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Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.
Essays and Blogs Concerning Mental and Emotional Health

California Proposition 8 Overturned: Yay!

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. Updated: Aug 6th 2010

a rainbow over a fieldIn this age of instant news, the decision issued yesterday by U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturning California's Proposition 8, the (state) constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage, is already old news. I am writing therefore less to spread the word, and more to say what wonderful and great news this decision is, advancing as it does the cause of equal rights. Speaking as a psychologist, as a concerned human being, and as a publisher of a mental health website, I know that this decision is good for America's collective mental health.

Judge Walker's decision does not go into effect immediately, but rather is stayed for now in anticipation of appeal. If this decision stands at the level of the Federal Court of Appeals, it may again be appealed, if the US Federal Supreme Court will agree to hear it. In other words, this process may take years.

Though the final outcome thus remains uncertain ...


Congratulations to all those worthy couples who may hope to benefit from this, and hopefully sooner rather than later.

Homosexuality is not a disorder. It is not a disease. It is not a threat. It is a completely normal, biologically organized (for the most part) sexual orientation which has always existed, in humans and in other animals, and always will exist, despite religious intolerance and other social factors that have caused it to be "outlawed". It shares more in common with being left-handed than with being immoral. There is no rational basis for people who happen to have been born with homosexual orientation/desire to face ridicule, discrimination or persecution. It is wrong in a fundamental way that laws have been passed which make homosexually identified individuals second class citizens, and a good thing that, at least for the moment, one such law has been found to be unconstitutional.

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.


Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. was Director of Mental Help Net from 1999 to 2011. Presently, he is an Oakland Psychologist (Lic#PSY25695) in private practice offering evidence-based acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and addressing a range of life problems. Contact Dr. Dombeck by calling 510-900-5123, send Dr. Dombeck email or visit Dr. Dombeck's practice website for more information.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

My Thoughts - Cathy - Aug 6th 2010

Comparing it to being left-handed, OK.  I have strong feelings on this subject.  I believe that Homosexuality comes about in three different ways:  1. born that way - something genetic  2.  something in the environment shapes the behavior  3.  choice, I have read a lot of people get involved with porn, see it and go for the new experience.  I believe the homosexual act itself, not the homosexuality, is immoral.  I am entitled to that belief in the same way that Mark and others are entitled to belief that it is  normal and natural.  I guess that is where the biggest issue actually lies - we, those who believe that this is immoral get tired of it being constantly shoved down our throats and people trying to tell us that it is not immoral.  No one decides what is moral or immoral for you, you decide and it is wrong to try to force others to accept your morals.   I lived in a building when I was in the military with about 20 lesbians so am a little more familiar with the "real" life scenario and, as I said, have strong opinions which I am actually keeping to myself.  Do I think they should be allowed to have a civil, legal union?  Yes and it would actually get my vote. I tend to view marriage as of God and civil union as a legal partnership.  If a church accepts the behavior as moral, chose that one to be married in and if they oppose such, find another that is accepting.  Right now, on one of the large forums, they are discussing the issue and it is really quite interesting as I put in different zip codes where I had lived to see what the people were saying and it was interesting, like taking a mini-tour.  Do as you please, as you must, but do not try to force me to say that I believe that it is a moral acitivity because it will not happen.  I, like you, will defend what I believe is right and that is the way it should be.  And, I can't wait to tell my husband that it was compared to being. left-handed.  Yes, you guessed it but truly, it is so difficult for him since he does mechanical work and he wishes that he was right-handed as he struggles to use the tools, even a pair of scissors and I won't go any further with that..................Really, I am not judging but following my moral upbringing which I am very at peace with. When you find true peace with your beliefs, in your heart, you are there; you have "arrived".

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