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.