Whether you're for or against 8, Just say No to H8

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Good people on both sides of Proposition 8 (Yes, there are good people who believe differently than you!–We embrace this concept in the abstract but find it difficult to choke down when confronted with an idea opposed to our deepest held beliefs) seem willing to strike out at the other side in ways they would find abhorrent if similar behavior were directed at them.

When threatened, even a fluffy baby chick pecks. And, most people, when their world view is challenged, strike out.  Both sides of the Prop. 8 debate worry, whether rightly or wrongly that their lives will change for the worse depending on whether or not it passes.  Both sides seem willing to engage in tactics guaranteed to make the other side gape open mouthed at their opponents and gasp, “See how awful THEY are!”

Just recently, Proponents of Prop. 8 shocked even some of their supporters with an ugly tactic. Sending a letter to companies that donated to the No on 8 Campaign, they threatened,”Were you to elect not to donate comparably [to our side], it would be a clear indication that you are in opposition to traditional marriage.  You would leave us no other reasonable assumption. The names of any companies and organizations that choose not to donate in like manner to ProtectMarriage.com but have given to Equality California will be published.” Cries of blackmail rightfully rang through the No on 8 Campaign.

Yet, hard on its heels is a site which publishes the names of donors in support of Prop. 8.  In an ugly attempt to hide anonymously while outing others,  the site is called Mormons for Proposition 8 and appears on the surface to be a Mormon backed site dedicated to showing how “a stone can make a ripple” seemingly cheering on the idea that small contributors can band together to make large changes.  However, viewers are encouraged to check lists of donors to the Yes on Prop. 8 campaigns (helpfully–yes, that is sarcasm–provided by the site) and identify which ones are Mormons. 

Recently the Daily Kos urged readers to go to this site and

Find us some ammo.

Use any LEGAL tool at your disposal.  Use OpenSecrets to see if these donors have contributed to…shall we say…less than honorable causes, or if any one of these big donors has done something otherwise egregious.  If so, we have a legitimate case to make the Yes on 8 campaign return their contributions, or face a bunch of negative publicity.

Feel free to use Lexis-Nexis searches as well for anything useful, especially given that these people are using “morality” as their primary motivation to support Prop 8…if you find anything that belies that in any way…well, you know what to do.

If you find anything good, please email it to:equalityresearch at gmail dot com.

Make no mistake.  This is as ugly as publishing the names of blacks who registered to vote during the Civil Rights Movement. Blacks who dared to register anyway might find themselves thrown off their farms or even murdered. This intimated people from registering. The site above and the Daily Kos attempts to  intimidate people from donating. And this is a particularly ugly, bigoted move because attempts to do so based upon the religion of the donors.

Recently protesters stood in front of the Mormon Temple in Oakland. Here is a letter from one of the women attending what to them is an extremely sacred event.  Protesters severely restricted access to the temple causing cars to back dangerously onto the freeway.

[There was a] large group of loud protesters who were standing on both sides of the street, yelling, screaming and waving signs.  When we got to the top of the offramp, ready to make our turn, one protester jumped out right in front of our car.  It took my husband all his self control to carefully maneuver around him to the left and proceed to the temple.  I tried not to listen to all they were shouting at us, but I was shaking as I got to the temple front door.

Several of the sisters, especially the ones driving on their own, were crying …

As Jackie Ginn, a member of the church explained,

I respect everyone’s right to their own opinions…[but] Prop 8 is a matter that should be decided by the voters…UNTHREATENEDvoters. I seriously doubt that either of these two matters above willcause any LDS voters to change their votes. There are, of course, LDS voters who are anti-Prop 8, but I doubt the protesters at the Oakland temple took that into consideration. They could well have been harassing people on their side. This was purely an attack against Mormons.

Any effort to keep people from giving money to or keep people from voting for a cause they honestly believe in is hate.  But more importantly, it causes fear and hate in return. Good people can honestly differ. Stealing signs, calling names, and forcing opponents into some stereotype of evil neither promotes the truth nor helps your cause in the long run.  Presumably we all want to live in a world without hate. Feel free to reason, discuss, present facts but

Take a breath and don’t hate–whatever your position on 8.

————————————————–

Next week I’ll be voting against Proposition 8. I hope you’ll join with me.

