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Community divided by Prop 8

Original post made on Oct 23, 2008

A number of issues on the November ballot have sparked debate and discussion, but none has been as polarizing as Proposition 8, the California Marriage Protection Act. Here in Danville, streets are dotted with signs both for and against, in some cases right next door to each other.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 23, 2008, 5:35 PM

Comments (108)

Posted by John, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Oct 23, 2008 at 7:54 pm

If Proposition 8 fails, I see another step in the Extinction of Traditional Families. How sad for our society.


Posted by Mark Morphy, a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:13 pm

How sad.... These two families need to spend some time together expressing their views.Proposition 8 should not divide neighbors.


Posted by John, a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Yes on Proposition 8 reflects the the view of the vast majority of Americans including our four presidential candidates. Calling that group "bigots" is just a senseless exercise in name calling. 42 states have effected some legal action against gay marriage. It's not a hate campaign. This country enables each citizen the pursuit of happiness. Marriage is one such pursuit, but no one is forced to take it. A very wide avenue has been cleared for non-marriage pursuits--this includes EQUAL RIGHTS for same sex couples in California who wish to pursue a civil union. Prop 8 doesn't change that at all. Even the 4 San Francisco judges that overturned the votes of millions of Californians and legalized gay marriage clearly noted the move was of no significance to gay rights because same sex couples already had all rights associated with married couples. I'm voting yes on 8 because it sets apart that unique and particular union between a man and a woman without harming anyone else or encroaching on the rights of anyone else. There are many pursuits to happiness--marriage between a man and a woman is one of them. No one I know in the prop 8 campaign that I know of is interested in obstructing any other path to happiness. That's why we have civil unions. Our society is way too hung up on trying to redefine everything.


Posted by Wendy, a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2008 at 11:37 pm

It is clear to me that people are not understanding this issue (Prop 8). And the results are too sad immediately, and most unsettling long-term.

The California Supreme Court gave gays no new rights—they already had "the same rights, protections and benefits" as married couples (CFC 297.5). Prop. 8 won't change that. It has nothing to do with equality.

But it has everything to do with tolerance, and religious and parental rights. The court gave them license to graphically indoctrinate children in homosexual practices, to force people and churches to not just tolerate but to embrace their lifestyle, even if it's morally unacceptable to them. They claim it won't happen, but it already is (see massresistance.org/docs/marriage/effects_of_ssm.html, CAprop8yes.blogspot.com). That's not tolerance of other people's moral choices, is it?

If you support tolerance and rights, you would have to vote "YES" on Prop. 8. If you're unsure, a yes vote would prevent what a dissenting justice called "cataclysmic transformation" of society.


Posted by cardfark, a resident of Diablo
on Oct 24, 2008 at 12:37 am

Do we really need two threads on this subject?

Tell you what, you Yessrs can have this one. You can repeat your fearful propaganda to each other 'til it sounds like the truth, speak of dark conspiracies by "Them" and "Their Agenda," work your way around to equating prejudice and discrimination with "tolerance" and remember: black is white, and war is peace. Launch another crusade, even. The others worked out so well.

And don't forget to complain about this post. You're being persecuted and the Anti-h8's are snakes in the garden.

And now, I must bid you fond adieu, lest my head explodes.


Posted by Dalen Fuller, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 8:37 am

This is a very slippery slope we are on and Prop. 8 MUST pass - this will destroy the fabric of our state and nation. They will shove it down our youngsters (kindergartens age)throat. Homosexuals already have rights to destroy the sanctity of family. Furthermore, if they are so open-minded why are they coming around to all the neighborhoods and trespassing and stealing signs off of everyone's yards? Acceptance, only of their agenda.


Posted by David, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 9:06 am

Mark hit the nail on the head.


Posted by Danville Resident, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 10:38 am

The Yes on 8 people just want everyone to have to live by their rules. How will two gay people marrying harm you personally? Pathetic.


Posted by Jeffrey Melcher, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2008 at 10:48 am

As a NO on prop 8 supporter I feel saddened by the animosity that this Prop 8 has brought up. We are all God's children and God will judge according to "his" criteria in the end. OUr job is to love God and our neighbor extending hospitality beyond our needs and in loving response to ALL our neighbors. Responding to difficulty with love is difficult at times, but is god's command to all of us.


Posted by Gay in Danville (who knew!!), a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:04 am

Hey Dalen

How dare you make such an ignorant statement? I'm gay, have a wonderful loving family of my own, and live in Danville. I have not even thought for one second to steal or trespass on someone's property to remove a Yes on 8 sign. You see, that is the difference between you and me. I respect people's rights and would never think to do such a thing. You are so incredibly misinformed and I'm sure full of fear. You see, I live a wonderful life, have wonderful friends and newsflash.....the community in Danville has been very supportive of my "homosexual" family (including the school system). Its close minded people like you that are just simply ignorant and misinformed. It's really what it boils down to. My sexuality is NONE of your business, nor do I MAKE it anyone's business. You would never even remotely discriminate against me if you knew me, my family and my wonderful friends. You'd see that I am no different that anyone else in this community. I will speak very simply now about this proposition that the right wing close minded fearful individuals are throwing MILLIONS of money at to pass. Can you imagine what we could do with $25 Million DOLLARS? How about build homeless shelters, open food banks for the less fortunate than us in this very upper class community in Danville. It sickens me. The other thing that annoys me is the CHURCHES that are supporting this. I am a very spiritual person, I respect EVERYONES way to get to God, and I believe everyone SHOULD be on a path of spirituality. It should not, however, include discrimination. The God I know and love would be ashamed of everyone on this thread taking about how gay people should not have the same rights as everyone else. Being gay is not a choice. Period. I was raised with an amazing family, supportive parents and in the Catholic Church. I don't condemn the religious beliefs of any denomination; I condemn the INTERPRETATION made by its followers. A bumper sticker I saw once said it best "Jesus, save me from your followers". Period ….AMEN. Also, there are many many people, including in this community that are straight and in opposition to this ridiculous proposition. Its discriminatory and wrong on so many levels

One last very simple statement, not only as a gay person, but as a tax-paying, working MOTHER in Danville. The religious definition of marriage has no right to be written into the law of this GREAT STATE! God Bless you and your family.


