Thursday, November 13, 2008

Outcome of Prop 8

It has been a week and a half since Proposition 8 passed and we won a resounding victory for marriage. Since then, the voters, volunteers and donors in support of Prop 8 have come under an unprecedented, vicious and outrageous assault.

The voters, who have twice passed propositions in favor of the definition of traditional marriage, have had their will disrespected by unruly protests and a series of lawsuits designed to overturn their vote.

But as bad as this has been, the most outrageous attacks have come against volunteers and donors who worked so hard to help us pass Proposition 8. Because we are required by law to report our donors’ names, occupations and employers with the Secretary of State, the opponents of marriage have been threatening boycotts and blacklisting of our donors. As noted below, some of our supporters have been forced to resign.

They have also defaced churches and in at least one case, attacked a woman who counter-protested a No on 8 rally.

We teach our children that getting involved in the political process, as a voter, volunteer, or donor, is a good thing. Civic involvement and participation in democracy is at the core of our nation’s most cherished freedoms. The unruly mob that has emerged out of the failed No on 8 campaign is attacking all of these freedoms and values.

The election for Proposition 8 was hard fought, but in the end, as before, traditional marriage won. That is our process in a democracy. As noted in the Sacramento Bee editorial below, (and remember the Bee was a strong No on 8 supporter) the other side has crossed the line of appropriate political discourse.

Tomorrow, we will begin to show just how outrageous the No on 8 street mob has become. In the meantime, we appreciate how hard you all worked to help us succeed, and the quiet dignity in which you have celebrated our victory. We assure you that we will vigorously defend our victory in the courts of law and the courts of common decency and respect for democracy.

In the meantime, here are some articles we thought you would like to read.


Jeff Flint
Campaign Manager
Yes on Proposition 8

Elton John: Heterosexual Couples Have Marriage, Same-Sex Couples Have Civil Partnerships

USA Today published an article yesterday in which Sir Elton John spoke about his position on Proposition 8. John clarified his position on Prop 8 while attending the annual benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He was accompanied by his longtime partner David Furnish, whom he joined in a civil union in 2005. John was quoted as saying, "We're not married. Let's get that right. We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage."

John went on to emphasize that civil unions grant same-sex couples the same rights afforded to married heterosexual couples. He stated, "I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership…the word marriage, I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships."
Sacramento Bee Editorial: No on 8 Supporters Cross the Line that Separates Civil Protest from Harassment

An editorial in the Sacramento Bee today takes a close look at the outrageous actions undertaken by many No on 8 supporters following the passage of Prop 8.

The editorial summarizes the opposition’s actions, citing that, “Angry opponents of Proposition 8 are targeting businesses and individuals who contributed money to the “yes” campaign. Vandals have hit churches that supported the initiative. Sparked by the speed and reach of the Internet, supporters of gay and lesbian rights are organizing protests from California to Salt Lake City, the home of the Mormon Church.”

And while the editorial takes a sympathetic approach to the opposition’s protests, saying their “charged reaction is understandable,” it does not justify that by “venting their anger and in exercising their right to challenge Proposition 8, some opponents risk crossing the line that separates civil protest from harassment. And by crossing that line, they undermine the message that some gay and lesbian leaders are trying to impart: that everyone's rights should be respected.”

The editorial went on to acknowledge that the No on 8 campaign has not adequately addressed the acts of violence and harassment undertaken by their supporters, saying that “a lone statement” on their Web site asking supporters to not isolate those who oppose their views is simply not enough.
Sacramento Musical Theatre Director Resigns Due to Harassment by No on 8 Supporters

Today the Sacramento Bee announced that Scott Eckern, artistic director for the California Musical Theatre, resigned under pressure Wednesday as a growing number of artists threatened to boycott the organization because of his $1,000 donation to the Yes on 8 campaign. This kind of blacklisting shows that the No on 8 campaign, which claimed to be all about tolerance, is in fact a cauldron of intolerance and bigotry.
No on 8 Campaign in Turmoil During Last Weeks

Over the last week, details have emerged revealing that the No on 8 campaign was unorganized and for the most part, in a state of complete disarray. Key campaign staff, including the campaign manager, were replaced in the final weeks as it became apparent in polls that the Yes on 8 campaign was quickly gaining ground.

Their replacements sought to shift voter support for Prop 8 by pouring millions of dollars into television and radio buys aimed at convincing California voters that support for traditional marriage was the equivalent of Japanese internment camps. They went so far as to compare Yes on 8 voters to bigots.

They were ultimately stunned that California voters saw past their deceptive ads and voted to once again uphold the definition of marriage to be between a man and a woman. Ethnic communities, those who have truly been affected by civil rights issues, turned out to vote Yes – African Americans alone supported the measure by more than 2 to 1.

It is true that the Yes on 8 campaign ran a better campaign. We raised important issues, our messages appealed to voters and we had a volunteer army that was unprecedented in California history. But just as the best farmer cannot raise crops in the barren desert, our campaign, no matter how well run, could not have succeeded if there were not still a deep well of respect for the sacred institution of marriage. And for that, the voters in their wisdom deserve the credit.

Theater exec forced to resign b/c of contribution to Prop 8

I was surprised at just how far this is going and will continue to go to targeting individuals. (See previous posts about targeting mormons on prop 8)

Theater exec Eckern, caught in Prop. 8 flap, resigns

By Marcus Crowder
Published: Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008 Page 1A

Scott Eckern, artistic director for the California Musical Theatre, resigned Wednesday as a growing number of artists threatened to boycott the organization because of his $1,000 donation to the campaign to ban gay marriage in California.

"I understand my supporting of Proposition 8 has been the cause of many hurt feelings, maybe even betrayal," Eckern said in a written statement. "I chose to act upon my belief that the traditional definition of marriage should be preserved."

Richard Lewis, the executive producer of the California Musical Theatre, said he does not plan to immediately seek a replacement.

"We're not going to worry about having a so-called artistic director. That was a title specific to Scott," he said. "… I do need another No. 2, but in the interim, I think it will be a committee of my senior staff."

News of Eckern's campaign contribution, which popped up on Web sites following the passage of Proposition 8, quickly spread through an industry that has long advocated for gays on rights and health issues. It was met with shock, disbelief and ultimately anger.

Eckern's duties as artistic director include helping select touring productions and creating the annual Music Circus season. He also was responsible for Music Circus casting.

Los Angeles-based and Tony Award-winning composer Marc Shaiman ("Hairspray") wrote a blog saying he would never allow any of his shows to again be licensed or performed by California Musical Theatre while Eckern was employed there.

Despite support from many in the local community who valued his contributions and championed his right to free speech, Eckern decided he could no longer be effective as the creative force behind the area's largest producing and presenting performing arts organization.

Lewis, who is also chief executive of California Musical Theatre, accepted Eckern's resignation but said he exerted no influence over it.

