I feel very strongly about voting No on Prop 8.
I am writing this not only to reach out to everyone and urge you to vote No on Prop 8, but also hopefully to provide some talking points and facts for speaking with friends and family about this proposition, and please DO speak to friends and family abut this.
If you don't have the money to donate for TV ads, use the voice that you do have. Talk to everyone you know, give them facts and dis-spell myths, then ask them to talk to everyone THEY know. I know that most of us don't have the millions of dollars it takes to bombard the public with television commercials(the mormon church alone has donated over half of the more than 40 million that has gone into the yes on 8 ads), but what we do have is the grassroots power to talk to each other.
When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same sex marriage back in May, I was proud... proud to live in this progressive state, a state that values and protects an individual's right to life, liberty and most importantly their right to pursue happiness.
What is going on now is disheartening, the yes on 8 campaign has launched a well funded and faith based smear campaign that diverts attention from the actual proposition and misleads viewers to believe that prop 8 will educate kids about homosexuality in public schools, and that churches will lose their non-profit standing. Both of these points are completely false, but I suppose it is pretty hard to run a campaign that is asking people to vote FOR discrimination. No matter how you feel personally about gay marriage writing discrimination into our California constitution is wrong.
Just in case you, or anyone you speak with is grappling over whether this is really the right thing to do, I would like to reference miscegenation laws. Miscegenation laws banned the marriage of interracial couples until the case of Loving V. Virginia overturned those laws in 1967. Almost 20 years before that- in 1948- California was the first and only state to throw out statewide miscegenation laws.
In 1948 the California Supreme Court held that "marriage is ... something more than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of free men ... Legislation infringing such rights must be based upon more than prejudice and must be free from oppressive discrimination to comply with the constitutional requirements of due process and equal protection of the laws". The California Supreme Court further explained that "the right to marry is the right to join in marriage with the person of one's choice". That quote is so powerful that I have to give it it's own separate line, I want to scream it from a California mountain top.
"THE RIGHT TO MARRY IS THE RIGHT TO JOIN IN MARRIAGE WITH THE PERSON OF ONE'S CHOICE"
Just as 1967 seems quite late in our history to have waited to finally, and legally state that interracial marriage could not legally be denied to two willing parties. Similarly, 2008 seems like it has been a long time coming to finally say that the constitution protects everyone's right to marry, and does not discriminate based on sexual orientation.
In case you have come across some people who have dragged religion into this, here is a fun quote from the sitting judge for the Lovings, years before their case was finally taken to the supreme court.
"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."
Sounds oddly similar to 'God intended marriage to be between a man and a woman'.
The reason that Loving V. Virginia was able to overturn miscegenation laws in this country was not because it was a popular idea, but because it was found that no matter what a popular vote decided, it was unconstitutional to deny two persons the right to marry because it infringed on their due process as well as equal protection under the law.
The constitution is not the bible, nor should it be treated as such, and vice versa. Religious arguments that cite the bible are completely out of context with the issue at hand. The issue is discrimination, and we have a long history in this country. The bible should not be used as justification for personal discrimination, and furthermore has no place as a justification for writing discrimination into the constitution.
Please- I urge you, aside from taking your voice to the polls on Nov 4th, please take it to everyone you know. Talk to friends and family, write an e-mail(or just copy and paste this one, you have my full permission), and volunteer at your local No on 8 phone banks.
Do every little thing you can to stand up strong in this fight against discrimination, and protect ALL families by voting NO on 8.
(Thank you, Erin, for the eloquently written email.)