The one argument that concerned me was that religious rights might be trampled on.  But in reviewing the law that 8 is attempting to overturn I read,

“…affording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official, or any other person; no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs. (Cal. Const., art. I, § 4.)72″

Some people argue that historically a marriage exists between only a man and a woman and should therefore stay that way. But when laws banning interracial marriage were struck down they did so even though historically,  since the state existed, blacks and whites were forbidden to intermarry. Few would argue now that interracial marriage should still be verboten. Bad laws should be changed. Period.

Another argument given against gay marriage is that domestic partnership legislation already basically gives the same rights to gays as everyone else excepting only the right to marry. I argue back that we have seen before, with segregation between blacks and whites, that separate usually fails to be equal.  Denying gays the designation of “married” puts their partnerships and families at risk of seeming less valuable and would, in all likelihood, result in further discrimination.

I’m proud to vote against Proposition 8.  I hope you all will join me.  But whether you do or not, remember that there are good people on both sides of this argument.  Please use reason to persuade, not hate to intimidate.

__________________________________________________

Thanks to Joe for letting me know about the Write to Marry Day and to Jackie for sending me much of the information I used here.  The two of you together from very different positions on Prop 8 helped me untwine my emotions and try and express myself.  Thank you both.

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17 comments

  • Well said, Kym! You have an ability to stay much more calm and collected when talking about the Yes on 8-ers… I’ll have to direct people to your blog.

  • Where is Gandhi when you need him.

  • It’s gettin’ ugly….

    Thanks for your refreshingly even-handed thoughts.

  • I saw some signs in Ukiah today that said: “Prop 8 = Parental Rights”

    Huh?

  • Kym, that is exactly what I was going to say, only you beat me to it! (yeah right!) But, I do agree with you. Well said.

    NOOOOO on 8

    The Gay lifestyle might not be for some people, but how would you like it if someone was trying to keep you away from someone that you love. It’s not really a Gay issue, it is really a very simple human rights issue. If the one that I loved was in the hospital I would not stand for being kept away, why should anyone have that right over people that can’t marry. Let them marry and have their rights!

  • thank you so much.

    there is an interesting discussion going on here. i’m no on hate, but yes on prop 8.

    http://prop8discussion.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/thank-you-france-children-have-a-right-to-a-mom-and-a-dad-merci/

    the rights of children are more important than the rights of adults to express their love through the word “marriage”

  • Kym, thanks for posting this information. Some of it, however, is unreadable due to the font color (unless you highlight it by clicking on it).

    Four years ago a friend of mine had a Prop 22 bumper sticker in her car. She did not put it on the bumper because she thought someone might steal it. That didn’t deter someone, however. He/she broke every window in her car to get to the sticker.

    My friends and family know that I am voting Yes on 8. It is a very hot topic, with people on both sides up in arms. However, I refuse to change my vote just because someone may threaten me or steal my sign. I stand beside my beliefs, and I believe the Bible to be the Word of God. I strongly believe that God ordained marriage to be only between a man and a woman, and any person familiar with the Bible knows that is what the Bible says. My opinion is that if I believe the Bible, I would want to follow the commandments and counsel found in it. To vote for gay marriage is, to me, in direct opposition to God. Some anti-8 people, according to things I have read in the paper, say that God has invited all to come unto Him, and they apparently are using their own definition of “come unto Him”, implying that it has something to do with marriage. Coming unto Him has nothing to do with whether you are gay or straight, married or single, fat or skinny, ugly or beautiful, black or white, young or old. It has to do with believing in Christ and God, and changing your heart and your life so that you fall in line with His commandments.

    I know several gay couples. They are good people, talented, friendly, intelligent…just as are many straight people I know. I like them as human beings. I don’t hate them because of their different life style. But I do not believe God’s definition of the word “marriage” should be changed to allow same-sex marriages.

    Well, I have done it now. I have opened myself up to nasty remarks and maybe someone who disagrees with me will even look up my address and throw rocks at me. Luckily, the GPS system doesn’t show my address correctly, so some other innocent soul might have rocks thrown at his house instead and wonder why! But I will vote what I believe, and let the election process determine the results.

    I appreciate the opportunity to state my opinion here on your blog, Kym.

  • My magnificent aunt Alice lived with her college roommate, Doris, for 72 years. I will be voting no on 8 with the two of them in my thoughts. I learned from them how extraordinarily devoted and in love a same-sex couple could be and what a source of inspiration they were to their friends both straight and gay. Sometimes, just thinking of them, I realize how fortunate I am to have had them in my life.