Posted by Eric, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:04 am

WOW!!!! "this will destroy the fabric of our state and nation."? "Homosexuals already have rights to destroy the sanctity of family."? "cataclysmic transformation" of society."? "graphically indoctrinate children in homosexual practices"? All these people want is equality folks they are not looking to climb into your windows at night. I'll bet many of the same words and phrases were used by anti-civil rights folks in the 60s. Let's all calm down and live and let live


Posted by Kathy, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:15 am

However gently and respectfully you try to push discrimination, it's still discrimination. It's still WRONG!


vote NO on prop 8


Posted by Mark, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:30 am

It amazes me how much time people spend worrying about how other people choose to live there lives. We don't need nor want our transient morals detailed in the Constitution, PERIOD. And they are transient, I am sure more than a few "Yes on Prop 8" folks would have voted to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman OF THE SAME RACE 50 or 60 years ago. Keep our laws focused on protecting individual freedoms not taking them away.


Posted by not a second class citizen, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:38 am

Amen! Vote NO on Prop. 8. The State Constitution says everyone has equal rights now. That is the ideal to which we should all aspire.

Prop. 8 is like Jim Crow laws and segregation--except they want to embody discrimination in our state constitution--trying to use the constitution to make me, my family and our friends a segregated class with inferior rights. It is backward thinking. I would never try to tell someone how to worship, I resent being told I am somehow less than others, especially by religious groups like the Mormon Church and its !!!Utah!!! members--the single biggest class of donors to the yes on 8 campaign from the most conservative state in the Union.

Worse still, they're lying about what our rights include, which has nothing to do with what your children will be taught in schools or what churches teach. This is simply an attempt to make a class of California residents into second class citizens.

Please Vote NO on Prop. 8.


Posted by Kevin, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Mr. Hale,

For weeks now I have bitten my tongue while reading your hateful rhetoric. I am a member of the family that you are discriminating against. I feel that I have to address a few things you said.

I hate to point out the obvious but we have the unique ability to have children also. We have 3 beautiful daughters and have built a loving caring family out of adoption. If we are to follow your deluded argument....only those couples that will biologically bear children should be allowed to marry. If that is a fact then I pity all the older couples, people who chose not to have children, and those who cannot have children. Here in Los Angeles county there are 7000 children awaiting adoption, and 25,000 receiving DCFS services. I have met your family and I do not recall that you have stepped up to the plate and adopted any children. My family is just as good as yours Mr. Hale, we deserve and will get the same rights and responsiblities as you.

Mr Hale, I find your comment about discrimination puzzeling. Denying rights based on my sexual preference is discrimination no matter how you want to spin it. In my book and according to my God discrimination is hate, plain and simple. I am sure if groups were trying to say that Mormons shouldnt marry and wanted to include that in the state constitution you would stand up and decry the discrimination. I feel sorry for you Mr Hale that you cant see this, or that you refuse to see this.

In addition to that I feel sorry for these supposed gay people whom you call friends. In the first place they can't really be your friends Mr. Hale, you are spreading lies and hate about them. Would you consider them friends if they did the same to you. I am sure your "friends" do not support your yes vote....if so I would welcome the chance to discuss this with them.

Mr Hale I find your arguments hollow, and hateful. I cannot imagine how horrible my family must be that we are going to bring the fall of society. I boggles the mind that you are so threatened by us.

As for my sister, brother in law, niece and nephew. I couldnt be prouder. Kathy has attacked this like a bulldog and I applaud her all the way. I am glad they live next door to you, I am glad that every morning when you climb into your giant SUV you see that the world does not agree with you. I am glad that you will forced to see my girls when then come and visit the cousins. I am glad that your kids will ask you about us and that you will have to lie to them and fill them with the hate that you spew. One day those kids are going to think for themselves......I pray that day comes soon.

Mr Hale I feel sorry for you and all that think like you do. How sad it must be to be so filled with hate and a desire to segregate my family. Prop 8 might pass and it might not, its anybodys game right now. I assure you Mr. Hale if prop 8 does pass I will never let you forget what you did to my family. Not personally but I will never stop telling the "religious" about the hate they have spread. I really dont think I need to remind you that these same arguments were used during abolition, womens vote, bi-racial marriage, civil rights, and the womens lib movement. How sad that our culture has not evolved past the emancipation of slaves.

Shame on you Mr. Hale, shame on you and all of your supporters for spreading hate. For trying to make my daughters second class citizens. For trying to erode the foundation of my marriage by your hate. For telling the world that it is ok to hate and discriminate.

