There is an unfair ballot proposition in California that, if passed, will take away my fundamental rights. This is really important to me. Will you help me defeat Proposition 8?
Jeff and I have been together for five years. We love and support each other in the same way as families all over the country; we share the same joys and the same sorrows, we have the same dreams and the same fears. We intend to spend our lives together, and we hope to be married next year. The California Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that it is unconstitutional in California to deny us the right to marry, just as it was the first court to rule, in 1948, that laws prohibiting interracial marriages also were unconstitutional. It is the constitutional duty of the court, in fact, to safeguard the rights of minorities, and that is what the California Supreme Court did.
California’s Proposition 8, however, now would take away our constitutional right to marry. It would take this right away only for same-sex couples and it would write discrimination directly into the state constitution. Constitutions are intended to delineate and give rights, not to take them away. Whatever your personal views or your church’s views are on gays and lesbians (and you should know that many, many churches, religious organizations, and faith- and community-based organizations actually have come out in opposition to this hateful proposition), I trust you agree that eliminating fundamental rights — from anyone — is just wrong.
And this isn’t just a hypothetical. If this proposition passes, Jeff and I will be prohibited from marrying next year, and the marriages of many of our friends may be invalidated. They and their children will be directly affected. Jeff and I will be directly affected. Imagine if other voters were able to decide to take away your right to marry, or to say that your own marriage had never really existed. That would be unfair. It would be wrong.
If you live in California, I hope you are already planning to vote NO. If you don’t live in California, you can help by making a donation to the No on 8 campaign.
Virtually every major paper in California is against Prop 8. The L.A. Times says it is “a drastic step to strip people of rights.” Even papers in the most conservative parts of the state have editorialized against Prop. 8. The San Diego Union Tribune, for example, wrote that “Prop 8…[singles] out a particular group for discrimination, a move that offends many Californians’ sense of fairness.” The Orange County Register said, “Revoking same-sex couples’ right to marry doesn’t belong in the state constitution. We recommend a “no” vote on Prop 8.” And the Sacramento Bee wrote, “Californians should reject the call to amend the state constitution to exclude some people from marriage. That would be a black mark on the constitution, just as past exclusionary acts remain a stain on California’s history.” They know that the truly conservative position is to encourage marriage for all, not to discriminate against some.
The other side has raised over $10 million more than us, and as much as 40% 77% [ed., October 23: new estimates suggest that the percentage of donations attributed to members of the LDS Church is much higher than originally reported] of their donations have come from the Mormon Church. No one church should be able to decide what civil rights we enjoy as private citizens of this country. The Prop. 8 supporters are using their vast war chest to spread lies and misinformation. Your donation will help reach undecided voters who need to hear that Prop. 8 is wrong and unfair.
If all of this doesn’t convince you, I hope you’ll email me (thom at thomwatson.com) so we can talk about this. You can also find out more at the No on Prop 8 site.
Thank you for doing all you can to defeat Prop. 8.