Jewish Theologian Urges Passage of Prop 22

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

Beverly Hills, CA ( - Dennis Prager, a Jewish theologian and syndicated radio talk-show host, has thrown his support behind a ballot initiative that would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, saying that society must recognize heterosexual marriage as superior.

California voters will decide March 7 on Proposition 22, which would effectively ban same-sex marriages that might eventually be recognized in other states or foreign countries. Prager spoke Thursday at a lunch in Beverly Hills sponsored by the Claremont Institute.

"Men grow up through marriage, and women grow up through marriage," Prager said. We need the other sex to commit to. That's wisdom."

Prager drew on examples from the Bible, natural reason, and common sense to illustrate the importance of recognizing heterosexual marriage as the best foundation for raising children and for adult love.

The sexual revolution and a generation of children without fathers have damaged the family, Prager said. He fears that expanding the definition of marriage to include what no society has done before -- homosexual couples on an equal footing with heterosexual couples -- would further threaten the family and children.

He does not envision a flood of homosexuals rushing to get married even if a state or country allows same-sex marriage. In fact, he said the desire to get married is not the primary reason homosexual activists oppose Proposition 22.

"The reason is, very understandably, they want society to give its imprimatur on homosexuality," he said.

The campaign to defeat Proposition 22 has been led by several celebrities, including lesbian rock star Melissa Ethridge. Many opponents of the measure accuse its sponsors of acting out of hate and bigotry.

The fate of the proposition at the ballot box may depend on how the issue is framed, according to Brian Kennedy, vice-president of the Claremont Institute and Director of the Golden State Center for Policy Studies.

"If this is perceived as defending traditional marriage, it will win. If it is seen as mean-spirited, it runs the risk of losing," Kennedy told

Kennedy has written a "citizen's guide" published by the Claremont Institute that addresses questions about Proposition 22.

"In the end, human begins do have a nature, and the family has its origin in that nature, and marriage should reflect that nature," he said.

California voters will decide Proposition 22 along with as many as 19 other ballot measures during the state's primary elections. Similar initiatives have passed in Alaska and Hawaii. No state has yet legalized same-sex marriage, but 31 states have passed laws that say only heterosexual couples may marry.