Recently in Gay Marriage Category
Let me know if there are any local rallies to celebrate the court ruling.
Click on continue reading to see my videos that I filmed at rallies against Proposition 8.
Thank you to Ted Olsen. Olsen is a conservative lawyer, served as Assistant Attorney General under President Ronald Reagan, and served as Solicitor General for George W. Bush. He was a lead attorney in the case and his expertise was critical.
( I took this video during the rallies before the vote on Proposition 8. Click on continue reading to see the other videos I took at various rallies.)
Six states will soon allow gay couples to marry with the latest being New Hampshire.
You would think that groups opposed to same sex marriage would have been pleased with the recent court ruling upholding Proposition 8 but "Save California" is very upset that the judges allowed the state to recognize the marriages of gay couples married before Proposition 8 was passed.
Click here for the press release or click on continue reading and scroll down past my videos from Proposition 8 rallies.
Supporters of gay marriage are planning on how best to bring the question to voters again. I expect it will be on the ballot again in 2010 but this time those supporting gay marriage are expected to learn from past mistakes.
I want the proposition to include clear protections for religious liberty and I want the campaign to include more gay families in their ads. If these concerns are addressed I think the momentum of more states legalizing gay marriage combined with changing views from younger generations only make this a matter of time in California.
The religious liberty issue has been interesting because so much of it is intuitive. The government is not mandating churches marry nonmembers or members of their churches that they don't want to marry. But even if the protections really only address the unwarranted concerns of some people it is worthy of including.
The Simi Valley / Moorpark Democratic Club will be debating Gay Marriage at their next meeting. Here is their announcement:
Light refreshments will be served, and a question and answer period will follow.
Please call 805-582-2234.
The embedded document above is the ruling issued by the California Supreme Court. Most people will have a clear opinion on the ruling without ever reading any substantial portion of it.
I don't need a court ruling to tell me that as supporters of legal equality for gays and lesbians we have a substantial amount of work to do to bring people together. As Barack Obama said during the campaign, we are the ones we have been waiting for. He will be in California tomorrow which puts pressure on him to comment on the court ruling and other issues of equality for gay people.
As most of us expected the California State Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 but allowed the marriages of the many people that were married while gay marriage was legal to stand.
Some opponents of Proposition 8 argued that the amendment was actually a revision to the State Constitution and not an amendment. The court rejected that argument and upheld the ban on gay marriage.
Proposition 8 supporters, represented by Clinton Impeachment Prosecutor and Pepperdine Law School Professor Ken Starr, sought to have the state uphold Proposition 8 and not recognize any marriages between gays performed while it was legal. The court rejected the argument against the marriages performed before voters banned marriage between gay people and the state will continue to recognize those marriages.
Gay Marriage will eventually be legal in California. Already Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine all recognize marriage equality. New Hampshire will also likely be added to that list soon.
New York and DC recognize marriages performed in other states as legal in their jurisdictions. Globally South Africa, Sweden, Spain, and Canada recognize marriages between two people of the same gender.
Proponents of marriage equality plan to put the issue on the ballot again in 2010 during the midterm elections and the campaign for governor. All of the Democratic candidates and Republican candidate Tom Campbell support gay marriage being made legal in California.
I will help in earning votes of the people of California to recognize legal equality for gay people. The supporters of marriage equality studied their past mistakes and have already started to adapt new ideas to earn the support of more people.
Check out this new video from the Courage Campaign:
Unlike campaign ads during the Proposition 8 campaign it focuses on gay people and their families. The ads that excluded gay families sometimes acted as if voters didn't know Proposition 8 involved gay people.
Here is State Assembly candidate Susan Jordan reacting to the ruling on Facebook:
I plan to call my local politicians and ask them their opinion on the issue. I know State Senator Tony Strickland opposes gay marriage and he voted against civil unions while in the state legislature. Many of us have changed our opinions over the years and maybe he would vote differently today.
