According to the Los Angeles Times, and its website, Apple Computers has come out the California proposition that would re-affirm male-female marriage as normative, which was the case before the California Supreme Court declared that position unconstitutional earlier this year. This is what the Apple website states:
Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.
Here's a note I emailed to Apple:
I was disappointed to learn that Apple is opposing prop 8 in California. I have been an Apple customer since 1995, having purchased six computers, several iPods, and assorted software.
Apple's reasoning is flawed, since sexual orientation has never inhibited people from getting married. If marriage has a particular nature--one man, one woman--any man and woman not already married to someone else can marry each other regardless of their sexual orientation. So, “no” on Prop 8 does not advance any liberties at all. What it does, however, is say that the state of California may change by its collective will the nature of an institution. Apple may think that's a good thing. But if you do, honesty demands that you state it that way.
On an issue such as this--prop 8--where reasonable citizens disagree, it is not wise for Apple, or any company, to take a stand. It is especially the case with this issue, where the defeat of prop 8 will likely result in the coercion of groups and individuals who believe that there is no such thing as same-sex marriage, as there is no such thing as square circles or married bachelors. Many of these groups use Apple computers including iPods and your other outstanding products.
Consider the following example of what I mean.
In Massachusetts soon after the state’s Supreme Judicial Court in 2003 required that the state issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Catholic Charities, which was at the time in the child adoption business, was told by the state that it could no longer exclude same-sex couples as adoptee parents, even though the Catholic Church maintains that same-sex unions are deeply disordered and sinful. Because it did not want to compromise its moral theology, Catholic Charities ceased putting children up for adoption. And thus children and families were harmed.
From the perspective of the Catholic citizen who opposes same-sex marriage, this state of affairs limits her liberty and that of her Church based on a cluster of beliefs about the nature of the human being that she does not share with those who support same-sex marriage. Because marriage is a public institution, there is surely no way to enforce same-sex marriage without punishing those who dissent in every public institution and accommodation. Thus, supporters of male-female marriage see the injustice in the state coercing them to embrace a policy for which their well-reasoned beliefs maintain is deleterious of social justice and the public good.
It is a mystery to me why Apple would want to marginalize and harm these citizens.
Francis J. Beckwith
Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, Baylor University
2008-2009 Mary Ann Remick Senior Visiting Fellow, University of Notre Dame
If you would like to contact Apple as well, go here.