"Scott made a decision, and he informed us of the decision," Lewis said. "He sent his release around to the press, which we knew would happen, and we wanted to make a statement as well. We want to make sure the public understands that I didn't put any pressure on Scott and nor did anybody else."

In his statement, Eckern, who is a Mormon, said, "I am leaving California Musical Theatre after prayerful consideration to protect the organization and to help the healing in the local theater-going and creative community."

Mormon church leaders supported Proposition 8 and encouraged members to contribute time and resources to its passage.

Eckern became interested in the Mormon faith as an undergraduate at University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1983, he received a master's of fine arts degree in acting from Brigham Young University.

He eventually landed a position teaching theater at the University of the Pacific. Eckern and wife, Paula, have three children. In an apology he issued earlier this week, he noted that he has a sister who is a lesbian, and that he loves and supports her.

Eckern, 50, had been with California Musical Theatre for 25 years, working his way up from a summer intern coordinator to becoming the assistant to Leland Ball, then the company's producing director.

In 2002, when Ball stepped down, Eckern became artistic director of CMT and Lewis became executive producer, splitting Ball's former responsibilities. Eckern also held the title of chief operating officer.

It was Eckern's dream job and, by all accounts, he did it well, helping to cement the organization's reputation as a progressive, accessible, artist-friendly organization. It produces the Music Circus, presents Broadway Sacramento, and recently opened "Forever Plaid" at the capital's newest performing venue, the Cosmopolitan Cabaret.

Ball, who over the past couple of days has talked to both Eckern and Lewis from his home in New York, expressed appreciation for Eckern and regret over his circumstances.

"The theater has had such an overwhelmingly positive reputation among artists as a welcoming place to work. And he was at the center of that," Ball said. "He was the camp counselor and cheerleader out there. He's given a lot of blood to that theater."

Although many contacted by The Bee disagreed with Eckern's stance on Proposition 8, they lauded his artistic contributions.

Adrienne Sher, who worked with Eckern for seven years on the League of Sacramento Theaters board, said she was inconsolable.

"He's done more for theater here than anybody. He was the League," Sher said. " … He struggled morally over every issue that came up. I think he's a hero, and I'm just crushed that this has happened."

"I am stunned that this happened," said Stephanie Gularte, artistic director of Capital Stage. "I don't feel anger or hostility to either side, but I do feel great sadness and I think the Sacramento theater community has lost an important leader."

Added Buck Busfield of the B Street Theatre: "We know that every political and social movement has casualties, and it's really sad that it should be Scott, who is such an incredibly, decent talented man and a friend of ours."

Busfield used a theatrical allusion to sum up the conflict: "You want your villains to be villains, and Scott's not that."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Proposition 8 Passes

Proposition 8 passed by a majority vote of California voters. However, with the passing of the proposition our particular religion has been singled out by many of those opposing traditional marriage. Although I could post a lot of different articles about the persecution the Mormons have been receiving, I chose the one below because I thought it was a nice summary of what has been occuring.

In the Face of Hatred: By Paul Bishop

It has been an interesting week.

The Chinese homily, “May you live in interesting times,” has its roots in a curse, not a blessing.

As I said, it has been an interesting week.

The controversy in California regarding Proposition 8 (the proposed amendment to the California constitution defining marriage to be strictly between a man and a woman) built to a frenzy in the days leading up to Tuesday's election and then exploded into anger and violence in the aftermath of Prop 8's slim passage into law.

I am a Los Angeles Police Department detective supervisor running a sex crimes unit covering the western quarter of the city, which also includes the area where the Los Angeles temple is located. I have a fantastic crew of 20 detectives who are an amazing mixture of races and sexes. I have several detectives who are openly gay or lesbian. This orientation has nothing to do with their efficiency as investigators. I deeply respect and like these individuals. I enjoy working with them. My life is often in their hands when we serve high risk search or arrest warrants. I trust them implicitly.

Obviously, the types of crimes we investigate bring us into regular contact with victims who are of an alternative lifestyle orientation. It is incumbent upon us that our compassion for these victims be no less than for victims who are heterosexual.

Hard Choices

Working in such an environment, I found taking a position on Proposition 8 to be difficult. Even though I chose to follow the direction of our Church leaders in my voting decision, it was extremely hard for me to place myself on the line when it came to actively working to ensure the passage of Proposition 8.

Still, I watched in amazement as my fellow ward and stake members worked tirelessly, committing themselves full-heartedly to the cause – not out of homophobic hatred, but out of a love of Christ and a belief in the sanctity of traditional marriage. Their faith strengthened mine, and I committed to participate in a sign waving public rally sponsored by our stake to be held at a local intersection.

By following through on this commitment, I found I had a greater stake in the battle than I had ever thought. I learned a number of hard and harsh lessons. And in the events following the election and passage of Proposition 8, I felt great anguish forcing me to drop to my knees in prayer – eventually coming to a more personal understanding of the Love of Christ and what he expects from me.

During the Proposition 8 rally, as I stood with my wife and friends waving Yes On 8 signs and waving to the passing rush hour traffic, I learned several things. I learned supporters of both Yes On 8 and No On 8 liked to honk their horns. I learned the way to tell the difference is the No On 8 supporters usually accompanied their horn honking with an obscene gesture or a string of obscenities. They also liked to swerve their cars toward the children on the curb.

I learned when we didn't engage in argument with the No On 8 supporters who intermingled with us in the intersection, they became enraged, red faced, and fit to burst.

I have no doubt Yes On 8 supporters both from our church and other churches engaged at some point in the shouting matches during the numerous rallies and demonstrations across the state. However, on the evening of my participation, I was amazed by the cool and non-confrontational way the Yes On 8 supporters conducted themselves.

I learned at the rally several of our ward members had received hate mail after their names, religious affiliation, contribution mounts, and addresses were published on a website inciting No On 8 supporters to target the listed individuals. Their houses and cars had been vandalized, their campaign support signs stolen, and opposition signs planted in their place.

When I returned home after the rally, I had a huge headache and my stomach was in knots. I am not a fan of confrontation, and the noise of the horn honking, both pro and con, and the divisive atmosphere inherent in the volatile situation had taken its toll. Still, after praying with my wife, I felt calmer and was pleased we had chosen to participate. While our efforts were miniscule compared to the hours of service to the cause provided by others, we had at least jumped down from the fence and done something.

Then I saw the latest No On 8 television commercial.


Supposedly produced by an independent group not affiliated with the official No On 8 campaign, the thirty second commercial spot shows two scruffy male white actors portraying Mormon missionaries who force their way into the well-kept home of a married lesbian couple.

“Hi, we're from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” one says.

“We're here to take away your rights,” says his companion.

The missionaries then rip the wedding rings from the women's fingers and ransack the house until they find the women's marriage license, which they destroy.

“Hey, we have rights,” one of the women says.

“Not if we can help it,” answers a missionary.

Moving outside the residence, one of the missionaries smugly says, “That was easy.”

