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No Parole

Books Read in 2008
Updated: 9/10
"Hannah's Dream" 


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30 October 2008

I've been feeling kind of guilty because it feels like I've been completely uninvolved in the fight to defeat Proposition 8, the Marriage Amendment bill. A day doesn't pass when I don't get at least one, and often many more than one, requestion for money or a request for involvement.  I feel guilty that I've kind of ignored them.

In truth this damn eye thing has made me feel uncomfortable volunteering for the election.  That and my normal reluctance to talk with strangers.  I did work a table for our infamous Prop 22 many years ago and actually had one heated conversation with someone adamantly opposed to gay marriage.   But this year, I've been more introspective, I guess, and making excuses for not getting involved.  I've written letters and journal entries, of course, and we have a lawn sign, but that doesn't seem enough.

But videos like the following really bother me...and I think it will bother you too.

The reports from the "No on 8" campaign and Equality California is that there is a huge movment among members of the Morman church and the Catholic church to get out the "yes" vote.  And, of course, there are lots of people who are working so hard to explain the issue to people.

Businesses which have supported a "no" vote on Prop 8 have even received threatening letters from the "yes" campaign, demanding larger donations, and threatening to publish their names of money is not sent.

It just seems like such a no-brainer for me. 

How can Americans in this day and age vote to change the constitution to include discrimination, wording that says "these people are OK, but these people are not OK."  That's really all that it is .  The proposition has nothing about religion or schools or any thing else that the ads claim it will affect. I would much rather children learn that it is legal for two people who love each other to marry than it is that their government can single out a group of people for discrimination.

I love the way one recently married gay blogger put it:

My belief is very simple. As American’s we should never discriminate against a group, period. Your morals and beliefs are set aside when it comes to vote on issues that delve into discrimination. So, I have concluded that those of my “friends” that are voting Yes, are more acquaintances then friends. I choose to surround myself with people that respect my family, treat, acknowledge and understand my family has the same value, commitment and love as any other family. I’m not a second class citizen and deserve the same benefits of marriage as any other married couple. I also believe that no one chooses to be gay. I don’t wish anyone to become, turn out, discover they are gay. But if someone is gay, they deserve respect, acceptance and benefits. I don’t believe marriage should be taught in schools. It’s sex ed, plain and simple. But all family types should feel safe and accepted wherever they go.

The Rev. Deborah Johnson explains the proposition very succinctly for those who still are unsure about what this proposition does and does not say. (This is excellent.  I highly recommend it.)

As she says, it is dangerous to put people's civil liberties to the vote of a people, especially after the courts have reviewed the constitution and determined that the right of everyone to marry has been there all along and that denying marriage licenses has been unconstitutional.  This thing has could pass with a simple majority.  Do you want anybody voting on your civil liberties?

I haven't been in the trenches with other fighters in this battle, but I can at least, this final week of decision for California voters, remind people that this is a bad proposition and to beg you not to legalize discrimination in this state. Today it's the gay people.  Who might be targeted next?  We must speak out to protect equal rights for everyone...

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

-Pastor Martin Niemöller


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