tempested_bird: (No on Prop H8)
[personal profile] tempested_bird
A.K.A.: California is not as liberal as Non-Californians like to think it is.

Yes, I know that I'm not usually one to post about politics because the current state of politics in the U.S. and especially California aggravates the hell out of me, and talking about it only raises my blood pressure. That said, when something like Proposition 8 pops up in California, I'll be damned if I'm going to shut up about it.

Proposition 8 proposes to remove the right for same-sex couples to marry in California. It's trying to pass that only a marriage between a man and a woman will be valid and recognised in this state.

Excuse me? Uhm, no.

Most of the arguments for it have been shaky and circular at best outright lies at their worst. Things like "it will teach gay marriage in schools" (first of all, what's wrong with that), it will remove the tax exempt or religious status of organisations that do not recognise same-sex marriage as part of their belief structure and there is all kinds of litigation that people are waiting to begin once it passes, etc. etc.

I've found this handy-dandy little website that for the most part separates the fact and fiction surrounding this particular proposition, for your edification.

Propsition 8: Fact vs. Fiction

Fiction: Prop 8 doesn’t discriminate against gays.

* Fact: Prop 8 is simple: it eliminates the rights for same-sex couples to marry. Prop 8 would deny equal protections and write discrimination against one group of people—lesbian and gay people—into our state constitution.

Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.

* Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are lying. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has already ruled that this claim by Prop 8 proponents is “false and misleading.” The Orange County Register, traditionally one of the most conservative newspapers in the state, says this claim is false. So do lawyers for the California Department of Education.

Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.

* Fact: Nothing in Prop 8 would force churches to do anything. In fact, the court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.

* Fact: Unlike Massachusetts, California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don’t agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won’t affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.

Fiction: People can be sued over personal beliefs.

* Fact: California’s laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This has nothing to do with marriage.

Fiction: Unless Prop 8 passes, CA parents won’t have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.

* Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Date: 2008-10-23 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] denisia.livejournal.com
I can only hope that a lot of people read those facts, understand what is at stake and do the right thing in two weeks. It's horrifying to think that in this day and age, people would actually be supporting something like Prop 8 that would legalize discrimination to such an extent.

Date: 2008-10-24 05:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempested-bird.livejournal.com
I'm horrified and appalled that there's a good chance that this thing will pass.

Date: 2008-10-23 10:54 pm (UTC)
ext_66648: (home)
From: [identity profile] mattie.livejournal.com
This map is interesting:


Most of the counties votes Republican. Unfortunately for them, they're almost all the most sparsely populated. The coast, LA, and the yay area are the most liberal places.

My kids jeer and mock when those Yes on 8 ads come on. Two of Emilee's friends live in two mom households.

Date: 2008-10-25 06:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempested-bird.livejournal.com
Wow. That *is* interesting. Thank you.

Date: 2008-10-23 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talonvaki.livejournal.com
A.K.A.: California is not as liberal as Non-Californians like to think it is.

Which is why the state has had more Republican governors (Reagan, Deukmejian, Wilson, Schwarzenegger) than Democratic (Brown, Brown, Davis) ones in my lifetime.

Date: 2008-10-24 02:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-dark.livejournal.com
Which has always puzzled me. They -always- have a rabidly liberal Democratic-slanted legislature, which guarantees instant gridlock as soon as a Republican gov gets into office. I just never understood that.

The current situation is even more bizarre: you have a former Democratic governor who was pretty much the 70's template for a liberal politician elected as attorney general along with a Republican (although far from conservative) governor. And, of course, the Democratic legislature.

The dope must be -really good- back in Cali this year, I'm just sayin'.

Date: 2008-10-24 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-dark.livejournal.com
You're right in that when it comes to ballot initiatives, California is historically conservative. It's most of the Bay Area and most of LA vs. everyone else in the state, and that includes an awful lot of conservative types. (Once upon a time, Orange County was considered the conservative stronghold of the nation...even moreso than Texas.)

The thing is, every time a proposition is voted in (Prop 187, 209, 22, etc) the Supreme Court immediately swats it down. This is the first time in my memory that someone actually got a 'conservative' measure on the ballot for a constitutional amendment...even that strikes me as weird...isn't the legislature supposed to amend the constitution? Yet another way that California's process is messed up.


So it isn't that CA is so liberal, it's that their two primary urban centers are -the- bastions of liberal thought in the nation, and the legislature is traditionally the most liberal in the nation outside of, perhaps, Mass. In this case it looks like the people of California may actually get to vote on something and have their vote count...which after a few decades of being kept under the thumb of a few appointed justices, more power to 'em. No matter which way this swings, it'll at least be clear that the people spoke and were heeded. For a change.

Date: 2008-10-24 09:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uberreiniger.livejournal.com
No matter which way this swings, it'll at least be clear that the people spoke and were heeded. For a change.

I'm sure there were Southerners who felt that way about keeping segregation. It was bigoted then and it is bigoted now.