Flexing his muscles, his companion asks, “What do we want to ban next?”

While I was appalled by the commercial, I was even more appalled both MSNBC and The Comedy Channel happily took money to broadcast this overtly hate filled vignette. I cannot imagine a similar commercial, targeted at any other religious or racial group, not being considered a hate crime with a civic outcry for prosecution.

My hackles were beginning to rise in a distinctly unchristian way. However, the fun was just beginning.

Election Day And Aftermath

Election day in California saw numerous No On 8 activists distributing literature and vocalizing at polling sites in clear violation of election laws. Police were called, 100 yard distances from the polling places were paced off, yet the agitation continued.

Despite these efforts, Proposition 8 obtained a slim majority (52.5% to 47.5%). Exit polls showed the proposition was supported by 7 of 10 Black voters, a majority of Latino voters, and by people with children under the age of 18 still at home. Clearly, it was supported by all people who believed marriage is a special and protected institution.

The day after the election, spontaneous protests sprung up in West Hollywood – a small residential community, with a large gay and lesbian population, located within Los Angeles County , but just outside Los Angeles city borders. The protests did not have a particular focus or target other than outrage as they strayed outside the confines of West Hollywood and into Beverly Hills , Hollywood , and West Los Angeles . Several arrests were made, but the seething anger at the passage of Proposition 8 was not dampened.

On Thursday, however, two days after the election, rumors began to be picked up by LAPD of a large protest organized by gay and lesbian activists and their supporters to be staged outside the Los Angeles LDS temple on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Los Angeles.

LAPD has 22 geographic Areas divided between 4 administrative Bureaus . My investigative unit is attached to Operations-West Bureau – which has responsibility for the area where the Los Angeles temple grounds are located. We operate out of a squadroom across from the Bureau's administrative offices. In such proximity, I was in a position to observe the command post set up in the Bureau offices to monitor the actions of the field command post charged with keeping the already illegal (no permits) protest peaceful.

What I learned by watching and listening shouldn't have surprised me, but it did. During my 30+ year tenure, the LAPD as an organization has made great professional strides in the internal battle against sexual harassment, sexual orientation harassment, and racism. While there are still those in civil liberty organizations who contest we are still guilty of racially profiling on the streets (difficult to imagine when our department is so thoroughly integrated at this point in time), organizationally there is little or no tension remaining in these areas.

In the Bureau command post there was a large screen television displaying scenes from the protest outside the Los Angeles temple. Imagine my surprise, when angry protestors began rushing the closed temple gates, and I heard an officer in the command post say, “I hope they burn that place to the ground.”

Imagine my even stronger surprise when another officer replied, “They better hope they don't get through the gates, because the Mormons have an army in a bunker under the temple that will come out and kill them all.”

Really? My temple recommend must not be of a high enough clearance to get me into that part of the temple.

I'm now doing a slow burn. Not only am I watching a sacred building under siege from 2,500 angry people shouting, “ SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND HATE,” and carrying signs proclaiming MORMON HATERS and LOVE NOT HATE, I'm listening to other police officers who agree with the protestors or have the most imaginative fantasies about blood atonement armies hidden under the temple (exactly how do we feed them, drill them, get them in and out without anybody seeing, or are they all in a state of suspended animation until needed?).

I want to emphasize these were not officers or detectives from my own unit – who are all aware of my Mormon faith. Those in my unit who disagree with me over this issue are respectfully tolerant, as I am respectfully tolerant of their opposite beliefs. Tolerance, as Orson Scott Card recently pointed out, is indicative of disagreement. It is not a battle we choose to fight amongst ourselves. Most of us have known each other for a long time and are either embracing of, or oblivious to, our differences – divisiveness has no place in the types of investigations we conduct.

The Mob

The worst, however, was yet to come. The temple presidency made a decision to close the temple for the evening. The right decision, but since when do we as Americans stand by – no matter what our religion – while access to a place of worship is forced to close down because of aggressive outside influences?

The late local news showed scenes of several Hispanic females in tears outside the temple trying to remove the signs desecrating the walls and fences surrounding the temple. As these individuals – who according to a temple spokesperson were not church members – removed the hate-filled signs, the mob exploded and began beating the individuals to the ground. Police intervened and arrests were made, but the fact this was allowed to happen at all was appalling.

Other supporters of Yes On 8 drove slowly by the protestors with Yes On 8 signs attached to their cars and pickups sparking other violent confrontations.

A friend of mine, watching the same scenes play out on the television, called and said he felt like he wanted to go down to the temple with a baseball bat and begin swinging at the demonstrators. I must admit, the natural man in me agreed.

In actuality, the scenes on the television, literally drove me to my knees in prayer for the safety of the temple, the members, and our church. A lesson I have learned several times before, caused me to expand my prayers to include those who were opposing us for they are not our enemies – they are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Appropriate Response

In the face of hatred, how are we to feel about this focused attack upon our church? An attack launched not because we are the only supporters of Proposition 8, but because we have been the most visible and financially supportive entity in the battle. We are an easy target.

In a recent article on Christian Courage , Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote, “I would say that one of mortality's great tests comes when our beliefs are questioned or criticized. In such moments, we may want to respond aggressively – to put up our dukes . But these are important opportunities to step back, pray, and follow the Savior's example. Remember, Jesus Himself was despised and rejected by the world. And in Lehi's dream, those coming to the Savior also endured ‘mocking and pointing … fingers' (1 Nephi 8:27). ‘The world hath hated [my disciples],' Jesus said, ‘because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world' (John 17:14). But when we respond to our accusers as the Savior did, we not only become more Christlike, we invite others to feel His love and follow Him as well.

“To respond in a Christlike way cannot be scripted or based on a formula. The Savior responded differently in every situation. When He was confronted by wicked King Herod, He remained silent. When He stood before Pilate, He bore a simple and powerful testimony of His divinity and purpose. Facing the moneychangers who were defiling the temple, He exercised His divine responsibility to preserve and protect that which was sacred. Lifted up upon a cross, He uttered the incomparable Christian response: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do' (Luke 23:34).”

We have often been instructed to love our enemies, and despite the current horror of our trials, this is no time to do differently.

As I write this (Friday, November 7, 2008), plans are being made by the LAPD to respond to another larger protest/demonstration being planned by No On 8 supporters to be staged in front of the Los Angeles temple on Saturday.

This is interesting since Saturday is my stake's day in the temple. For some weeks now, we have been encouraging families to come together to the temple on Saturday to participate in ordinances.

How do we respond to hatred disguised by the adversary as tolerance? Our stake president has talked to the temple presidency who has assured him the temple will be open for business as usual. There are eight weddings scheduled on the grounds. Will we be able to get to the temple without being molested or our vehicles vandalized? We must place our faith in the Lord and proceed.

