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PROP 8 and Equal Protection

November 10th, 2008 by Celeste Fremon


The fury and the hurt continues to grow
in response to the passage of Proposition 8, and to the fact that, on the same night that the nation made a historic step away from bigotry, over half of those voting in the State of California opted to take rights away from their fellow Californians, if those Californians happen to be gay or lesbian.

Most recently, however, some members of the state’s black gay and lesbian community–and some blacks generally—are speaking out about what they feel is unfair and corrosive blame being leveled at California’s African American voters—particularly on the part of the media.

Blogger, writer Jasmyne A. Cannick had an Op Ed on the issue in yesterday’s LA Times.

Bloggers sparkymonster and Shanikka over at Daily Kos and Browne at LA Eastside also have posted angrily on the subject.

(I should warn you that some of these posts are a bit over the top. But that isn’t the point.)

It does seem, that if one wants to place blame, a better focus would the Morman Church that behaved like a political PAC and urged its members to both donate money and to go to California to work for the passage of Prop. 8. It is estimated that somewhere between 40 percent and 70 percent of the tens of millions of dollars spent on passing the measure came from donors in the state of Utah.

Most to the point, of course, is how the rights that Prop. 8 took away, might most effectively be restored.

In today’s LA Times, UC Berkeley law school professor and associate dean, Goodwin Liu, outlines the various possible legal considerations at play in the battle to get Proposition 8 tossed out by the courts.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is also quoted this morning as saying the Prop. 8 battle is far from over.

In the meantime, the kind of harm done by this proposition was perfectly and sadly demonstrated by the ten-year-old boy whose two moms were among the 18,000 who got married this year. “Why…?” asked the boy the day after the Tuesday vote when he was talking to a friend of mine who knows his moms.

“Why do all these people want to ruin my family?”

Why indeed?

Posted in Civil Liberties, LGBT, Propositions | 25 Comments »

25 Responses

  1. Woody Says:

    There were two votes on this and decency won. Can’t the Sodomites accept the will of the people, as confirmed twice?

    To the boy, who has been deceived by his two moms, it’s not us…it’s them. A same sex couple is not in the best interest of children. There are plenty of childless normal couples desperate to adopt (thanks, in great part, to fewer children being available because of abortions), and they would be better role models for children.

    Defending a radical and immoral lifestyle is insanity. If those people get their way, then what’s next? One of the consequences of unrepetant sin is more sin.

  2. Woody Says:

    Why is commenting blocked on Obama’s shopping list in the next post?

  3. don quixote Says:

    Celeste, I think that maybe the passage of Prop 8 will end up being a positive when all the smoke clears.
    It (Prop 8) was one of California’s typically confusing, ass backwards, Prop’s, that seemed to a lot of people, who didn’t take the time to thoroughly investigate, that a vote of yes was a vote for Gay Rights. Prop 8 just got lost in the mix with all the Obama fever, but since it’s passage and all the hoopla the issue of Gay marriage will get it’s day in the sun.
    The issue of Gay legal marriage is really a non-issue and just a death rattle from the right wing, religious reactionary, red meanies.
    The Mormon’s who pushed this Prop 8 with millions of dollars and tacit approval from the creepy Mormon Elders in Salt Lake are using this “Gay Marriage” issue to ingratiate themselves to the right wing Christian Coalition people who have a problem with LDS fundamental teachings, who aren’t even considered “Christians” by many Evangelical’s.
    If a marriage (there’s that word again), of Mormons and right wing Evangelicals is “consummated” as the Mormons desire then the honeymoon table will be set for a Mitt Romney run at the Presidency in 2012.
    This could backfire though as the Mormons have been outted and are now the poster children as anti Gay, anti Democracy, anti secular, pro theocracy, monied activists.

  4. Pokey Says:

    No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) need treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.

    The Federal Government may not treat same-sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states.

    The bill was passed by Congress by a vote of 85-14 in the Senate[1] and a vote of 342-67 in the House of Representatives[2], and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996.

    85% of the Senate and 84% of the House aggree with the the majority of voters in CA. It is only four unelected judges who disagree.

    This issue is not about gays getting married, it is about what is taught to our children in schools. We have been around long enough to see our voting pamphlets become Rosetta stones; Abortionists get special protection from free speech; our vote regularly disenfranchised by judges; our rights as parents subverted to the state; and the rights of new born babies (one day before their birth) reduced to that of Kleenex.

    We do not want our children taught safe gay/lesbian s*x, or read King and King stories in kindergarten or taught that two men are the ideal parents. We believe that a man and a woman are the ideal parents for a child and 4 judges redefining the definition of marriage from what it has been since the beginning of recorded history will not change our minds.