Shame on You Mr. Hale. If you really believe that if prop 8 passes that all the gay families and folks are going to get to the back of the bus and keep our mouths shut think again. We will fight for our civil rights all the way to the end. Thats right Mr Hale this is a matter of Civil rights not religious rights. The lie that any church will lose its tax status for not performing a marriage is just silly. Churchs refuse to marry for all sorts of reasons, divorce, no desire to convert. I cant even believe that so called educated people would think that...... I will inform you Mr Hale that we attend a loving church that sees me and my family as equals. Yes thats right they enjoy the same tax exempt status yours does but does vomit hate. The lie the children will be taught about relationships is equally as silly. You have young children Mr Hale and I am sure you know that small children dont care about family makeup. It would a waste of the schools time. I feel sorry that so much money has been spent on this... I am sure your church must have more pressing issues to pour its assets into.

Kevin
Partnered for 12 yrs, Married 2 months, Raising 3 beautiful girls


Posted by Denise, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. This scripture is found in the Old Testament of the Bible. It is clear how God feels about homosexuality. The first great commandment is to Love the Lord and the second is to love thy neighbor as thyself. I am choosing to follow the Lord first by voting yes on Propsition 8. This is a moral issue not a civil rights issue and that is why Barrack Obama and Joe Biden do not support same-sex marriage.


Posted by Kevin, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2008 at 12:32 pm

It also says to stone a woman for speaking out against her husband, not to wear wool and cotton together, not to touch pig skin, and women should put themselves into a red tent during period....So Denise if you are going to live scripture live it fully and if you dont then that is hypocritical......... The bible thing is a moot point Denise.....this is a CIVIL issue not a religious issue....how many times does that have to be said.


Posted by Roger, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I agree 100% with Mr. Hale. Vote YES on Proposition 8.


Posted by Denise, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Kevin,

Proverbs 9:6 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. You must not believe in God or his Commandments. Sometimes it is difficult to admit sin. If everything was ok, (example stealing, lying, adultry) then, why did Jesus Christ need to die on the cross if everybody was perfect. There would be no need for his atonement.
You have fair rights now. Marriage between a man and a man is wrong and I think deep down in your heart you know it too. Your fighting for something that is morally wrong. This is not a front in the back bus issue.



Posted by CJ, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:01 pm

I also agree with Mr. Hales. Vote Yes on Proposition 8. It's NOT about equality or a civil rights issue and it's unbelievable that you are accusing this man of spreading hate. The shame is back on YOU!


Posted by Tired of the Hate, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:02 pm

People, people. You all need to take a deep breath and stop attacking each other.

Clearly, for some marriage is a right they want to protect and for some it's a sacred ceremony that they want to protect. It's a difference of opinion on whether marriage is a right or not.

It's not about hate or discrimination. So please don't make it that. The hate you are creating makes God much more unhappy than anything else you can do.


Posted by A concerned citizen, a resident of Alamo
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:07 pm

I doubt that I will live long enough to see an end to the hypocrisy of our great nation. I don't know what you people are afraid of. Why can't we live and love the way the ten commandments wanted. Remember "love thy neighbor as thyself"? Guess that one got lost when it interfered with your discriminating ways.


Posted by Kevin, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Denise,

Your bible has nothing to do with this. Do we have to repeat that this is a civil rights issue. So you can hide behind whatever you want, but if you want to have an intelligent debate on the issue of civil rights then I am all for it. Again this is a civil not church issue so your bible argument has no merit.


Posted by Unbelieveable, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:22 pm

I cant even read anymore of this ridiculous arguement from the supporters of Prop 8. This is an issue of discrimination now matter how you package it, period. You people who continue to quote scripture and claim you are people of God should be ashamed of yourselves. You have no right to judge anyone else or their lifesyle choices. Your fear and ignorance is so obvious, and I hope someday you will feel discrimination in some way and HUMBLE yourselves. No one is affecting you or your families, so please go congregate with your own kind somewhere else in the US. LIVE AND LET LIVE PEOPLE. NO ON PROP 8!


Posted by Frank, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:22 pm

I had a friend tell me that marriage was between a man and women only. Says who??? I was raised catholic but you can keep that religion and all the others. All they do is spread fear and tell you how you should think, look and feel. Oh, also give them part of your income. (Comments edited by staff of the Danville Weekly.)


Posted by Linda, a resident of Blackhawk
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Yes on Prop 8!!!!!!


Posted by John, a resident of Diablo
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:29 pm

I support Yes on Proposition 8.


Posted by Linda, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:31 pm

I agree with Mr. Hales and support Prop 8.

Why is it so difficult to understand that people can still be friends and care about one another and not agree with what they believe and sometimes what they do? Parents continue to love their children even when they don't agree with things that their children might do.

Kevin, you really went off on some tangents. Clearly you feel strongly and have some deep seeded resentment towards Mr. Hales. I don't hear any hate in the words that he was quoted speaking.


Posted by Gary Leveque, a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm

as an educator for the past 21 years, I am deeply offended by the advertisements for Yes on 8. These individuals have turned this Proposition into a fiasco. The State Superintendent clearly stated that the California Education Code does not include ANY curriculum on marriage. This biased proposition intends to introduce discrimination and blatant bigotry to our Constitution. Proposition 8 is all about removing the Civil Rights of the LGBT Community. It is appalling that any citizen could support such bigotry and hate. When are we finally going to grant one another our basic humanity? Shame on those uninformed individuals who do not understand the true intent of this hideous proposition and the full extent of their actions on our basic freedoms. God Bless America, "with Liberty and Justice for ALL!!!"


Posted by Sick of the Anger, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Thank You, "Tired of the Hate". You spoke it well! What ever happened to "let's agree to disagree!" No one lives the same life. We all have things we enjoy and have passion in! And we all have things that others can't possibly imagine themselves doing. That's what makes everything so wonderful! It's obvious that many of us also believe in different things and always will. Please just go voice your opinions through your vote and carry on with your lives!!