Challenges to our faith are not new. Nor are they likely to go away anytime soon. But, as Elder Hales reminds us, “True disciples of Christ see opportunity in the midst of opposition. We can take advantage of such opportunities in many ways: a kind letter to the editor, a conversation with a friend, a comment on a blog, or a reassuring word to one who has made a disparaging comment. We can answer with love those who have been influenced by misinformation and prejudice – who are ‘kept from the truth because they know not where to find it' (D&C 123:12). I assure you that to answer our accusers in this way is never weakness. It is Christian courage in action.”

Lessons Learned

Clearly there are lessons to be learned from the current unrest:

Tolerance is not agreement and should not be a one way street. However, we must still remain tolerant of those who are intolerant of us.

Recognize the adversary at work here – making good seem bad and evil seem good.

We can only be disciples of Christ when we respond to adversity in a Christlike manner. To do less opens our actions to the influence of the adversary and hurts us even more.

We should never take for granted the opportunities we have to gather together in worship. We should never put off the opportunity to attend the temple. For these valuable things can be disrupted and possibly even closed to us – if not permanently, then at least on a temporary basis.

Pray. Often. Don't forget to include those who are set against you.

And finally, have no doubt President Monson knows where all of this is leading. He will surely reveal the knowledge to us on the Lord's timetable. Meanwhile, we must support and trust him, his inspired councilors, and our inspired local leaders in our actions. Their actions of Christian courage will be our examples.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Looking Good for Traditional Marriage

With 95% of precincts counted 52.1% of voters said Yes to Prop 8 and keeping marriage between a man and a woman while 47.9% voted No. It is still close but it is looking very good for supporters of prop 8.

Similar amendments to the Constitutions of Arizona and Florida also passed.

Thank you everyone for your support, faith and prayers. This is such an important issue and we are grateful for our right as citizens to support causes we believe in.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Voting YES on Prop 8 is NOT about Hate.

We urge you to begin by reading the dissenting opinion by Justice Baxter regarding the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage by clicking here. By beginning with this legal document, we hope that people can begin to study the issue for themselves, and take consideration that there are many other very justifiable reasons for voting Yes on 8 than simply out of discrimination. This California ruling was huge, it was serious, and it is not as simple and clear cut as an issue of denying people rights, as the No campaign would like you to believe. This ruling is complex and controversial, and we urge everyone to vote in accordance with what they believe based on their own morals, beliefs, and respect for the judicial system.

With all that is being said about Proposition 8, many still do not understand why we are voting YES to preserve the traditional definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. While there are many other websites out there that lay out in much more detail the issues and ramifications at hand (see ), this website is meant to address the issue that claims if we vote Yes on Prop 8, then we must be hateful and intolerant.

Is this true? Are we fearful homophobics? Are we bitter Christians who are trying to impose our doctrines on others? Are we narrow-minded bigots who are simply discriminating against gay people? Are we on a crusade to attack and oppress the equal rights of our brothers and sisters to live their lives the way they want?

The simple answer is an emphatic "No."

The more complex answer can be found within this simple website, a collection of words and thoughts from other liberals who have a deep desire to continue to preach and practice according to our own moral convictions, while also having a great love for all those who live alternative to our own personal convictions. Yes, there are those out there who will be voting Yes on 8 because they are bigoted, because they are fearful, and because they think that they have the right to judge and condemn others. And we do not associate with them and their purposes. No one should ever use fear, hatred, or intolerance to support their religious or political beliefs. Instead, this website is here to explain how voting YES on Proposition 8 is not about stopping individuals from forming relationships and bonds with those whom they love of their same gender. It is not about taking away people's rights. It is not about playing moral police. It is not even about whether the homosexual lifestyle is right or wrong.

Proposition 8 is not about the moral argument of homosexuality. It is about the actual definition of the word "marriage" and the effect this has on the freedom of religion. It is also about the basis the Courts used to come to their conclusion to legalize gay marriage, and the shaky ground that was tread in coming to this determination--ground that is completely different than all other rulings on this issue that have thus occurred in every other state in the union. It is about preserving tolerance for religious freedoms to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

If gay couples establish partnerships, does that threaten the ability of others to continue to teach according to their beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman? Will the heterosexual marriages suddenly crumble and the children be turned to the streets in a mass demolition exodus? No. Of course not.

But does changing the definition of the word "marriage" to include these homosexual relationships threaten the ability of others to continue to teach and practice according to their beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman? Yes.

Could our freedom of religion be threatened? Surprisingly, yes.

When gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts, the judges there came to that determination by reviewing the case on a standard of rational basis. When the judges here in California legalized gay marriage, they came to that determination by reviewing the case on a standard of strict scrutiny, giving acknowledgement and classification of the homosexual lifestyle as a "suspect class." This is quite different than how ANY other states have ever ruled on the issue, including Massachusetts. This classification is not about anti-discrimination laws that already exist, rather it is about giving state-sanctioned protection to the the legal right that gays have to enter into marriage.

The legal ramifications of classifying homosexuals as a "suspect class" will be unprecedented as no other state in the United States of America has ever given this type of determination regarding gay marriage, and the decision to do so was highly controversial, even among the judges. Court decisions are never made in a vacuum. With this new determination by our Supreme Court, there now opens many new doors of cases that will build upon this one, and use the language and determinations of this ruling to support future rulings. Because the State has now considered it a civil right for the definition of marriage to be altered in order to suit same gender couples, there is now a very real threat to the ability of churches to continue to teach in accordance with their beliefs that homosexuality is wrong. Think that's not true? How long will the State continue to allow churches to teach and practice what basically amounts to discrimination against a protected class of people in the eyes of the law? What we are taking issue here with is the ramifications of changing the definition of the word "marriage." It could have greater consequences on religious freedom than many people can now recognize.

We support the civil rights of homosexual couples to engage in domestic partnerships and receive all the same legal and civil rights as heterosexual couples. Even though we may morally disagree with that lifestyle, we do not have the right to impose our beliefs on others. But changing the term "marriage" to also encompass homosexual unions will take away from our right to believe what we believe that marriage truly is. This issue isn't about bigotry. It is about allowing people to have the freedom to practice and adhere to their religious and moral beliefs without being labeled intolerant. It is about giving religions the same tolerance that our homosexual brothers and sisters desire--the freedom to practice what we believe without the State telling us that we are wrong. It is about being able to love our brothers and sisters who have same-gender attractions, while at the same time expressing why that doesn't mean we have to be forced to accept their moral lifestyle. Don't we have this right?
If changing the marriage laws did not interfere with our ability to teach and practice the things we hold sacred, we would not be pushing so much to support it. It's not the rights of gay people that we have a problem with. It is the infringement on our rights and the labeling of our beliefs as discrimination that is bringing this to the forefront. Having a difference of opinion is not discrimination. Having beliefs that are contrary to another's is not discrimination. Being forced to adhere to a system that is in opposition to our beliefs is discrimination.