  • One of my best friends in high school was gay. Now that I’m an adult, I work with several talented women whom I also consider to also be close friends. They each go home at night to their wives. In reality, their relationships are probably some of the strongest and most loving I’ve ever seen. I’m proud to have these people in my life.

    I can’t imagine taking away their right to be married and I don’t follow any of the excuses given by those that support Prop 8. My eight year old daughter summed it up best when she told me that “you just never know who you’re gonna fall in love with.” And I think she’s 100% right.

  • Thank you for your support, Kym. It really makes sense that someone who is as intelligent and sensitive as you would come out against discrimination.

    …..and I heard what you said about being heavy handed, but as I told you before, it always hurts and it is always painful. Something as brutal as Proposition 8 makes it difficult to be gentle in return.

    Joe

  • Prop 8 has little to do with God sanctioned coupling and everything to do with state sanctioned coupling. It is not about being married in the eyes of God. If that were what is was about, then gays could form their own churches and perform their own ceremonies and presto, they would be married. In the eyes of a church. Not in the eyes of the state. And that is what is at issue. Churches that do not accept same sex marriages will continue to not accept same sex marriages and that is the way it works in God’s house. However, the state, by sanctioning the legal ramifications of a union between two individuals whatever their gender, will grant those two individuals rights in medical, financial, and family related arenas same gender couples have in the past been denied. This effects jointly held property, heirs, custody issues, who gets to sign off on medical documents if you are injured and incapacitated, it is essentially about a legal contract recognized by the state. However, everyone likes to mix it up with God. So, problems arise.

  • Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. I apologize for the difficulty reading it originally. I realized after I posted it that some parts were in the wrong font but the hated starband chose that moment to malfunction and I couldn’t correct that or the errors I had noticed–I hope I have it all fixed now.

    This is a painful issue that reaches right into both side’s deepest beliefs and forces each to articulate choices that seem private. I appreciate how everyone here is free to state their points of view without hurting each other. I’m lucky I have such kind readers!

    Monica and Chris, thank you, I’m glad I came across as more articulate than I felt I did.

    Max, Sheesh we could use Gandhi in the Middle East, too, I wish he would hurry up and reincarnate.

    Elaine, I believe the idea is that by allowing gays to marry that children will be exposed to approval of homosexuality without their parent’s consent but I have a hard time articulating a point of view I disagree with so maybe someone else might do a better job?

    Ernie, Everything you said, Me, too–although I think proponents of 8 would argue that the domestic partner legislation would allow a gay person to visit their partner in the hospital.

    Prop8–I disagree that every child needs a father and a mother. I have two beautiful cousins that were raised mostly by a single mother (not gay) and she did a wonderful job without a man in her life or theirs. I’ve seen good gay parents and bad straight ones so this argument doesn’t resonate with me. Thank you though for taking the time to reach out and explain your position. If more people reached out across divides, we’d build a bridge of loving arms that would hold us all up no matter what our opinions.

    Aunt Jackie, It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in and I admire you for it even while I disagree with you. I love you very much. I hope both sides of this debate feel free to speak out and also step forward to defend the other side’s right to speak out. I think most of the people here would defend your right to speak as I think you would defend theirs.

    Ben, your aunts, both Alice and Doris, sound wonderful. They may not have been able to get married legally but it sounds as if they lived marriage beautifully.

    Sandi, Your daughter’s words brought tears to my eyes. I so agree!

    Joe, My best friend from when I was a child is gay. Although we don’t see each other very often he opened my eyes to the fear that gay men live with constantly. I don’t know how I would behave if I were you. For you and for all my friends (not just the gay ones–I believe allowing others freedom gives freedom to all) I’m glad to vote no on 8.

  • Hi Kym –

    I couldn’t find your quote in the California Constitution Article 1, which I believe you were referencing.

    I used this link –
    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.const/.article_1

    Doing a search of the California Constitution, I could find no mention of the definition of marriage at all.

    However, the California Family Code does define marriage:

    300. (a) Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil
    contract between a man and a woman, to which the consent of the
    parties capable of making that contract is necessary. Consent alone
    does not constitute marriage. Consent must be followed by the
    issuance of a license and solemnization as authorized by this
    division, except as provided by Section 425 and Part 4 (commencing
    with Section 500).