If you communicate with any local politician on this issue feel free to post their reply here as a comment.
One local politician that I don't see altering their view soon is County Supervisor Peter Foy.
In this video candidate for County Supervisor Peter Foy comes out against benefits for the domestic partners of county employees because it is too expensive. Using that logic why does he support benefits for married couples?
Click on continue reading to see my videos of the rallies in Simi Valley before Proposition 8 was voted on. If you like a video please pass it on to your friends. While covering the rallies I talked to many gays and lesbians from Simi Valley that I expect will continue to organize for equal treatment under the law.
You don't need to register or use your real name to comment. People that use their real names, or at least don't change their screen names constantly, are usually given more credibility.
I took this video back during the Proposition 8 rallies. This Simi Valley woman was married a few weeks before while she had the opportunity. Proposition 8 is currently being dealt with by the California Supreme Court, with opponents in favor of the state not recognizing the marriages that were performed before Proposition 8 was passed.
Gay families live in our communities across America. They deserve equal protection under the law and they deserve all the responsibilities of marriage. Local politicians who stay silent on this issue are staying silent on the rights of people in their neighborhoods and communities.
The state of Maine has joined Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa, and Vermont in recognizing the right of gay people to be married. Maine and Vermont both did it by passing legislation that was signed by their governor. New Hampshire's governor has said he will sign a bill when a few alterations are finalized.
DC recently joined New York in recognizing same sex marriages performed in other states.
To many people it doesn't impact them in any meaningful way. But to those of us that can share the news with family or friends that the issue means so much to that another state supports equal treatment under the law it is profound.
I don't know when California will recognize equal treatment under the law for gay families but it is only a matter of time. Let's not delay it any longer than needed. I favor earning the support of more voters by telling the stories of gay Californians.
Hopefully the groups that write the next ballot proposition will add clauses like New Hampshire is doing that protect religious groups that object from lawsuits.
What a difference in just the last several months.
( the latest video from the California Courage campaign. Click here to see their YouTube channel.)
Local supporters of Marriage Equality will be rallying this Friday to protect the rights of the roughly 18,000 couples who were married in California before the Proposition 8 ban went into effect. The lawyer arguing in favor of eliminating their right to keep their marriage is Pepperdine law professor Ken Starr. I support Marriage Equality and I find it very mean spirited to go after people that were married before the ban went into effect. I don't see a legitimate argument that their marriages are related to the primary arguments put forth by Proposition 8 supporters. I hope the California State Supreme Court rules in favor of protecting their civil rights.
I won't be able to make it but if any of the people at the rally send me video or pictures I will post them.
Click on continue reading for the details.
Click on continue reading for some of my past videos on Proposition 8.
I found this video of Francis Chan, Pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, discussing the supporters of Proposition 8.
In his sermon he criticizes the hate he saw coming from the Yes on 8 protesters.
But before you think he is agreeing with you or your cause make sure to watch the whole video and listen to his comments in context.
Regardless of your theological views, church membership, or political views Pastor Chan is a compassionate man.
In related news Melissa Ethridge and Rick Warren are friends. Click here for the story.
Ventura County Stonewall Democrats
The Ventura County Stonewall Democrats sent out an email with their December events. Click on continue reading to see it.
State Supreme Court Challenge
In related news The State Supreme Court is going to be taking up issues related to Proposition 8 including the status of the marriages for people married before the ban went into place and if Proposition 8 was a revision of the constitution or an amendment.
I favor marriage equality but I don't have an opinion yet on if it was truly a revision instead of an amendment. I look forward to reading the debates on the legal question. I do find it funny, but expected, to see partisans that haven't waited to hear the arguments take a position on a state constitutional question.
Click here to read the story about Proposition 8 going to the State Supreme Court.
People upset at the ban are organizing events and getting together a movement to repeal the ban. It of course would have been great if they did this BEFORE the election!