Posted by Frank, a resident of Diablo
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:47 pm


Oh, look at that, the staff must be menbers of the Church of Latter Day Saints. I didnt say anything too bad or worth deleating from public view. What are you scared of? A gay sitting next to you in church? You just proved a point.


Posted by Daniel, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Here is one for the religious folks here. How about we also pass a law to keep mormons from recruiting and going door to door. I don't want a mormon coming to my house when my kids are home – I certainly don't want it shoved down their throat. Then you all would be screaming discrimination and that I was wanting to take away your fundamental rights under the law. DO YOU GET IT PEOPLE? Prop 8 is taking away peoples rights! Its discriminatory and wrong. Keep your religious beliefs to yourself and quit trying to impose them on everyone else.


Posted by Rudi, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:50 pm

As you know Proposition 8 will be on this November's election ballet. I want to share with you the reasons why I hope you Vote NO. I apologize for getting political on you, but this proposition is completely personal; I can't even describe how I feel when I drive by a Yes on 8 sign; I can't imagine why anyone would want to purposefully invalidate someone else's marriage, or keep anyone from enjoying marriage and its security. There has been a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding around this, and I would like to share some key points with you.

No matter how you feel about gays and lesbians – Proposition 8 is not about feelings. It is about whether you want to eliminate a constitutional right that all Californians have, but that only a select few will lose. You are entitled to your opinions about gays and lesbians – that is part of being American – but please do not rewrite the constitution of this great state to deny me the very things you enjoy and have probably always taken for granted.

Starting with the personal, what many people do not realize is that domestic partnership is NOT equal to marriage. We (who have been together for 15 years) have had many challenges that most of you probably don't realize.

· In a heterosexual marriage if you have a child both parents have equal rights, period. In our relationship, the non bio mom had to adopt our child in order to be considered her parent, even though we planned for her together, and had been together for 8 years. We had to have a social worker "ok" our right to parent together, and we got to pay several thousand dollars for the privilege.

· We had to spend extra money creating guardianship papers so that in the event that something happened to me during childbirth Dianna would still have rights to our child.

· We have had to spend thousands of dollars on legal fees to create a semblance of the rights that heterosexual couples receive simply by marrying (inheritance, hospital decisions, etc). There have been cases where one partner has died and the other has literally been erased from their lives – not received inheritance, kept from children that they raised, etc.

It is true, AB205 has fixed many of those things, but that is a recent development; however, there is no reason to segregate different people - as the article says - the neighborhood is divided - shouldn't we all be asking, how can we become closer - how can we work more towards peace and cooperation instead of trying to rip each other apart.

In this day and age, no one should be sitting in the back of the metaphorical bus, no one.

In addition we have completely different rights (or lack thereof on the federal level)

· many of you do not realize that although we have both paid into social security our whole working lives, if one of us dies, the other one of us is not entitled to any of that money (even if we are married in California). In our case, only one of us supports our family. The only reason that our child would receive survivor benefits is because she was adopted by her other parent, and I would receive nothing, which would ultimately cause irreparable harm to my family.

· We are not allowed to file federal taxes together, and we pay a lot of taxes. We do not receive the same benefits that our heterosexual friends do.

Now some Facts vs. Fiction that has been confusing voters:

Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen in school unless Proposition 8 passes.
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 gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don't agree with.

Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status if they don't marry gays.
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 officiate will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs."

Fiction: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…
Fact: Prop 8 is about eliminating a fundamental right to one group of Californians. Judges didn't grant the right; the constitution guarantees the right. Californians voted to disallow gay marriage several years ago (prop 22). The Supreme Court just ruled that this discriminated against the fundamental rights of gay and lesbian Californians. It is a judge's job to interpret the constitution; they did so already and ruled that denying any Californian the right to marry is discriminatory.

Fiction: Allowing gay marriage will decrease the strength of traditional marriage.
Fact: I've been married several months, as far as I am aware no straight marriages have fallen apart due to my marriage.

Fiction: Employers will have to spend a lot of money to cover same sex spouses in regard to health insurance, etc.
Fact: Employers in California already have to do this under AB205. However, many of you may not realize that insuring your domestic partner is charged differently than insuring your spouse. Spouses are added to plans with pre tax dollars; domestic partnerships are not.

Finally, over 50 million dollars has been spent to deny gays and lesbians their constitutional rights during this election year; couldn't that money have been put to better use? Thanks for listening; I encourage you to learn as much as you can about Prop 8 before you vote in November and I hope I can count on your support.

If things never progressed we'd still live in an era of slavery. There was a point where people didn't want interracial marriages; we look back now and (hopefully) think "how ridiculous - what were we afraid of" - guess what? This is the same thing.

It is offensive to even suggest that we should be ok with something different than anyone has, you would not dream to suggest that of another group - i.e. only Christians or Jews can be married, or only couples of the same race can be married, or only tall people can marry other tall people - it's downright silly - what in the world are you really scared of?

Rudi and Dianna, Dublin


Posted by Daniel, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:55 pm

BTW, in biblical times, a man was not supposed to lie with a man, b/c if he did, who in the world would go out and kill dinner? Everything has a context . . . you can read it however you want to.


Posted by kevin, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Linda,

The only resentment I feel for Mr Hale and you is that you are trying to say that my family is not equal to yours. Well it is. We might not win this time, or next time but justice will prevail.

Discrimination =Hate, yes is saying yes to discrimination so that equals yes to hate


Posted by Sarah, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 2:19 pm

I just want World Peace.


