Wednesday, May 27, 2009

If the LGBT community in California is at risk, aren't we all?

Does the recent decision of the California Supreme Court, upholding Proposition 8, bother you? You say you're not gay, so why should it affect you? Or you say that you don't live in California, so it has no impact on your life?

Well, my friends, it should bother the hell out of you! No matter who you are, or where you live, it should eat at your soul. It's a shear case of the majority being allowed by the judiciary to strip-away the rights of a minority.

A brief history: On May 15, 2008 the California Supreme Court struck down their Constitution's ban on same-sex marriage in a 4-3 ruling. This ruling opened the door for full marriage equality in the state. Over the course of the next several months, about 18,000 couples wed, legally, for the first time in the state's history. On November 6, 2008, a referrendum entitled Proposition 8 was placed on the ballot for the General Election, proposing to ban same-sex marriages. This ballot innitiative was backed by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and also heavily funded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church). Followinig is the text of Proposition 8, along with the election results, as reported by

State of California November 4, 2008 Election
Proposition 8
Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry
State of California
Initiative Constitutional Amendment - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 6,838,107 / 52.3% Yes votes ...... 6,246,463 / 47.7% No votes

As you can see, it was certainly no "landslide" in favor of the proposition's supporters. Yet it had the effect of preventing further same sex marriages, and put into question the validity of those 18,000 marriages already performed.

Less than two weeks later, the California Supreme Court voted to review Proposition 8 and its validity. On May 26, 2009, the Court ruled that Proposition 8 should stand, but that the 18,000 marriages performed in the interum would remain valid.

The net result is that the Court upheld the right of the majority to oppress the minority! I'm sorry, but the only word I can think of to adequately describe this decision is "shamefull." Shame on those who put-forth this insidious ballot innitiative. Shame on those who voted in favor of it. Shame on the California Supreme Court (the SAME COURT that had innitially paved the way for legal same-sex marriage) for validating discrimination.

This means that a simple majority of people can vote to discriminate against a minority. How long will it be before you and I are in the affected minority? When will our friends and neighbors decide that we should not enjoy the same rights as they do? I'm serious here. . . if the state of California can do it, anyone can do it! This is UN- American!

I'll close with a poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), a survivor of the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

Then they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
I did not protest;
I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out for me.

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