  5. "reg" Says:

    “the definition of marriage from what it has been since the beginning of recorded history will not change our minds”

    This nonsense exemplifies just how stupid the bigots happen to be…

    Let’s go to the Bible for a “definition of marriage…since the beginning of recorded history” -

    1 Kings 11:2-3
    Solomon … had seven hundred wives … and three hundred concubines.

    1 Chronicles 4:5
    And Ashur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah.

    2 Chronicles 11:21
    Rehoboam … took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines.

    2 Chronicles 13:21
    But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives….

  6. "reg" Says:

    That huge piles of money flowed into our state from a cult that, until it became politically problematic, defended that “historical” version of a supposedly immutable definition of marriage, only adds insult to injury. Fuck the Mormons and fuck the evangelical bigots. They’re bad people who are willing to do injury others in service to their ignorance, not unlike the racists who attempted to outlaw “miscegenation.”

  7. Janet Says:

    What a bunch of hypocrites. There are more divorces from straight couples and all the kids I know that were raised by gay parents are the most grounded and good kids. I support my gay friends on this issue. Many of the churches who opposed have straight married couples who the entire congregation know cheat on their spouses. Hellloooo look at the catholic church and the idiot Cardinal Mahoney. He protected child molestiers yet, he has the nerve to oppose 8? Where are all the gay A-list actors and why aren’t they pushing the message? The gays need to hit them where it hurts, BOYCOTT THE ADVERTISERS. AS CONSUMERS YOU HAVE MAJOR POWER. THE PROTESTS AREN’T GETTING YOU ANYWHERE.

  8. Tameer Says:

    The problem that I see with the No on 8 campaign is that they did not adequately address the issues of the folks who would have inevitably voted Yes on 8.

    First, you have the Bible. And try as you might, you’re just not going to convince bible believers that homosexuality is anything other than the very clear “abomination” that the bible says it is. So what do you do? You certainly don’t trash Christians and hope that they go away. You address the issue head on…speak in their language. If God wants to be chosen and God gives us the free will to choose Him, then morality should not be legislated, people should be able to choose God or not choose Him and let God sort it all out in the end. You have to couch the argument in terms that religious people can grasp and get on board with. You have to convince them that moral judgments should NOT EVEN BE ON THE BALLOT because God does not force Himself down people’s throats…so neither should believers. You are not going to win over the staunch evangelics but you may win over some who, having not given the issue much thought, will simply go with what their bible says on the issue. (and for crying out loud understand that villifying people who hold their beliefs in VERY strong regard will NOT work in your favor)

    Second, understand that minorities who believe that the gay struggle is the same or similar to the minority struggle dont need to be convinced! Its people who think that equating “no on gay marriage” to almost 3 centuries of servitude, lynchings, beatings, being stripped of your culture and relegated to 3rd class citizenship is an insult of the highest degree that need to be convinced. So how do you do that? You can’t, really because they don’t compare well. You have to couch the argument in more general terms of the majority controlling the minority…that the majority being able to write discrimination into the law is a danger to all minorities.

    What you CANNOT do is ASSUME that any black or latino or whomever simply feels your pain and are a vote in the pocket because that is NOT the case. Being gay and being black are two VERY DIFFERENT realities and all of the anti-black rhetoric going on in different internet venues is certainly NOT helping. If anything its polarizing the vote even more. Especially the idea that a vote for Obama was some sort of “favor” to the black community from the gay community that should have been repaid by a no on 8….c’mon.

    A lot of the anger being displayed id mis-directed. The no on 8 campaign needs to get smarter…not angrier.

  9. Tameer Says:

    And for Janet and many other people who think the same way you have to understand that any apparent hypocrisy is the least of the Christian concern unfortunately. No Christian can really claim to have lived a perfect life. Thats not the point. Christians fall short all day every day. The point is that when asked the question…should homosexuals be allowed to marry?…Christians, more often than not, are simply going to answer that very succinct and insular question according to their belief system.

    They’re not going to be thinking about whether they have fallen short or not (of course they have), they’re just going to go with what the Bible says about homosexuality (its an abomination) and what the bible says about marriage (its God’s institution).

    So citing the divorce rate is really useless. What really needs to be focused on is that “moral issues” such as these should not even be on the ballot or up for a popular vote because these sort of things should not be legislated.

    The parameters of the Christian argument need to be recognized and studied. They cannot be written off as mere foolishness.

  10. dacalicious Says:

    Why should the intolerance in the African-American community towards homosexuality be given a pass? Certainly, it’s more amphorous & more painful to address than simply blaming it all on an obviously crackpot cult of … well, crackers. But not trying to clean up our own house while yelling at others to get off our lawn smacks of the same attitude practiced in so many ways by the Republican adminstration in the last eight years. Where were the protesting gay masses when outreach was needed to lower-class communities deprived of education on this issue? Perhaps spending more time preaching to the converted among the Hollywood elite? I did notice the faces in those anti-Prop 8 TV commercials were overwhelming Caucasian …

    Just asking. Correct me if I’m under any misaprehensions here. By the way, does Woody really exist? Or is it one of those My Own Worst Enemy deals? Why does a character like that haunt a blog like this, anyway? Some sort of missionary of hate, or something?

    Just … asking. Heh.

  11. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Interesting points being made. Thanks everyone.