Posted by Kevin, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2008 at 2:19 pm

from Lawrence Ingalls

I realize that this may be a little odd for some of you, but I am writing to you because California's Prop 8 directly and intimately affects my family. This is going out to every email address that has ever come into my inbox. I am asking you to vote NO on Prop 8.

Whatever your feelings on the subject of same-sex marriage, there are several misleading statements in the media right now, along with some outright lies. I am happy to discuss any of the following with you, or to answer any questions you may have.

First of all, you hear a lot that "marriage has always been one man and one woman." The fact is, marriage as we know it today has only existed in its current form for about the last 100 years. Did you know that for most of human history, marriage has been one man and several women at the same time? Can you name just three married men in the Bible who do NOT have multiple wives?

In our own country's short history, marriage has changed dramatically over the years. Originally, Black people could not marry anyone, not even each other, because they were property. Letting two slaves marry made no sense to most Americans. It was like letting a cow and a horse marry or letting a chair and a table marry. "Property" had no right to marriage.

Well into the 1920's, when two people got married they became a single legal entity: the man. That's why our grandmothers still went by names like Mrs. John Ingalls instead of Lillian Ingalls (just like their mothers did). Until the 1900's women had virtually no rights in marriage, including to the homes they owned, to their own children, or to not be raped by their husbands (I'm not talking love making, I mean violent rape was legal inside of marriage). Wives had no legal recourse, at all, against their husbands in any of these situations because the law considered them one entity (and you can't sue yourself).

Does any of this sound like your marriage today?

In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws against interracial marriages, but this wasn't just Blacks marrying Whites. It was all interracial marriages (Asians marrying Hispanics, Hispanics marrying Whites, Blacks marrying Asians – all such combinations were illegal until 1967).

Today rapists, terrorists, and murderers who are still serving their time in prison can get married. We believe the people who marry them are crazy, but the reason they are allowed to get married is because the Supreme Court ruled long ago that "marriage is a fundamental right." That's something I've heard a lot of in the Yes on Prop 8 ads: that marriage is not a "right" and/or that no rights will be lost if Prop 8 passes. MY rights will be lost. Right now I can marry Jason. If prop 8 passes, I can't.

There is also the legal limbo that thousands of couples will be thrown into if Prop 8 passes. Are they no longer married? Maybe; maybe not. But can you imagine your neighbors and co-workers voting on whether or not you were still married???

The only legal way to protect marriage is to make divorce illegal. That is not what Prop. 8 does. It eliminates the rights of male couples and female couples to marry. It does not take away the tax exempt status of churches, and it does not require that children be taught same-sex marriage in schools. Because of the separation of church and state, churches are allowed to discriminate. You can't force a Catholic priest to perform a marriage between two Jews. Neither can you force a Rabbi to marry a couple of Catholics. They are exempt.

Likewise, same-sex marriage is already taught in schools because it exists. It is a fact of the world. When I was in grammar school I was taught that President Lincoln was assassinated. It didn't make me want to grow up and shoot the president. Neither did it make me believe that it was okay for someone else to do that.

Because Prop 8 is intended to "eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry" voting NO on Prop 8 means you do not want to eliminate that right for me and Jason. Voting yes on Prop 8 means you do want to eliminate a fundamental right for me and Jason.

If you have read this far, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Jason and I have been waiting 12 years to get married in our home state. If you wouldn't want your neighbors and co-workers voting on whether or not you could marry, should you really make that decision for us?

PLEASE vote no on Prop 8.

-Lawrence Ingalls (and Jason Cook)


Posted by Not gay.., a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Wow. I'm really amazed to see how close minded so many of you are. Mind you, I grew up in the church, and my father's a Southern Baptist Minister. To bring religion into this is a joke. Quite frankly, I don't remember the last time I met a Christian who wasn't a completely different person (sinner) from Monday through Saturday.

I happen to have a gay brother-in-law, and a gay sister-in-law. Although I don't believe in the lifestyle, I believe they should have the same rights...unless of course you want to free them from paying the taxes that put your kids in these great schools.

Last but not least, all the traditional family has done for us lately is given us more screwed up kids, every year.

Vote NO on prop 8. And for those who vote yes, I'm sure that you'll have a chance to reconsider when your child comes out of the closet.




Posted by Paula, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 6:20 pm


The hate and venom by anti-Prop 8 people astounds me. Labeling others as bigots—used frequently by anti-Prop 8 proponents to characterize anyone who supports Prop 8—is a sign of what's to come for anyone who dares use the term traditional marriage if Prop 8 doesn't pass (on the other Danville Weekly blog discussing this same topic, Tom Cushing called Prop 8 supporters bigots 6 times the last time I checked).

There are many of us from different faiths whose First Amendment right to free exercise is at stake if Prop 8 does not pass. The injury to these rights is not a prediction, it is a certainty. Religious liberty scholars on both sides of the issue are clear that if Prop 8 does not pass, religious rights will be trumped by gay rights. Chai Feldblum, a Georgetown law professor who specializes in gay civil rights said: "Sexual liberty should win in most cases. There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win in every court." Web Link

Constitutional rights legal scholar Roger Severino stated: "Simply changing the definition of marriage opens the door to a flood of lawsuits against dissenting religious institutions based on state public accommodation and employment laws that prohibit marital status and sexual orientation discrimination. Additionally, religious institutions that refuse to recognize a new state-imposed definition could be stripped of access to government programs, have their tax exemption denied and even lose the ability to solemnize civil marriages. Web Link

