Tag Archives: California politics

Religion playing the victim in Prop 8 hearing

In what is likely the most ironic assertion made since Ann Coulter called liberal women ugly, The Catholic News Agency claimed Catholicism to be a target of religious bigotry on the part of California gay marriage advocates. Says the article:

“Today, religion has taken the stage, front and center, in the battle over the constitutionality of Prop. 8 and is being portrayed as an illegitimate basis for supporting traditional marriage. Religious bigotry surely found expression in today’s presentation by the plaintiffs,” he charged.

“To suggest that the people of California cannot consider their own political, moral and religious views when casting their vote on Prop. 8 is preposterous,” Pugno continued, adding that many issues are presented to voters that involve moral questions.

This is a straw man that my 12 year old could knock down in his sleep and sidesteps the very real and important issue that despite over 200 years of separation of church and state, the church continues to attempt to guide public policy through its adherents.

The facts are these: the right to marry was given to gay and lesbian couples. That right was taken away by the tyranny of the majority in large part due to out of state religious groups with deep pockets. The Mormon church was a key proponent of Prop 8 while operating out of Utah. If the residents of Utah are that concerned with the state of California’s public policy, perhaps they should start donating some cash to assist with  the beleaguered state’s budgetary woes. If one is going to say that the states should make up their own minds, then LET THEM. Do not sanctimoniously claim that none but the people of each state should choose which policy to embrace and then embroil yourself in that choice.

Further, the Constitution exists to protect the rights of the individual from the tyranny of the majority. To have a court interpret the constitution in such a way that rights are afforded equally among its citizens and then remove that right by appealing to the basest fears and prejudices of its citizens flies directly in the face of what it means to claim ‘freedom and justice for all.’

Most importantly: appealing to any citizen’s religious beliefs in order to perpetrate discrimination against any group is not only ethically reprehensible, it is unconstitutional. As soon as ANY leader claims anyone should vote a certain way because ‘it’s what God says,’ the United States Constitution has ceased to be followed. No law shall be made based on religious belief. If the people of the great state of California want to play at being legislators, then they need to follow the law. Not god’s law, the law of the United States of America and the state of California, which dictates a separation of church and state.  I don’t care what your personal beliefs are. The second they start infringing on the rights of others, you lose your credibility and your claim that you love this country.

And just like that….the tide turns.

According to a recent San Francisco Chronicle article, opposition to Prop 8 is growing.

The poll found that just 38 percent of likely voters support the measure, while 55 percent intend to vote no. That compares with 42 percent in support and 51 percent opposed in July.

Prop 8 supporters have tried to sue to block the modification of the wording of the bill, but let’s face it… it now correctly reflects what that proposition is really about. “Eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry.” Those same sex couples now have that right, thanks to the California Supreme Court, and proponents of Prop 8 are trying to take it away. Californians aren’t big on removing rights.

It’s too early to relax; we STILL need everyone to turn out to vote against it. But it now looks as though it’s got a better than even chance of failing.

Why California will not ban gay marriage

First, let me say I apologize for being away so long; I missed paying tribute to the wonderful trail blazer Del Martin, who died yesterday. She was a great lady and an inspiration to us all; out and an activist when activism was not just frowned on, but dangerous. My deepest sympathies go out to her partner Phyllis. Ms. Martin, you will be missed. We are where we are becase of your courage and your years of struggling. Thank you.

So then; back to work. As I’m sure you all know, November is only two short months away, and with it come both national and local elections. Prop 8 has reared its ugly head; the third piece of destructuve, dehumanizing legislation all bent on one thing: reducing gay people to things. To beings less than human. To stripping them of their rights as citizens of this country. Being born gay does not make any American citizen less American. It is time for this stupid, backward thinking to stop.

Fortunately, it doesn’t look like that’s going to go over this time. This time, the gap is closing. Is closed, in fact. The most recent polls show that California voters are neck and neck on the issue. And guess which voters are going to take the no vote over the top? That’s right. The younger generation, first time voters who, unlike their grandparents and parents, have grown up with the belief that people, regardless of gender or color or sexual orientation….are pretty much people. And we just need to get over it and let it happen and move on, already.

I know the fight is far from over. But it’s looking a hell of a lot closer to detante.