    And, yes, dacalicious, I promise you, Woody’s a very real and regular commenter for whose presence I am quite grateful, even if we rarely agree on anything of a political nature.

  12. dacalicious Says:

    I certainly don’t mind Woody, because he can be witty, & he’s certainly not incoherent — wouldn’t want to see him censored. I’m just amazed at his fortitude. ;)

  13. "reg" Says:

    Woody is a total fool and a flaming racist. He posted a “picture” of Barack Obama shining Sarah Palin’s shoes at Marc Coopers and thought it was “funny.” There are plenty of other instances of this kind of crap coming from his nasty little corner (and of course he always lamely pleads “humor” when he’s called on it.) He posts things that are complete fabrications from the least reliable sources, rarely if ever admits an outright falsity or error even if confronted with it and revels in his ability to sidetrack and dominate comments threads with his crackpot ravings.

    He’s utterly despicable and, thankfully, just as irrelevant as the 21st Century takes shape.

  14. Woody Says:

    reg, you left off your smiley face at the end.

  15. "reg" Says:

    If anyone has any doubt that Woody is a flaming racist, read this comment of his on the election at Marc Cooper’s where he approvingly puts up a piece written by the British reactionary toad, Peter Hitchens – but that could have as easily been written by David Duke:

  16. Woody Says:

    Don’t forget that I also posted the new National Anthem–the theme from “The Jefferson’s.” Liberals have no sense of humor.

  17. reg Says:

    Keep digging that hole…

  18. Woody Says:

    Do you know the difference between The Jefferson’s and Sanford and Son? Obama doesn’t. Obama isn’t black enough.

  19. Jim Says:

    Woody, we should never forget that while each of us can and will have individual religious beliefs, it is wrong to base our voting on something that will impact others who may not at all hold those same beliefs. We are a nation of diverse religious and non-religious people and as stated in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution:

    “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…”

    To separate any group of U.S. citizens, for whatever reason, is contrary to this declaration: we are all equal and should not be deprived of rights for any reason.

  20. Jim Says:

    Woody, what is confused is the place of the Supreme Court. It is to protect rights of the minority. This has been exercised a number of times in the past, more recently in the civil rights educational opportunity in which the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the previous “separate but equal” position.

    In the May 2008 ruling, the California Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling that was written by the Chief Justice, Ronald George, who said that the Constitution “properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex couples. “The right to marry, he wrote, “represents the right of an individual to establish a legally recognized family with a person of one’s choice and, as such, is of fundamental significance both to society and to the individual…..Tradition alone does not justify the denial of a fundamental constitutional right. Bans on interracial marriage were sanctioned by the state for many years.”

    California overturned the former law against interracial marriage in 1948, not to be ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court until 1967. The high court of California has a 6-1 majority of Republican appointees, including Chief Justice George.

  21. Woody Says:

    Jim: it is wrong to base our voting on something that will impact others who may not at all hold those same beliefs.

    I completely disagree. You can’t abandon your values and faith at the ballot box for fear of disagreeing with someone. The Obama voters sure didn’t mind voting to impact others by taking money that others earned.

    Gay issues are not the same as civil rights, despite all attempts to make them appear the same. If gays want domestic relationships, then call them that. If gays want to be married, then they are changing the definition as intended by the legislative process and accepted in our laws for over two centuries. But, libeals can’t change laws by vote, so they go to dishonest judges.

    The biggest problem is that gays keep wanting more and more. It started with just wanting acceptance, which they received, but it has moved to adopting kids and marriage. Is there any end to it?

    Frankly, I consider their practice as being pretty gross.

  22. Pokey Says:

    “redefining the definition of marriage from what it has been since the beginning of recorded history”

    Reg, thanks for quoting the Bible, and showing how marriage has always been between a man and a woman, in some cases plural, but each child always one set of parents (a man and a woman).

    You probobly would deny people the right to marry more than one person, which has been around for thousands of years and is legal in thirty countries.

  23. browne Says:

    You know what I think is interesting. That my take and others were thought of as over the top when mainstream blogs and mainstream press took facts that were lies and emailed them all over the place. Who is over the top? A system that uses its power to propagate lies of their colleagues to smear one group or people who call people out those lies and half-truths and implications.

    The media seems to be an old boys club and we wonder why no one gives a crap about it anymore.

  24. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Hey, Browne. Maybe I was being over-cautious. If so, I apologize. I wanted people to hear your message, which I felt was very important, and not get lost in the lynching rhetoric, which I worried might blind some people to the relevant points you were making.

    But, as I said, maybe it was just my worrywart self interfering. It’s been known to happen.

  25. Constitutionist Says:

    I can’t believe everybody misses the obvious.

    The California Supreme Court ruled that it violated equal protection to only allow straight marriage and not gay marriage. If California just didn’t allow marriage at all that’s still equal protection.

    Prop 8 banned gay marriage, but said nothing about California having to allow straight marriage.

    The ruling and the proposition are reconcilable. California must constitutionally ban all marriage.

    If the Constitution means anything the California Supreme Court will uphold it.

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