As disappointed in the passage of Prop 8 as I am, I believe that an attempt to re-open the proposition is an effort that will get same-sex couples nowhere. The voters have spoken, and under the law there is nothing that can be done about stopping it until the voters or the California Supreme Court change it. Interestingly, my conversations with those who voted FOR Prop 8, are only trying to protect “Marriage” – these people all agree same-sex couples should have equal rights under the law. While not all people agree that same-sex couples should have the same rights as hetero-sexual couples do, the majority in California does.
I believe the gay community needs to approach this from a different perspective. I think the first step is to support the law suits that have been filed to “throw out” the language of Prop 8 as unconstitutional because it violates our US Constitution 14th amendment rights of “equal protection under the law”. Although this is a weak argument it is one that may be won with enough backing.
It’s also time to take this to the federal level and resurrect the Equal Rights Amendment and work to get it ratified. I believe NOW is the time to do this because of the strongly democratic Congress and Senate. With efforts focused in the right place this amendment will force California to change its position on Prop 8, and Arizona and Utah to lose their stronghold on denying our rights as well.
We also need to lobby Congress to pass specific laws that force 501(c)(3) corporations who contribute to political campaigns shall lose their tax exempt status. We have to get the deep financial pockets of the churches out of the political arena, and if that can’t happen then we need to form or join a unified 501(c)(3) world-wide gay organization that has the financial power the churches do. I am old enough to remember the fight against the ERA by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), and other churches in the late 70s. Without those funds I believe the ERA may have been ratified back then.
According to the current law, the voters have the right to do what they did, so the other thing we can do in conjunction with what I suggested above, is to put up a proposition for an ERA amendment in California that will effectively reverse this amendment, and begin NOW to educate the masses about how unfair and wrong this discrimination is. We also need to get the closeted and apathetic gay community out to vote next time. I personally know 4 gay people in California who didn’t vote in this election because they “didn’t think it would matter”. We need to wake them up!
I hope that we, as a gay population, can THINK carefully about how to make this happen rather than “knee jerk” reactions like this one ( re-open Prop 8 ) that, in my opinion, only makes us look like a bunch of “cry babies”.
Let’s move this in the right direction rather than adding to the “noise” being made that will eventually be silenced by the majority. We can no more force the majority to accept our argument for rights today than the black community could force the nation to accept their argument for rights in the 1940s and 1950s. I have hope in our Millennial generation to save us from the narrow-minded “Baby Boomer” generation, but it takes EDUCATION. Trying to re-open Prop 8 is like trying to “push a rope uphill”. It will get us nowhere.
I am willing to put my professional marketing expertise to work on a campaign that will successfully educate the masses. Are you all willing to fund the effort to make the tactical marketing a reality over the next 2 years?