We invite all visitors to step beyond the hype and the rhetoric and the anger and the uproar and the accusations that are surrounding this very important issue. Listen and understand why we love all of our brothers and sisters and completely support their free moral agency to live their lives according to the dictates of their own consciences, but why Proposition 8 interferes with our right to do the same.

We invite you to read the statements below, and ponder what you believe about a democratic society that includes tolerance for religious beliefs as well. If anything, we at least ask that you understand where we are coming from, and that we are not hateful or intolerant, and that it hurts us to be labeled as such. There is no difference in the love that I have for my gay friends compared to anyone else, and I hate to think that some person would call me a bigot and have my personal beliefs ruled "hate speech". We invite you to shun the hateful words of those who may also support Prop 8 but who do so in the wrong spirit, and to remember that it is they who are misguided, not this Proposition. When you go to the polls on November 4, remember that Proposition 8 is NOT about hate.
Disagreeing is not Discriminating.

No on Hate.
Yes on Prop 8.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My kids school district WILL teach gay marriage and Jack O'Connell knows it!

My school district will teach gay marriage and Jack O'Connell knows it!

by Mike Spence

If Proposition 8 fails, my school district will teach gay marriage and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell knows it!
Of course, school board members like me, some teachers, and some parents will resist this type of instruction. But like the Borg in the Star Trek Series, the law, education code, judges and pro-gay marriage groups will eventually force their 'tolerant' view of gay marriage on all children in public schools.
This is how it will work in California public schools:
Education Code section 51933 makes it clear that schools that teach 'comprehensive sex education' have to teach, 'respect for marriage and committed relationships'. This is something no school district can get around.
It is the choice of school districts whether or not they teach sex education. This is why the Anti- Proposition 8 campaign and Jack O'Connell say there is no requirement to teach about marriage.
What Jack O'Connell knows but doesn't say is that 96% of school districts teach comprehensive sex education. Those numbers are from O'Connell's California Department of Education. 96% must teach respect for marriage.

The only way out is to end sex education programs in all these school districts. That is something that just won't happen. Look at the outcry that takes place when boards try to emphasize more abstinence. The same groups against Proposition 8 strongly support sex education in our schools. As does O'Connell. They along with the education establishment that created sex education will fight anyone that tries to abolish it.
As you can see, Jack O'Connell saying that Proposition 8 doesn't affect children in schools is like saying the Governor's proposed sales tax hike won't affect people, because there is no mandate that they buy products covered by the sales tax.

But it isn't just sex education that's affected. Look at last year's California Association of Teachers of English Conference. One workshop was entitled 'Reading and Writing Beyond the Closet: LGBTQ Inclusion in the English Classroom'. (For those new to the acronyms it is Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Trans-gendered, and Questioning). The 2009 conference has a whole strand on the topic.

Teen fiction, elementary school reading books, and history are all fair game. Over ten years ago, the leaders of the West Covina teachers union sued me because I tried to stop a workshop for middle school teachers called 'Out of The Closet, Into The Classroom'.

Passage of SB 777, which expanded discrimination law to include ANYTHING that might discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, or a classification in hate crime statutes, also impacts every aspect of educational activities.

This was before the debate about Proposition 8.

In their decision on the marriage case, the State Supreme Court found that by its very nature, limiting marriage to that between a man and a woman is discrimination based on sexual orientation.

How is a teacher, parent, or school board member going to overcome the Supreme Court, State law, and the educational establishment?

That brings us to opt-out provisions in California law. The very fact that Anti-Proposition 8 folks cite the opt-out provision should be a wake-up call that gay marriage will be taught and they know it. Otherwise, why bring up opt-out provisions?

The opt-out provision is very narrow in California and is limited to 'sexually explicit content' that describes the functions of reproductive organs. That's it. Some have pointed out that two children from the infamous first grade class field trip to a same-sex marriage didn't go. They didn't go because it was an off-campus trip and permission is needed to leave campus. Had the marriage been done on the school campus, parents would not need to be notified nor allowed to opt-out.

You don't have to believe me. Believe the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). NCLR has given $300,000 to the No on Prop 8 campaign and its Executive Director is on the No on 8 Steering Committee. Their legal analysis, LGBT Legal Issues for School Attorneys, says:

'State law explicitly provides that 'instruction or materials that discuss gender, sexual orientation, or family life and do not discuss human reproductive organs and their functions' is not subject to the parental notice and opt-out laws. California Education Code § 51932(b).' (Pg.31)

There is no opt-out for gay marriage and the legal and educational establishment is dedicated to using existing law to force it on public schools.

When you see the advertisements with Jack O'Connell saying that Proposition 8 is not going to lead to gay marriage being taught in schools, he is either a fool or trying to fool you and that is shameful.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Targeting Mormons Campaign

It is sad, but true. The Daily Kos is asking for those opposed to Prop 8 to specifically target and harrass Mormons who are donating to the cause. Just Mormons, mind you. Not the others who have also contributed for traditional marriage. Just the Mormons.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's Far Worse than people Realize...

Below is a very interesting article about the consequences of Same-Sex marriage in Massachussets. It's the most in-depth information I have found thus far. I thought it was rather scary and a lot worse than even I had realized.

Please take a moment to read the article below.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Gay Day" For Kindergardners...

School holds surprise 'Gay' Day for kindergartners
Parents outraged at public elementary's secretive 'coming out' event

Posted: October 22, 2008
9:34 pm Eastern

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Some parents are shocked to find their children are learning to be homosexual allies and will participate in "Coming Out Day" at a public elementary school tomorrow – and they claim the school failed to notify parents.

One mother of a kindergartner who attends Faith Ringgold School of Art and Science, a K-8 charter school in Hayward, Calif., said she asked her 5-year-old daughter what she was learning at school.

The little girl replied, "We're learning to be allies."

The mother also said a Gay Straight Alliance club regularly meets in the kindergarten classroom during lunch.

According to a Pacific Justice Institute report, Faith Ringgold opted not to inform the parents of its pro-homosexual activities beforehand. The school is celebrating "Gay and Lesbian History Month" and is in the process of observing "Ally Week," a pro-"gay" occasion usually geared toward high school students.

The school is scheduled to host discussions about families and has posted fliers on school grounds portraying only homosexuals. According to the report, a "TransAction Gender-Bender Read-Aloud" will take place Nov. 20. Students will listen to traditional stories with "gay" or transgender twists, to include "Jane and the Beanstalk."

Some parents only recently noticed posters promoting tomorrow's "Coming Out Day." When WND contacted the school to confirm the event, a representative replied, "Yes, it is scheduled on our calendar."

When asked if the school made any efforts to inform parents, she refused to answer and said the Hayward Unified School District would have to respond to additional questions. However, the district did not answer its phones or e-mails, and a voicemail recording would not take messages. "Coming Out Day" is not listed on the district's online school calendar.

Some of the parents contacted Pacific Justice Institute for representation when they learned the school was pushing pro-"gay" events for young children without warning.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, said opponents of California's proposed ban on same-sex marriage, or Proposition 8, often say the measure would not have an effect on public schools – but this is one of many recent developments that prove otherwise.