Locally they have been targeting a Lassen's grocery store for donating a large sum to the Yes on 8 campaign.
Click here about the ongoing protests against Lassen's in Ventura for donating money to ban gay marriage.
This quote stands out from the article:
"We have a lot of gay and lesbian customers. We have nothing against them," said Endecott, who manages the Lassen's store in Camarillo, which is owned by her father, John Lassen. "To us, it (same-sex marriage) is a moral issue, not a civil issue."
I guess she means nothing against their gay customers except not wanting them to be able to get married .
The checks were from Lassen's the business, not the individuals. Wouldn't it have been easier if the owners donated themselves, instead of having their company do it?
We all acknowledge that individuals have every legal right to donate to campaigns but any company that donates to a campaign like this risks threats of boycotts and the potential loss of business. The Yes on 8 side has their own lists of businesses that they threatened to expose for donation money against Proposition 8, so the danger goes both ways for people that get involved in the process.
I think many of us assumed that Lassen's was a liberal company because of the products they sell. Have you ever made a choice about using a company's goods or services because of the money they gave to a political candidate or cause?
Many people are claiming that Barack Obama's election is indirectly responsilble for the passage of Proposition 8. Click here to read an article from polling expert Nate Silver of 538 fame that counters that conventional wisdom being pushed by pundits.
There are more rallies planed this weekend, but this time across America in response to the vote on Proposition 8 in California.
For more information click here for details or to put together your own local rally.
If you are going to a rally, always bring a camera. It keeps people on their best behavior and helps you record the day. If you send me pictures or videos I will post them. Don't feel bad about calling people to their best behavior. If you see a rude sign, volunteer to give them a new sign. If you see people behaving poorly, call them on it. Of all the No on 8 rallies I went to ranging from a few kids to about 50 people almost everyone was pleasant and having a fun time.
Remember what Emma Goldman said:
"If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution"
The battle over gay marriage isn't going to end anytime soon, nor should it. Think about what each side believes they are arguing over and then try to convince them to compromise or stop pushing their cause.
1. One side believes that gay people are different and that if we legalize gay marriage again this will teach children that being gay is normal. They also are afraid of churches being sued or gay marriage being taught in schools. For some of them, their religion has given them clear direction and they want that reflected in civil law. For them it isn't about civil rights but about the state recognizing something they don't want it to sanction.
2. Those in favor of gay marriage believe it is a question of basic civil rights. They believe separate is inherently unequal. They believe that marriage is much more than a set of legal protections and that is exactly why civil unions are not enough. They don't see any nonsense slippery slope where polygamy will become legal. They are tired of their family members and friends being treated differently under the law. They want the children to grow up and get married, regardless if they are gay or straight. The are tired of reading articles like this about discrimination that isn't based on reason.
Did I miss a core part of either sides' arguments?
Why would people believe either of these groups will give up anytime soon?
I don't support all of the tactics that other advocates use in pushing their cause, but who does? I know most of us disagree with the tactics are favored candidates or causes use from time to time.
I support marriage equality even though I know it is likely a long path to victory.
If you are planning any local political events, send them to me and I will post them.
I took the above video in Simi Valley at the corner of Cochran and Sycamore before the election. I recommend that people attending any protest or rally bring cameras with them. People tend to behave better when they know there are cameras nearby.
This weekend there are more protests planned across California, including in Ventura.
Click on continue reading for details.
Did you see the Ventura County Star article about the protest outside a Mormon church? It has over 400 comments last time I checked. I try to keep it cleaner in my comments section than many of the news stories on The Star's main site. If you ever see a comment that goes over the top, email me and I will delete it. I do not post who requests that a comment gets deleted. I have used this same policy for years and I have told every major campaign in person about my views on deleting comments.
Click here for the story about the protest outside the Mormon Church.
