Same-Sex Marriage: Ready or Not

The 30-second radio spot introduces San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, rolling out same-sex marriage in The City in 2004:

“It is going to happen now, whether you like it or not.”

This is emotional stuff. Nobody likes to see the opposition viewpoint forced down their throat. And I can’t leave it alone, because the radio spot ticks me off. Newsom’s boast was immature, ill-advised and off-topic. Perhaps he doesn’t understand the issue himself.

The California State Supreme Court this year ruled unconstitutional Prop 22, the 2000 anti-gay initiative that seemingly squashed same-sex marriage in this state.

The radio spot promotes Proposition 8, which is basically Prop 22 back for another try. Proposition 8 is backed by such telltale groups as “California Family Council”, Boy Scouts of America and “Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays”, with a coat-tail following of dissident school board members, doctors and Knights of Columbus.

Their response: “we don’t have to stand for this.”

Our response: au contraire, yes, we think you do.

It’s not about whether you think same-sex marriage agrees with your personal vision of marriage. We simply can’t exclude a single group of people from an essential and fundamental right everyone else enjoys:  to marry the one you love.  That’s a right guaranteed to all other Americans, with good reason.

If Proposition 8 should happen to win, that doesn’t make it any more constitutional. A victory would not be likely to last long enough to actually amend the California Constitution, because it’s discriminatory and just plain wrong, and threatens basic rights belonging to all of us, whether we agree with same-sex marriage or not. That’s why so many citizens and lawmakers are voting against Proposition 8 even though they don’t really support same-sex marriage.

UPDATE 10-27-2008

The California Teacher’s Association released a “contra” radio spot pointing out that Proposition 8 has nothing to do with education, rebutting the untrue pro-8 scare tactic that “like Massachusetts”, California kids would be taught about “gay marriage” in the second grade. In California, there is no requirement that kids be taught anything about marriage.

Moreover, the CTA spoke up for the core issue here, that Proposition 8 rescinds a basic constitutional right, thus threatening everybody’s rights.They affirmed that no matter what our view on marriage may be, Proposition 8 is a bad and dangerous idea and should be voted down.

Proposition 8 isn’t simply unjust, vindictively discriminatory legislation aimed at just one minority group. It’s really, really bad citizenship.

UPDATE 10-29-2008: transparency without crediblity

tHEY’RE baaaacK! Anti-gay Prop 8 backers are back with a new rebuttal: yes, they say, California students WILL be taught about same-sex marriage unless same-sex marriage is rescinded in California.

So, it’s official: they want to rescind a basic right for a minority of Americans in California, so that kids can’t be taught that “equal protection” really means “equal”?

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