"Do we need any further proof that gay activists will target children as early as possible?" he asked. "Opponents of traditional marriage keep telling us that Prop. 8 has nothing to do with education. In reality, they want to push the gay lifestyle on kindergartners, and we can only imagine how much worse it will be if Prop. 8 is defeated. This is not a scenario most Californians want replayed in their elementary schools."

Concerned individuals may contact Faith Ringgold School of Art and Science by calling (510) 889-7399 or e-mailing Principal Gurbakhash Bittikofer. The Hayward Unified School District can be reached at (510)784-2600 or by filling out the district contact form.

"Think about it"

My friend Matt wrote an interesting blog about his ideas about proposition 8 on his blog.

Check it out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Prop 8 in plain English

I do

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New widget for blog to show support

There's a new widget available at Show your support by posting it on your blog.

Monday, October 13, 2008

New Yes on 8 ad

Saturday, October 11, 2008

First Graders taken to SF city hall for gay wedding..

I think this article explains it all...

October 11, 2008
Contact: Chip White/Sonja Eddings Brown, 916-215-4392

SAN FRANCISCO, October 11 – In the same week that the No on 8 campaign launched an ad that labeled as “lies” claims that same-sex marriage would be taught in schools to young children, a first grade class took a school-sponsored trip to a gay wedding. Eighteen first graders traveled to San Francisco City Hall Friday for the wedding of their teacher and her lesbian partner, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The school sponsored the trip for the students, ages 5 and 6, taking them away from their studies for the same-sex wedding. According to the Yes on 8 campaign, the public school field trip demonstrates that the California Supreme Court's decision to legal same-sex marriage has real consequences.

"Taking children out of school for a same-sex wedding is not customary education. This is promoting same-sex marriage and indoctrinating young kids," said Yes on 8— Campaign Co-Manager Frank Schubert. "I doubt the school has ever taken kids on a field trip to a traditional wedding," Schubert said.

When asked by the Yes on 8 campaign, The San Francisco Chronicle reporter said she did not know if the school had ever sponsored a field trip for students to a traditional wedding. Telling the Chronicle that the field trip was "a teachable moment," the school's principal believes it is perfectly appropriate for first graders to attend a same-sex wedding. Officials in other school districts disagree.

"Prop. 8 protects our children from being taught in public schools that 'same-sex marriage' is the same as traditional marriage," said Santa Ana Unified School District board member Rosemarie "Rosie" Avila. "We should not accept a court decision that results in public schools teaching our kids that gay marriage is okay. That is an issue for parents to discuss with their children according to their own values and beliefs. It shouldn't be forced on us against our will," Avila added.

The lesbian teacher's wedding was officiated by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Newsom is featured in a Yes on 8 television ad, released last week, in which he arrogantly declares of same-sex marriage: "The door's wide open now. It's gonna happen, whether you like it or not."

The Yes on 8 campaign's ads explain that if the voters do not overturn the California Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling, teachers will be required to teach young children that there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage. “It's totally unreasonable that a first grade field trip would be to a same-sex wedding," said Chip White, Press Secretary for Yes on 8. "This is overt indoctrination of children who are too young to understand it.” The field trip underscores the Yes on 8 campaign’s message that unless Prop. 8 passes, children will be taught about same-sex marriage in public schools. “Not only can it happen, it has already happened,” White said.

Connecticut legalizes same-sex marriage

Like we were warned by Elder Ballard on Weds. night, because it is legal for same-sex couples to marry in California other states will inevetablly follow. A month shy of election time and the same thing that happened in Massachussetts and in California has happened in Connecticut with a 4 - 3 judge ruling. And a hearing on the legalization of same-sex marriage in Iowa is scheduled for next week.

Vote yes on Prop 8 and show your support in traditional marriage! Judges do NOT have the right to change the definitions of marriage and what it is!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Another way to help...

Here is another way for us to spread the word and get the information out there for people who are researching so they can see both sides of the proposition fairly.

By linking your blogs to other well known sites it can increase their traffic and hopefully be able to spread the information out there for supporting the measure prop8. This morning I was surprised at how few sites are out there even when searching "Yes on Prop 8" on google.

Please view sites that you know are spreading the word about traditional marriage! Please let everyone know about the information that is out there! Post articles with their links so their traffic can be higher. Help spread the word!

Here is an awesome site that explains what the proposition means and on the front page has 6 consequences of what will happen if the measure fails for the families and people of California and eventually the entire Nation.

Link it to your site.

Show the Media you support Prop. 8

Another article for those who want to take a stand and support Prop. 8

Show the Media You’re Out There, Support Prop. 8

by Sonja Eddings Brown - Deputy Communications Director on October 5th, 2008

There’s nothing quite like being on the front lines for Prop. 8, interacting with the media, trying to carry our message to reporters, answering questions with three lines ringing and a TV crew on the way. Proposition 8 is the 2nd biggest race in the country this November, it will be everywhere. I want you all to know that I will do my very best to represent the cause. There isn’t a lot of sympathy for traditional marriage in general in newsrooms across the country, and you might occasionally wonder if my comments are being treated fairly. That’s the nature of politics, that’s the nature of news. I just keep moving.

This past week we sat down with the Los Angeles Daily NewsEditorial Board. ProtectMarriage made its case, and tried to answer the questions of the Board. Generally, big city newspapers are opposing Proposition 8, but we don’t mind. We have the people behind us. The community papers in your area, which you probably do read, seem a bit more in touch with their readers and do support traditional marriage. As a media representative for the campaign I meet reporters, government and interfaith leaders, supporters, opponents and the studying public almost every day. Our message is getting through. The campaign’s first commercial “Whether You Like It Or Not” is on the tips of tongues. We will continue to build on that, and inform the public about the serious consequences that await if the personal agenda of San Francisco Mayor Newsome succeeds.

You can really help. I keep telling the media that you’re out there. SHOW THEM. Plant your values on your front lawns. As a supporter of Prop. 8 you are about to be part of the largest grassroots campaign ever assembled in the U.S.

This is your opportunity to remind the California Supreme Court that the constitution still begins with “We The People…..”

Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Preserving Marriage

We can express our views. I understand that there are people out there with differing views and I can respect our difference of opinion. Please do the same with us. This is more than just an issue of civil rights. Though this is a moral issue, it's more than just a moral issue. This is an issue that for many of us will impact our life and the way we raise our children and live our lives in our education, work practices and with our religion.

Please take a moment to watch the following video from the website I listed their main point about prop 8 below.

Young adults from California discuss their involvement in preserving traditional marriage.