Affected areas of conflict include medical and pharmacy services, places of public accommodation, freedom of speech, the revocation of tax exemptions for churches, and the revocation of licenses issued for state licensed services such as adoption clinics, psychological clinics, social workers, marriage counselors, and the entire medical profession (see the 2008 book Same-Sex marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts for a reasoned discourse of this issue by legal scholars from both sides). As recent cases are proving, religious affiliated service providers and individuals with strongly held religious beliefs that prevent them from willingly providing services such as gay marriage counseling, gay adoptions, and in vitro fertilization of gay couples, will be punished by the government and either forced to provide such services, or be driven out of business

Think I'm exaggerating? Here are just a few examples. As the California Supreme Court recently demonstrated in a San Diego case, they ruled that a doctor could not be protected by his religious beliefs in a lawsuit regarding the doctor's refusal to provide artificial insemination services to a woman in a same-sex relationship (doing so was contrary to his religious beliefs). One judge wrote in a separate opinion agreeing with the result that the court's same-sex marriage decision was the legal authority for gay rights trumping religious freedom (Justice Baxter, North Coast Women's Care Medical Group v. San Diego Superior Court, No. S123892. Ct. App. 4/1 D045438, * ___ (August 18, 2008).

In Mississippi, a mental health counselor at North Mississippi Health Services declined to provide counseling services for a woman who wanted to improve her lesbian relationship. The counselor said providing such counseling would violate her religious beliefs. The counselor was fired, and in an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, she lost.

In New Mexico, the Civil Rights Commission ruled against an Albuquerque photography company, run by a Christian husband and wife, for declining to photograph a same-sex "commitment ceremony." The photographers had declined the job because their Christian beliefs conflicted with the message communicated by the ceremony. In retaliation, the same-sex couple filed a complaint with the New Mexico Civil Rights Commission. The Christian couple lost, and were ordered to pay over $6600 in attorney's fees and costs.
The Alliance Defense Fund attorney representing the Christian couple noted this case is demonstrative of a "tremendous threat" facing those with traditional views on marriage and family. "I think that this is a tremendous threat to First Amendment rights. Those who are advocating for same-sex marriage and for rights based upon sexual orientation keep arguing, 'We are not going to apply these against churches. We are going to protect people's right of conscience. We are all about diversity and pluralism.' But, in practice, We see that these [non-discrimination laws] are not rectifying some unjust discrimination, but being used to punish those who speak out in favor of traditional marriage and sexual restraint," Web Link

In Boston, Catholic Charities was forced to shut down their adoption services after a court ruling allowed gay marriages and the state adoption agency went after Catholic Charities' adoption license for following their religious convictions and placing children in homes with both a mom and a dad. Boston Catholic Charities appealed to the governor and the state legislature to permit some sort of religious exemption so they could continue following their strongly held religious beliefs, but these efforts failed. Their decision to pull out of adoption was not lightly taken. Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, of Catholic Charities stated: "We reached a dilemma that cannot be resolved, and the heart of the dilemma is that we find ourselves in a conflict in which the religious moral principals of Catholic teachings clash with the political and civil regulations of the state." Boston Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley released a statement that said, "Sadly, we must withdraw from the work of adoptions, in order to exercise the religious freedom that was the prompting for having begun adoptions many years ago." Web Link

The list goes on and on, and it's just a beginning. From the tone of comments on this blog, some of you are raring to go to force those who don't believe the way you do to act in a way that violates our religious beliefs. Under the guise of civil liberty, you're stripping away and belittling our First Amendment right to freely practice our religion, including supporting marriage as being between a man and a woman, something some of us feel was ordained of God, not man.


Posted by Jay, a resident of another community
on Oct 24, 2008 at 6:56 pm

Well said Paula. I hope the non-gay community, and members of the gay community who are respectful of others' beliefs, seriously consider the myriad real issues raised by gay marriage. It's a slippery slope and unless you are a gay activist, you won't like where it ends up.

Let's be clear. I'm not for discrimination against gays. That's not the issue and never has been the issue. The Domestic Partnership Act already guarantees the same legal rights to gay married couples as opposite sex married couples have.

However, I'm for keeping marriage between a man and woman, as it has existed for millenia. That's the best thing for future generations of children and for our society.

This issue is a very serious one with a huge future ripple effect. Let's put the interests of the children first.

Vote YES on 8!!!

Jack


Posted by Ann, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 8:05 pm

After reading all of these comments and editorials about Prop 8, I can only conclude that the hate and vitriolic comments are coming from those who oppose Prop 8, and not those who are in support of the Proposition. I commend those who are voting "yes" for not engaging in those tactics.


Posted by JB, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Oct 24, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Shame on you Kevin,
Mr. Hales is only voicing his opinion and defending what he believes and you attack him personally as if he were the only one supporting Prop 8. He doesn't stand alone.
You're ignoring the facts from court decisions all over the country. Paula reviewed them for you.
Thank you for voicing your opinion just leave out the hostility and hate.


Posted by Rich, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:10 pm

NO ON PROP 8!




This issue will be unheard of 60 years from now, don't let Danville be on the wrong side of history! The mayor is wrong in her public endorsment of Protect Marriage. Every main stream politician, corporation (Google, AT&T, Cheveron, American Airlines, etc) has come out agains this measure. The Yes on 8 has received ZERO support from any company whatsoever. This is being funded by a bunch of churches and focus on the family that have misleading research on what homosexuality is-it is not a choice but a biological assignment.




Furthermore, this sends out a horrible message to you our youth, have any of you thought what the impact this is for any questioning Danville youth? Did you know the number one cause of teen suicide in the US is of questioning teens?