Date: 2008-10-24 02:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-dark.livejournal.com
If the feds want to decide to enforce a federal law supporting a specific new civil right for a minority, then that's a different case. In this case, they aren't, so it's up to the states...at least, it's supposed to be, but in CA's case it's up to the state supreme court and not the people. Up until now, anyway.

Again, not stating a position either way, just making it clear that what you're talking about and what's happening now are apples and oranges.

Date: 2008-10-24 03:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uberreiniger.livejournal.com
Are you sure? Slavery used to be a "states' rights" issue as well. Did that make it right? Of course, since the the same Bible that was used to justify slavery is used to forbid gay marriage there will be those that say that it does...

Date: 2008-10-24 04:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-dark.livejournal.com
Ube, you're not reading what I'm saying.

Slavery -was- a state issue. That's because the feds did not specifically pass any federal statute banning it. Once they did, the states who dug it said 'screw you'. Then we all started shooting at each other.

Gay marriage is not currently a federal issue. No federal statute has been passed that would override the desire of the individual states. The Supreme Court hasn't had a case presented that allowed them to determine whether the US Constitution in it's current form confirms or denies that right.

As long as those two things remain the same, it's up to the individual states who can, and have, decided how they want to handle it.

I'm not discussing morality at all, only law. What's happening now (beyond the weirdness of popular vote amending the constitution of the state, which is apparently okay in CA) is 100% within the law. If you feel like banning gay marriage is the moral equivalent of slavery, feel free to rally your federal representatives to implement a federal statute or constitutional amendment to ensure that right. Beyond that, only the people of California have the right to decide what's legal and illegal in California, within existing US Constitutional law.

Date: 2008-10-24 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uberreiniger.livejournal.com
Ube, you're not reading what I'm saying.

JJ, I learned a long time ago that I'm never going to be right in your little world so I'm really not all that concerned about it. You're not discussing morallity but unfortunately, I am. Your initial comment praised the fact that people will be able to vote to take marriage away from people to whom it has just been granted - many of whom have been waiting decades of their lives for it. Now maybe you can be happy about a thing like that, but I can't and I'm glad that I can't. I don't know anything about California law because I don't live there, but it's patently obvious that it is immoral and unjust. America was founded on the belief that unjust laws ought not be obeyed. Every time America has reinvented itself since then, that belief has returned to the forefront. I don't have any means to influence Proposition 8 vote, but I'm fully behind any statute or amendment that will ensure it at a national level.

Date: 2008-10-24 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-dark.livejournal.com
My initial comment praised the fact that the people of California might actually get to vote on something and have it stick. Whether that something is moral or not has nothing to do with it.

I'd praise the situation just the same if it was reversed and the vote was to add an amendment -legalizing- gay marriage, or a measure making it law that all parking meters must be painted yellow. It has nothing to do with the prop at hand, whatsoever. The vote itself is never immoral.

And, of course, if anyone disagrees with how California handles it's voting, their course of remedy is to leave the state or avoid dealing with it or going there.

You'll note that I did just that. Not a coincidence.

Date: 2008-10-24 05:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uberreiniger.livejournal.com
Actually I didn't notice that, but congratulations on your long-planned move.

Date: 2008-10-24 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-dark.livejournal.com
Almost two years now! Love it. California just went mad. My stance on this sort of thing changed when I lived there. Once you literally have your ability to vote taken from you, it suddenly becomes much more valuable. Almost every major problem CA has now can be traced back to a time when the legislature or judiciary went against clear public will or even clear public majority vote. Businesses are leaving, people are leaving, the place is bankrupt. So -any- time I see them actually get something right (again, not the issue, just the vote) I'm surprised and pleased.

Date: 2008-10-24 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempested-bird.livejournal.com
I wish I could share your enthusiasm in this case, but I just can't. I agree with you that one's vote does become something valuable when you realise that the government that is supposed to be work under your jurisdiction does not, but in this particular case, I'm upset beyond belief just like I was the last time this got the kaibash.

Voting is one thing, but voting on something that is specifically discriminatory is something else completely. I only somewhat agree with you when you say that the vote itself is never immoral. The vote itself, outside of its context, is not immoral because it has no meaning. A vote cannot really be a vote unless itself is put into context of something, and that assigns it its meaning. To that end, a person can put a judgment on whether or not it is immoral.

As much as I love the Bay Area, I've decided that if this passes, I'm not probably coming back after I leave for grad school. I'm done.

Date: 2008-10-24 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mr-dark.livejournal.com
Well put, I think that's what Ube was trying to say, but got caught up in our usual amazing ability to communicate clearly in all instances. ;)

Right now, it's looking like a dead heat or leaning towards no. Considering the amount of people who will be mobilizing for Obama, it throws polling out of whack. A lot of the voters being mobilized for Obama are minorities, and in general, minorities run very conservative when it comes to social issues that do not involve race (abortion, gay marriage, etc.). However, they'll also run liberal in general, as Obama is definitely a liberal.

If you were to corner the pollsters, I imagine they'd all be unwilling to place a bet in Vegas on how this is going to come out.

Date: 2008-10-25 03:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempested-bird.livejournal.com
I'm not even sure Vegas could even place odds on this thing at this point.


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