    It goes on to say:

    301. An unmarried male of the age of 18 years or older, and an
    unmarried female of the age of 18 years or older, and not otherwise
    disqualified, are capable of consenting to and consummating marriage.

    and goes on with a provision for under 18 year olds:

    302. (a) An unmarried male or female under the age of 18 years is
    capable of consenting to and consummating marriage upon obtaining a
    court order granting permission to the underage person or persons to
    marry.

    So I wonder if the problem is really with the Family Code and not the constitution.

    I thought I would look up what dictionary.com defined as marriage. Anyone can look it up. I was surprised that it still says marriage is :
    the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.

    I don’t believe I have a dictionary from the time where inter-racial marriage was illegal. I venture to guess it didn’t define marriage as between a man and woman of the same race.

    dictionary.com goes on to have a 4th definition that states:

    a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage; homosexual marriage.

    Here it uses the adjectives to articulate different types of marriages. It is interesting that definition #4 wasn’t the 1st definition along the lines of something like this:

    the social institution under which a two people establish their decision to live as partners by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.

    But wait, we have to keep in mind our separation of church and state so it should really be:

    the social institution under which a two people establish their decision to live as partners by legal commitments.

    Sounds an awful lot like a domestic partnership. Which is probably what what should be required from a state perspective to be entitled to all of the rights and responsibilities of people coming together to spend the rest of their lives together, since the current definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.

    The next question we should look at is why is it just 1 man and 1 woman (definition of marriage). Many cultures allow or have allowed many-to-one marriages. To quote someone above, “you never know who you will fall in love with.” What if you fall in love with more than one person?

    Alas I have digressed from what I think is most important to take from Kym’s post – regardless of what your opinion is, everyone is entitled to it and should be able to express it with out impeding other people.

    Responding to someone with a “yes on 8” by parking a truck in front of their house calling them “bigots” shows a lack of of true acceptance and understanding by the people with the truck. The very people who say that yes on 8 are not accepting of people different from them. Ironic? Apparently, I’m one of the few who think so.

    I’ve been amazed by some people inability to allow other people to express their own opinions. Is it fine for you to have an opinion as long as it is the same as mine? Some people seem to think so. The people with the truck or yelling at families attending the temple are no different/better/worse than the nuts with the gays should go to hell sign in downtown SF.

    Whether you are Yeson8 or Noon8, you are expected to behave as peaceful intelligent adults.

  • DJ, I’m glad you spoke out about what I felt was the most important part of my post too. I know that there are a lot of fears on both sides of the issue which brings out strong reactions. I’d like to think most people on both sides believe that they want a world without hate and world where differences are tolerated. I have always been sad that people feel that somehow they are making themselves more right by sneering at others. I, too, think yelling bigot at someone who peacefully is posting a sign expressing a differing opinion is so oddly ironic to be almost funny—except it’s not.

    The quote comes from the court ruling and I think it is dicta (a piece of a judicial opinion which is designed to explain the law) so that is why you might have had trouble finding it.

    I think what you are saying is that prop 8 should be passed because the traditional definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. This might be a point where what matters to you simply doesn’t reach me. It’s funny that someone like me who passionately loves tradition finds almost no value in whether a law has traditionally been interpreted one way or another. To me, the practical value of whether a law does harm or helps is much more to the point. To me, your marriage is in no way damaged by gay people marrying and their lives would be enhanced ergo why not?

    And as to your second point I believe it is that this prop 8 might lead to polygamy or some variation. I think that is possible but perhaps it is my Mormon background but I, while not wanting to participate in such a marriage (though if Adam Baldwin were looking to join Kevin and I who am I to refuse to make the poor man happy?) don’t have any problem with consenting ADULTS participating. I do see some problems that might ensue with insurance, etc. But we’re not there yet.

    I honestly think that those who vote against prop 8 are furthering progress like those who voted for blacks and women to get the vote. I think that if Prop 8 passes, eventually it will be overturned and that as mankind grows progressively less interested in the private lives of his/her fellow citizens society will all be better off.

  • If you can’t get along with other people then we ought to take out “…behind the building and shoot ya”. To quote a friend of mine.

    lol.

    /dj

  • Jeez I turn my back for a second and you are hogging Jayne Cobb again.

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