Your blogger’s inner cynicism rears its ugly head, I’m afraid. I haven’t had time to read the decision or anything else, so I’m operating on what I know from the news, which is that a California District Court ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional on Due Process and Equal Protection grounds and that a stay has been issued, though it’s not a very long one and so it’ll expire before an appeal and another stay will have to be issued.
Assuming that’s correct, this is definitely something of a victory, but it doesn’t mean people can get married again, and it doesn’t mean that Prop 8 was really “overturned,” at least, in the sense I use the word. I sort of feel like you can’t overturn something if the next guy can turn it right back. But despite that, I’ll feel some cautious sense of victory, and eagerly anticipate the result of the appeals process.
I already highlighted some reasons that even people who are sort of in the middle on gay marriage should vote No on 8 in this post. I showed you some powerful ads against the proposition in this one. But now I have another reason to vote no. This post is specifically for Write to Marry Day, an event hosted by Mombian to put the spotlight on Proposition 8. I’ve been thrilled to see how many bloggers are coming out against 8, including the awesome visual of the No on 8 quilt by Riese (I’m down there on the bottom). But even if you wouldn’t consider yourself a supporter, or are feeling a little uncomfortable or unenthusiastic about same-sex marriage, you need to vote no.
This isn’t just about gay marriage. People keep saying that this is about discrimination, hate, and equality, but one example really hits home for me why Californians need to get to the polls and defeat this proposition. You may have heard about how the Yes on 8 folks have been sending letters to small business owners who donated to No on 8, warning that if they do not donate the same amount to the Yes campaign they will be publicized as opposed to traditional marriage. That’s not just dirty politics, it’s terrifying. Because you know what this sounds like? It sounds like a time in our nation’s history where people were hunted down, blackmailed, beat up, and even killed because of the color of their skin or their sexuality. This isn’t just about gay marriage. If you’re thinking of voting yes on this proposition, please think long and hard about whether you want people who resort to these tactics to win. It won’t stop here. Marriage is just one step, and even if you can’t stand the idea of gay people getting married, think carefully about whether their ability to marry will hurt your life or your family. Remind yourself that you’re the one your children look up to, and that you can teach them whatever the heck you want. Yes, I’d personally prefer that children grow up to believe that it’s not who you love, but how you love them. But I’m willing to concede some ground here because the important thing is that whether or not you want gay people married, I don’t think you want them threatened, fired, or killed. These types of human rights violations are real. They happen in many parts of the world. Private citizens in this country commit serious hate crimes against gays and lesbians even as we speak. If you’re religious, I think you can agree that whatever God considers a sin, he isn’t asking you to beat up or kill the sinner. We aren’t so far away from turning the clock back to a time when gays and lesbians constantly had to fear for their lives and reputations. Don’t be responsible for turning that clock back. Vote no on Proposition 8.
I had intended to write separately about each of the marriage initiatives on various ballots, but since what I’ve already written about for Proposition 8 applies pretty much across the board, today I’m going to share some particularly effective campaign videos with you. Don’t forget to vote!
(No on Proposition 102, a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage)
(No on Act 1, a measure that would ban cohabiting couples from fostering or adopting children)
(No on Prop 8, constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman)
(No on Question 1, which would mean a constitutional convention and possibly overturning of gay marriage)
(No on Proposition 2, a marriage amendment that would also make heterosexual domestic partnerships illegal)
Everyone should see this video. But don’t watch when you’re somewhere where crying is inappropriate. (Happy tears, I promise.)
Or something like that. I’ll be in Sioux Falls with the ACLU, canvassing and doing other exciting stuff. It’s the first pro-choice thing I’ve done since working with the Emma Goldman Clinic on Medicaid reform. If you’re interested in financial access to abortion, you might check out this post on “Contraceptive Choice and Class.” And then there’s this quick hit from Feministe, which mentions an 8th circuit decision on abortion in SD, as well as addressing the argument that abortion is necessarily harmful. See you on the flip side!