Danville, show the world that you are as socially progressive as you are financially! This is 2008, VOTE NO ON 8! AND END THE HATE!




Rich







Posted by Greg, a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:57 pm

The hatred coming from the Anti Prop 8 supporters is very disturbing. If you care about a civil discourse and you truly want all citizens to be shown respect, start with those who disagree with you.

On a practical level (putting religion aside), marriage between a man and a woman is a societal norm that was placed into the statutes. If you take the State Supreme Court's logic to its illogical conclusion, why stop at same sex marriage? Societal norms also say that incest is illegal. Are we discriminating against loving brothers and sisters (or brothers and brothers) who want to get married? What about the societal norm and laws related to multiple wives? Are we not discriminating against the rights of a man to marry as many willing women as he wants? Let's look at the societal norms and laws that prohibit adults having sex with children. Are we discriminating against pedophiles?

The point to all this is that society is governed by a set of norms, and many of those norms have been placed into laws by our elected representatives. The California Supreme Court placed itself above the people when it decided to strike down one of those societal norms and the law. My question is what societal norm will the courts attempt to strike down next? The courts should be very careful when overturning the already expressed will of the people.

The proponents of traditional marriage have the right to place this issue before the voters of California and to do so as a constitutional amendment so that judges cannot overturn it once again. The people should be allowed to make this decision and will on November 4th. The will of the people should be paramount. If the majority vote against Prop 8, then a new societal norm and law will be in place. If the reverse happens, then California's citizens have spoken and traditional marriage will once again be the law of the land. Either way, it will be law determined by the citizens of California, not by some lawyers with black robes legislating from the bench.

If the people of California want same sex marriage, so be it. I am more concerned about judges making decisions that expressly reverse the stated will of the people.


Posted by Dan, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 25, 2008 at 12:23 am

Greg

How is their hate when people are expressing their point of view of stopping legislation that takes away rights from others? Judges making decisions against stated wills of people? What stated will, this has never been voted on. If you are quoting the yes on prop 8 commercials, they are wrong and misinformed.

Furthermore this is a civil rights issue. Just because you feel marriage between a man and a woman is natural, does not make it right. Rich had a good point in the post above, don't let yourselves be on the wrong side of this issue when it does become norm, if not on 11/4, inevitably in our lifetimes. If this passes, I hate to say it, it goes straight to he supreme court in DC and will be over turned.


Posted by Dick, a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 1:36 am

I would like to point out a couple of things that relate to some of the arguments I saw in these posts.

1) In terms of judges reversing the will of the people, let's not forget the election of 2000 with the Supreme Court cutting short the voting process in Florida, a process which might be described as the purest description of the will of the people.

2) Churches/organized religion do not have a monopoly on the definition or ritual of marriage. States have a long history of civil ceremonies. You can get married by a justice of the peace, a ship's captain -- in California, as in other states, anyone who fills out an application with the office of the County Clerk has the authority to marry two people in a specified 24 hour period. I do not think it takes a large leap of the imagination to pose the question -- if it is already a legal civil ceremony, why shouldn't it be a legal civil right?

3) In terms of the sanctity of marriage, let's be realistic about the rising tide of divorce in this country. One might argue that in examining the rate of divorce, the majority of people in this country do not view marriage as a life-long commitment -- and this certainly poses a larger threat to the institution of marriage than expanding its legal definition to include couples of the same sex. Yet, divorce is legal...

4) If we polarize on this issue, we may lose the chance to work together on the far larger issues facing us as a community and a society. We have only ourselves to blame for the state of our country's educational system, our lack of health care, our lack of leadership on local, national, and global environmental issues - to name a few. We need a renewed sense of common pupose -- recognizing that as equal members in this society, we accept and share equal responsisbility for its future.

5) I am not sure that I will convince anyone to change his or her mind through this post, but the civil discourse of ideas is central to a healthy democracy -- so thanks to all of you who posted and to those of you who gave some consideration to my thoughts on the issue.


Posted by mcw, a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 9:35 am

Why would anyone find fault with or be against two people who love, care for, and respect each other wanting to marry.
In my mind that would be much better than living together without a legal commitment; and legal 'partnership' just doesn't represent the same sentiments as marriage. Nor does it provide the same civil and/or legal guarantees.
Please look into your hearts and do the only acceptable thing - vote NO on Proposition 8.
And also, please whoever you are remove the 'yes on prop 8' sign from the bottom of our street. It is on public property, and I believe does not legally have a right to be there.



Posted by Jackie, a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 9:40 am

What about the rights of 61% of California's that voted yes on Proposition 22 in 2000??? How dare three judges take away our lawful democratic vote! The true hypocrisy is with only with the gays. They only want their minority oppinion heard and they don't accept the majority view. This makes them the true bigots. End of discussion.


Posted by Carrie, a resident of Diablo
on Oct 25, 2008 at 10:11 am

Jackie-

Are you serious with that comment? The majority view in this case is wrong...how can you support unequal rights and then call the gay "bigots" for fighting for equality. It just doesn't make sense.

Segregation was supported by over 60% as well, and looking back, we all know how wrong that was....but you don't see it as the same with this? It is not end of discussion. This is an issue that needs to be presented in the light it desserves.

Please everyone, stop this hate. Please, equality for everyone. Even if you don't "understand" homosexuality, know that its a biological fact of life, God created it, and its years of society and organized religion that have made you feel its wrong.

Please VOTE NO on 8!