Having tolerance without condoning - We can love someone while still maintaining and advocating our standards and beliefs.
Unless Proposition 8 passes, California society will soon undergo a profound change in its basic understanding of marriage and family life.
That will affect everyone in numerous ways. Over time, greater acceptance of nontraditional marriage will be demanded of all people. This could impact the ability of any religion to teach and practice its beliefs.
Proposition 8 will not hurt gays - In California, the law provides for marriage-related benefits to be given to civil unions and domestic partnerships. Proposition 8 does not diminish these benefits. Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt children.
If gay marriage remains legal, public schools will put it on equal footing with traditional marriage. Children will likely receive “age appropriate” information about sexual relations within heterosexual and homosexual marriages.
Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt churches - The court’s decision will inevitably lead to conflicts with religious liberty and free speech rights. Society will become more and more hostile to traditional beliefs about marriage and family.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

When Gay rights and religious liberties clash

When Gay Rights and Religious Liberties Clash, June 13, 2008 · In recent years, some states have passed laws giving residents the right to same-sex unions in various forms. Gay couples may marry in Massachusetts and California. There are civil unions and domestic partnerships in Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Oregon. Other states give more limited rights.

Armed with those legal protections, same-sex couples are beginning to challenge policies of religious organizations that exclude them, claiming that a religious group's view that homosexual marriage is a sin cannot be used to violate their right to equal treatment. Now parochial schools, "parachurch" organizations such as Catholic Charities and businesses that refuse to serve gay couples are being sued — and so far, the religious groups are losing. Here are a few cases:

Adoption services: Catholic Charities in Massachusetts refused to place children with same-sex couples as required by Massachusetts law. After a legislative struggle — during which the Senate president said he could not support a bill "condoning discrimination" — Catholic Charities pulled out of the adoption business in 2006.

Housing: In New York City, Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a school under Orthodox Jewish auspices, banned same-sex couples from its married dormitory. New York does not recognize same-sex marriage, but in 2001, the state's highest court ruled Yeshiva violated New York City's ban on sexual orientation discrimination. Yeshiva now allows all couples in the dorm.

Parochial schools: California Lutheran High School, a Protestant school in Wildomar, holds that homosexuality is a sin. After the school suspended two girls who were allegedly in a lesbian relationship, the girls' parents sued, saying the school was violating the state's civil rights act protecting gay men and lesbians from discrimination. The case is before a state judge.

Medical services: A Christian gynecologist at North Coast Women's Care Medical Group in Vista, Calif., refused to give his patient in vitro fertilization treatment because she is in a lesbian relationship, and he claimed that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. (The doctor referred the patient to his partner, who agreed to do the treatment.) The woman sued under the state's civil rights act. The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in May 2008, and legal experts believe that the woman's right to medical treatment will trump the doctor's religious beliefs. One justice suggested that the doctors take up a different line of business.

Psychological services: A mental health counselor at North Mississippi Health Services refused therapy for a woman who wanted help in improving her lesbian relationship. The counselor said doing so would violate her religious beliefs. The counselor was fired. In March 2001, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit sided with the employer, ruling that the employee's religious beliefs could not be accommodated without causing undue hardship to the company.

Civil servants: A clerk in Vermont refused to perform a civil union ceremony after the state legalized them. In 2001, in a decision that side-stepped the religious liberties issue, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that he did not need to perform the ceremony because there were other civil servants who would. However, the court did indicate that religious beliefs do not allow employees to discriminate against same-sex couples.

Adoption services: A same-sex couple in California applied to Adoption Profiles, an Internet service in Arizona that matches adoptive parents with newborns. The couple's application was denied based on the religious beliefs of the company's owners. The couple sued in federal district court in San Francisco. The two sides settled after the adoption company said it will no longer do business in California.

Wedding services: A same sex couple in Albuquerque asked a photographer, Elaine Huguenin, to shoot their commitment ceremony. The photographer declined, saying her Christian beliefs prevented her from sanctioning same-sex unions. The couple sued, and the New Mexico Human Rights Commission found the photographer guilty of discrimination. It ordered her to pay the lesbian couple's legal fees ($6,600). The photographer is appealing.

Wedding facilities: Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association of New Jersey, a Methodist organization, refused to rent its boardwalk pavilion to a lesbian couple for their civil union ceremony. The couple filed a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. The division ruled that the boardwalk property was open for public use, therefore the Methodist group could not discriminate against gay couples using it. In the interim, the state's Department of Environmental Protection revoked a portion of the association's tax benefits. The case is ongoing.

Youth groups: The city of Berkeley, Calif., requested that the Sea Scouts (affiliated with the Boy Scouts) formally agree to not discriminate against gay men in exchange for free use of berths in the city's marina. The Sea Scouts sued, claiming this violated their beliefs and First Amendment right to the freedom to associate with other like-minded people. In 2006, the California Supreme Court ruled against the youth group. In San Diego, the Boy Scouts lost access to the city-owned aquatic center for the same reason. While these cases do not directly involve same-sex unions, they presage future conflicts about whether religiously oriented or parachurch organizations may prohibit, for example, gay couples from teaching at summer camp. In June 2008, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals asked the California Supreme Court to review the Boy Scouts' leases. Meanwhile, the mayor's office in Philadelphia revoked the Boy Scouts' $1-a-year lease for a city building.

Protecting marriage to protect children

Protecting marriage to protect children
Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving. But in all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood.
By David Blankenhorn
September 19, 2008

I'm a liberal Democrat. And I do not favor same-sex marriage. Do those positions sound contradictory? To me, they fit together.

Many seem to believe that marriage is simply a private love relationship between two people. They accept this view, in part, because Americans have increasingly emphasized and come to value the intimate, emotional side of marriage, and in part because almost all opinion leaders today, from journalists to judges, strongly embrace this position. That's certainly the idea that underpinned the California Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage.

But I spent a year studying the history and anthropology of marriage, and I've come to a different conclusion.

Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving, and many of its features vary across groups and cultures. But there is one constant. In all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood. Among us humans, the scholars report, marriage is not primarily a license to have sex. Nor is it primarily a license to receive benefits or social recognition. It is primarily a license to have children.

In this sense, marriage is a gift that society bestows on its next generation. Marriage (and only marriage) unites the three core dimensions of parenthood -- biological, social and legal -- into one pro-child form: the married couple. Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you. Marriage says to society as a whole: For every child born, there is a recognized mother and a father, accountable to the child and to each other.

These days, because of the gay marriage debate, one can be sent to bed without supper for saying such things. But until very recently, almost no one denied this core fact about marriage. Summing up the cross-cultural evidence, the anthropologist Helen Fisher in 1992 put it simply: "People wed primarily to reproduce." The philosopher and Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell, certainly no friend of conventional sexual morality, was only repeating the obvious a few decades earlier when he concluded that "it is through children alone that sexual relations become important to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution."

Marriage is society's most pro-child institution. In 2002 -- just moments before it became highly unfashionable to say so -- a team of researchers from Child Trends, a nonpartisan research center, reported that "family structure clearly matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage."

All our scholarly instruments seem to agree: For healthy development, what a child needs more than anything else is the mother and father who together made the child, who love the child and love each other.

