Saturday, November 27, 2004

What's The Plan??

Same Sex Marriage (SSM) is coming to California. It is not a maybe. It’s coming. It is simply a matter of when.
By some crazy happenstance here in the Golden State there is a two pronged attack to obtain the same sex marriage goal. This hasn't happened as the result of a planned, organized and rational “gay agenda.” It just happened.
The first prong has several cases winding their way through the courts where first, because of the triune combination of our strong state constitution with its laws against discrimination, second, other laws we have put on the books forbidding the state to discriminate against its citizens because of gender, and third, tons of court rulings against discriminations in any form, all of which means SSM will be affirmed.
The second prong is Assembly Member Mark Leno’s reintroduction of a law to allow SSM. It appears to have strong support in the legislature -- Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez is a co-sponsor. It just might pass this session. The big question is whether the Arnold will sign it as he has made some nice Conan the Barbarian utterances indicating he just might do so.
This of course leads us to the BIG question. What are we going to do to stave off the inevitable ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to repeal either the court rulings or a signed law to forbid SSM and possibly even domestic partners?
Make no mistake. No matter how SSM comes about Randy Thomasson and the Campaign for California Families and his multi-millionaire sugar daddies like Howard Ahmanson,Jr., Edward G. Atsinger III, Rob Hurtt, Jr., Roland Hinz, Richard Riddle and possibly Congressman Darrel Issa will pour in whatever money is needed to try and pass a state constitutional amendment forbidding SSM.
Remember just four short years ago in 2000, Ahmanson, Atsinger and Hinz together handed over more than $ 750,000 to get the late and unlamented Pete Knight’s Prop 22 on the ballot. Ahmanson has not missed a chance to help fund an anti-gay initiative anywhere in California in the last 20 years.
Nor can we forget that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Roman Catholic Church will jump in with both feet to contribute big bucks to ban SSM and to bully their communicants to support a SSM ban as they did in their support for Prop 22.
Also in this mix of bible thumpers will be James Dobson and Focus on the Family allied with their former political front organization, the Capitol Resource Institute and their new front, the California Family Council.
SSM is coming to the state of Washington where there has been two favorable lower court rulings, both so brilliantly written affirming SSM that the Washington State Supreme Court will have no other choice but to uphold them and already, as outlined in a November 26, 2004 article in the New York Times the opponents, with help from the Ohio auteurs, are already holding meetings to start the initiative process to overturn any affirmative court rulings.
So we should be forewarned. We know what these guys are going to try to do and dollars to donuts they will succeed in getting an initiative on the ballot in California. They have mastered thei ability to get the fundamentalist faithful to sign petitions either by direct home mailings, downloading the petition on the internet or having them passed out and signed at church services.
Atsinger’s chain of 20 or so religious radio stations will be very effective in achieving the required number of signatures just as they were successful in helping to recall Gov. Gray Davis.
So this question goes to Mark Leno, the L/G legislative caucus, Equality California and its subsidiaries , the Stonewall Democrats, the Log Cabin Republicans and to the various SSM groups, what is the plan to defend SSM and when do we start putting it into action?
We need to emulate our past successful campaigns against Prop 6 in 1978 and Prop 64 in 1986 by planning early or we can repeat the fiasco of Prop 22 and do nothing until the signatures are gathered, the election is only a few weeks away, and run a weak, losing campaign.
We need to start NOW to organize. We need to be peppering the media with ads explaining what civil marriage really is and all the protections and privileges that go with it. We need to have strong position papers written by both theological and secular scholars explaining the meaning of marriage both biblically and secularly which can be published in op-ed pages of the state and national media.
This needs to be done starting two weeks ago.
Now is the time for local communities to organize. Now is the time to be gather our allies together. Now in the time to be forging alliances in the minority communities.
Rest assured, professional gay basher Lou Sheldon will trot out his gaggle of minority preachers proclaiming the Hispanic, Asian/Pacific, and African-American communities are opposed to same-sex marriage.
Members of Equality California and its subsidiaries, Stonewall Democrats and Log Cabin Republicans should be peppering their boards with calls for action NOW.
We should be demanding from the L/G legislative caucus their plan of action to successfully defend from the fundamentalist hordes any SSM law which might pass the legislature this year for this law will affect all of us whether we think we need it or not.

Matt Foreman. executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, summed up the campaign in Oregon where. of the eleven states that had constitutional amendments on the ballot in the November 2 election, Oregon had the narrowist margin of defeat, “In the end, however, I think time will turn out to be our principle deficiency. Put simply, our side needed more time. The campaign to defeat the amendment was not launched until July 29, leaving 101 days until November 2.”
To sum it up one more time -- “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”


Blogger Joseph Smith, Jr. said...

Interesting blog. Enjoyed reading it.


Joseph Smith Jr.
Mormon chat

January 8, 2006 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Roberto Iza said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 18, 2007 at 7:32 AM  

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