is helping organize grassroots efforts in California.

“I do believe in this proposition,” Bayles said. “It’s not just about marriage. This is just one step leading to other debates and problems.”

The International Voice for Youth asked Wardle to speak because of his expertise on the issue at hand. He has testified before numerous state legislatures and the U.S. Congress and debated the issue at over 20 law schools.

“I’ve been asked to address a very serious subject, and you’ve been asked to undertake a very serious matter,” Wardle said. ” … Californians find themselves on the front lines of a very important public policy battle that will have enormous impact and great implications for the rest of the nation and the rest of the world.”

Students not from California also attended the forum. Nephi Hardman, from Utah, a law student and research assistant for Wardle, attended with his wife, Melinda. Even though they attended because they wanted to hear Wardle speak, they said the issue still affects them as future parents.

“I want to know that I have a say,” Melinda Hardman said, referring to how schooling may change with legalization of same-sex marriage.

Students were invited to make phone calls to other BYU students from California with publicly listed information. Their purpose was to encourage more students to register to vote and register for an absentee ballot.

Students involved say one student may not be able to do a lot, but everyone can do their part.

“Even if we can’t make a huge difference, each of us can do our part and make a difference,” said Alex Smith from Clovis, Calif., a communications disorder major.

The International Voice for Youth will host phone banks each week leading up to the election on Nov. 4. They will also be giving out information on voter registration, absentee voting and Proposition 8 at a booth in the Wilkinson Student Center each Monday and Thursday just outside the BYU Bookstore.

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