Protesting against Mormon's because of their involvement in eliminating same sex marriage from California doesn't seem like the best idea to me. Churches have the legal right to get involved in political issues as long as they aren't endorsing candidates or parties. Marriage equality is about religious freedom. To win this long term argument people need to know that their churches won't be forced to accept gay marriage and won't be sued if they don't perform gay marriages. Protesting outside of churches is counterproductive to that message.
There is also going to be picketing in front of Lassen's grocery stores because they donated money to amend the state constitution to ban same sex marriages. Is there a Lassen's in your town? This would have been more effective months ago to convince companies not to donate to Yes on 8 when they were raising money. Now it seems too vindicative.
The governor is urging on supporters of marriage equality. Recently he said:
"I learned that you should never ever give up. . . . They should never give up. They should be on it and on it until they get it done."
Click here to read the full article.
Too bad the governor didn't do more about this before the election. His ability to raise money would have been very helpful. He could have cut a quick commercial with Democratic leaders to show that No on 8 had bipartisan support. instead, he is urging on protesters and encouraging the courts to get involved again.
I don't know if proposition 8 rises to the level of a major revision of the state constitution, which would have required it to go through the legislature, but I am interested in watching arguments from both sides on that specific topic as this makes its way slowly through the court system.
I support marriage equality, but you won't see me in front of a church of in front of Lassen's anytime soon.
Keep sending in your events and I will post them.
A friend of mine has written about his experience phone banking against Proposition 8. Click on continue reading to learn more.
Did you make many phone calls during this election cycle? Are they effective? It seems all the winning campaigns in a contested election do them, yet most of us consider them annoying.
A liberal activist group put together this ad that singles out the Mormon Church, without mentioning other religious groups, for supporting Proposition 8.
Do you think it goes too far or is it just humor? Either way it doesn't seem like it would be an effective tactic to win over voters. But maybe that is the part of me that grew up in Simi Valley, where there are many Mormons.
Now that the voters of California have banned gay marriage what's next for advocates of marriage equality? I know political winners will tell the political losers to give up. That's expected but not really going to happen. I think it is a matter of time before gay marriage becomes legal in California. Banning it in the constitution delays it for at least a few years it would seem. Do you agree?
I support marriage equality but I have many questions and views on the aftermath of the vote.
1. What happens to the reported 18,000 people that were married in the time same sex marriage was legal?
2. There are pending lawsuits arguing that Proposition 8 was a revision of the constitution, not a simple amendment. Revisions have to go through the legislature, whereas amendments can be put on the ballot by petition. This attempt failed in court when opponents of Proposition 8 tried to eliminate it from the ballot.
I don't have an opinion yet on if it is really a revision or an amendment. I am going to wait to read from some of the best legal minds around. I think many people will just decide to support whatever legal reasoning supports their position.
Click here to read an article about the lawsuits and the revision versus amendment argument.
3. I think the state legislature should pass a series of laws that clarify and strengthen the arguments against Proposition 8. Laws could be passed that update and empower parents to increase their ability to opt out of lesson plans they disagree about. Religious liberty laws could be made more clear. A whole series of laws that would have wide based appeal could be implemented.
That way when the vote comes up again, which seems like it will, the focus could be on gay marriage and not the other issues that were brought into the debate.
4. Somebody asked me if I thought people that voted Yes on Proposition 8 were bigots. Before I answer click here to read the dictionary definition of bigot by clicking here.
I do think that some of the people that voted yes on proposition 8 were bigots. But I also believe that many of the people that voted Yes on 8 were not bigots. I would treat them as individuals and not groups to answer the question.
But that goes for both sides. I argued with No on 8 people that had become bigots against Christianity in part because they saw some Christians as the people leading the movement to remove their basic rights. As a Christian I was offended to stand next to anyone, from either side, displaying bigotry towards others.
Both sides had people that stole signs, yelled hateful language, and likely turned off more voters than they convinced to support their cause.
So, what do you think is next?
None of the options looks great at this moment in time.
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