For these reasons, children have the right, insofar as society can make it possible, to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into this world. The foundational human rights document in the world today regarding children, the 1989 U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, specifically guarantees children this right. The last time I checked, liberals like me were supposed to be in favor of internationally recognized human rights, particularly concerning children, who are typically society's most voiceless and vulnerable group. Or have I now said something I shouldn't?

Every child being raised by gay or lesbian couples will be denied his birthright to both parents who made him. Every single one. Moreover, losing that right will not be a consequence of something that at least most of us view as tragic, such as a marriage that didn't last, or an unexpected pregnancy where the father-to-be has no intention of sticking around. On the contrary, in the case of same-sex marriage and the children of those unions, it will be explained to everyone, including the children, that something wonderful has happened!

For me, what we are encouraged or permitted to say, or not say, to one another about what our society owes its children is crucially important in the debate over initiatives like California's Proposition 8, which would reinstate marriage's customary man-woman form. Do you think that every child deserves his mother and father, with adoption available for those children whose natural parents cannot care for them? Do you suspect that fathers and mothers are different from one another? Do you imagine that biological ties matter to children? How many parents per child is best? Do you think that "two" is a better answer than one, three, four or whatever? If you do, be careful. In making the case for same-sex marriage, more than a few grown-ups will be quite willing to question your integrity and goodwill. Children, of course, are rarely consulted.

The liberal philosopher Isaiah Berlin famously argued that, in many cases, the real conflict we face is not good versus bad but good versus good. Reducing homophobia is good. Protecting the birthright of the child is good. How should we reason together as a society when these two good things conflict?

Here is my reasoning. I reject homophobia and believe in the equal dignity of gay and lesbian love. Because I also believe with all my heart in the right of the child to the mother and father who made her, I believe that we as a society should seek to maintain and to strengthen the only human institution -- marriage -- that is specifically intended to safeguard that right and make it real for our children.

Legalized same-sex marriage almost certainly benefits those same-sex couples who choose to marry, as well as the children being raised in those homes. But changing the meaning of marriage to accommodate homosexual orientation further and perhaps definitively undermines for all of us the very thing -- the gift, the birthright -- that is marriage's most distinctive contribution to human society. That's a change that, in the final analysis, I cannot support.

David Blankenhorn is president of the New York-based Institute for American Values and the author of "The Future of Marriage."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Consequences of homosexual marriage...

I wish I had the link to this so I could give the author credit, but I received it in an email by a friend who felt maybe this would help explain other reasons why voting yes on prop8 does not mean we are trying to promote bigotry and hate for those who live a homosexual lifestyle. As my friend Tim said "I found the repercussions to be interesting. Ironically enough, this proposition is not about equal rights, but about separation of church and state. If prop 8 does not pass, then churches would be forced to perform ceremonies contrary to their belief or face lawsuits."
Although I think the article may come off a little strong for my taste here it is below.

The Consequences of Homosexual Marriage

In the next few weeks Californians will be inundated with media messages about the importance of allowing same-sex marriages. Voters will see TV ads telling them that homosexual love deserves "equality" with heterosexual love. Voters will hear radio reports about how all gays and lesbians want is to have the same "rights" as all married couples. And the main message that will be repeated is that allowing homosexuals to marry will have no impact on your marriage or your family-so what's the harm in giving gays their chance to marry?

Although on the surface these arguments appear convincing, they don't tell the whole truth.

Homosexual marriage will have a direct, intrusive and damaging effect on your family.

Public Schools will teach that homosexuality and same-sex marriage are normal and acceptable-and if you disagree, you are a bigot. Books like "Heather has Two Mommies" or "Daddy's Wedding" will be used to teach kindergartners about homosexual relationships. When parents in Boston complained about an eighth-grade teacher instructing students about gay sex, the teacher responded, "Give me a break. It's legal now."

Churches will be required to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies or face prosecution under anti-discrimination laws. The California Supreme Court recently ruled that medical professionals may not defer treatment to another professional based on their religious objections. In other words, Christians and those with moral beliefs must check their conscience at the door when they arrive at work. The same case law will apply to churches. Pastors will no longer be allowed to refuse marrying homosexuals based on their religious beliefs.
Businesses will be prosecuted for not participating in homosexual ceremonies. A New Mexico photography company is being prosecuted for refusing to photograph the "commitment ceremony" of a homosexual couple. The full force of the government will used to make citizens publicly accept homosexuality.
Married couples will no longer be considered "bride and groom," but "Party A and Party B." A young couple in Placer County wrote the terms "bride" and "groom" on their marriage license, which was returned from the state as an "unacceptable alteration." A husband and wife are legally referred to now as Party A and Party B according to the California government. By redefining marriage, every marriage has already been affected.

The role of parents will be diminished. The family unit is already under assault with no-fault divorce, acceptance of single parenthood, and nanny government usurping the role of fathers. Homosexual marriage worsens this trend by giving government approval to single-sex parenting. Children need both a mother and a father. By approving homosexual marriage, government and society denies children their right and need for both parents.

These are just a few of the negative, damaging consequences of allowing homosexual marriage in our society. When you encounter a neighbor, church member, work associate, or family member who says, "I'm not a bigot-and homosexual marriage won't affect me," remind them of just how much it will impact their family and all families.

This is not an issue of bigotry, but of ensuring marriage isn't redefined by four activist judges. Wanting children to be raised by both of their parents isn't bigoted either. What's truly bigoted is telling Christians, Jews, Muslims and other people of faith that their beliefs must be silenced.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When Gay Rights and Religious Liberties Clash

My cousin Lori wanted me to post this article.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Why I am active with Prop 8

Why do members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participate in this issue. First of all “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.” With this same organization as the Primitive Church, we expect the same revelation that was received by prophets of old. “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” The living prophet today has told us to go forth and participate with yes on proposition 8. When a new prophet is called, as members of the church we promise to support him and follow him, and when we do not we are in direct conflict with Jesus Christ.

The fact that the living prophet has told us to participate for Yes on Prop 8 is reason alone to follow, but other prophets and the Lord have told us how to act.

“I do not pretend to tell how much sorrow you and I are going to meet with before the coming of the Son of Man. That will depend upon our conduct.” (Wilford Woodruff, Mill. Star, 2 Sept. 1889, 547.)

Our conduct in the now will decide the amount of sorrow that we all will experience in the last days. Generally when the Lord talks about our conduct he is referring to obeying the commandments and choosing right over wrong. Joseph Smith also referred to our conduct in the last days, and said,

"The time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction. It will be so."

- Joseph Smith Chapter 29, Progress of Man, by Joseph Fielding Smith

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe that there will be a time that we need to stand for what is right within politics so that we may save the constitution. But we also believe that,

According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles; That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.” (D&C 101:77-78)

Essentially this is a moral issue that has been placed before the citizens of the United States. We are all free to act as we wish, but like all things we will have to answer for our actions in the last day.