Carrie Stevens


Posted by Kathy Leonard, a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 11:19 am

Please don't mistake hatred for passion and determination and a core survival instinct. You are witnessing what it must feel like to have a whole "movement" target you as a family. This is not about Mr Hales as a single person it is about the "movement" he represents. The huge wealthy, powerful Mormon Church, Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus are pouring MILLIONS upwards of 25 million to take away the rights of a small minority. I can only imagine that this must be what it felt like to be an inter-racial couple in California 50 or 60 years ago.
So, if some of the no on prop 8 comments sound strong and make you wince a little just try to imagine what it would feel like if a select group of wealthy people were spending their time, money and resources to push what they determine is best for you and your family, by changing the California Constitution. That's a bit daunting.

I am proud of my family and their passion to save our future and the future of all families having to endure this attack. Like I said before, no matter how gently and respectfully you push discrimination, it's still discrimination. It's wrong.
So, I, my husband and my children stand by my brother-in-law Kevin's comments and invite you all to walk in his shoes.
Thank you and VOTE NO ON PROP 8.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 11:29 am

It seems that the LDS church has troubled its own house in its foray into exclusionary politics:

Today's CCTimes -- Prop 8: California same-sex marriage fight divides LDS faithful Web Link

Apparently our Communities are divided in more ways than just one. Another case where karma runs over dogma?

As the verse goes: "he that troubleth his own house shall Inherit the Wind."

Please vote NO on Prop 8.



Posted by Ken Leonard, a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 12:44 pm

A Legacy of Discrimination
As recently as 1978, the Mormon Church excluded people of black African descent from Priesthood ordination and from participation in temple ceremonies. In 1995, Mormons threatened to withdraw all funding and participation in the Boy Scouts of America unless gays were banned from the BSA. And now, Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have contributed approximately 40% of the funding, up to $7 million, in favor of Proposition 8. The Mormon Church is continuing its legacy of discrimination with an anti-gay campaign that started well before Prop 8. You should be ashamed of your wasteful, discriminatory and bigoted proposal. Vote No on Proposition 8.


Posted by Ken Leonard, a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Hey Jackie, It doesn't matter that a majority of Californians voted for banning same sex marriage in 2000. Any proposition has to be CONSTITUTIONAL to become law. Constitutional law prevents a majority group from passing discriminatory legislation. You should be happy that we have a constitution. Constitutional law protects you also. It might prevent a majority group from discriminating against you some day. God forbid!


Posted by Danielle, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Oct 25, 2008 at 1:48 pm

First they came for the Communists,
- but I was not a communist so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists,
- but I was neither, so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Jews,
- but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.
And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me


Posted by John, a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm

And then they came for those with traditional values, and their children, and their grandchildren, and steamrolled over them because they desired to force their views on them.

Not for me.

Vote YES on 8!!!!


Posted by Jason, a resident of Alamo
on Oct 25, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Sigh, John, your statements are beyond ignorant, people, please vote no on 8!


Posted by Katie, a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 8:35 pm

What a lot of venom from BOTH sides. Same sex couples are just as loving and wonderful parents as straight couples. Same sex couples deserve the right to be protected legally as straight couples are. Same sex couples currently have the option of being registered and get each and every California right that straight couples who marry do. It doesn't take thousands of dollars. You register with the Secretary of State by filling out a form and you're hitched. Children of same sex couples have every single right that other children do in California. If one or both of the same sex parents are adoptive, he or she has to jump through the same hoops that straight adoptive parents have to jump through. Straight adoptive parents also have to check in with social workers. There's no discrimination there. So the only difference in California is that same sex couples who commit to each other are called registered partners and straight couples are called married. It's a difference in terms, not that the term isn't important. The only real difference is at the federal level - marriage in California for same sex couples is not going to allow them to get each other's federal benefits - that's federal law. Short of changing federal law, the defeat of prop 8 is not going to change a thing for same sex couples except allowing them to use the term "married" instead of being "registered domestic partners." While I agree that these two terms represent a separate but equal semantic distinction, I do not agree that this means that Prop 8 supporters are automatically hateful people who want to oppress same sex couples and deny them the right to be in loving, committed and legally recognized relationships. If that were true, Californians would have never passed the domestic partnership law several years ago granting same sex couples the exact same California rights that straight married couples have. Be nice to each other, gentle Danville people. You're going to have to be each others' neighbors long after the election is over.


Posted by For Denise, a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 10:14 pm

Hey Denise this one is for you. Everyone here who wants to keep quoting scripture.....

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan,
Jim


Posted by Marie, a resident of another community
on Oct 26, 2008 at 6:54 pm

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah!

VOTE YES ON 8!!!


Posted by John, a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 7:38 pm

Sigh, Jason, I'm sick of gay marriage proponents' name calling. Is your justification for gay marriage so intellectually bankrupt that all you have left is name calling?

Well, please keep it up because it will turn off all fair minded folks out there.

Vote to protect the children. Vote YES on Prop. 8!


Posted by Heidi, a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Hey RIch,
Have you been watching the political debates. You say "Every main stream politician has come out against this proposition". That is a quote from you. Well Barak Obama said he defines "Marriage" as being between a man and a women. Joe Biden was asked if he supported gay marriage. His reply was "No, neither Barak Obama nor I support gay marriage. John McCain and Sarah Palin have defined marriage the same, between a man an a woman. Now if you ask me, those are "THE" main stream politicians and they would not vote for "Gay Marriage". Now those against prob 8 are trying to turn this into a "civil rights" deal and trying to get the NAACP to back them. The last time I checked I believe Barak Obama was an African American as are his wife and daughters. He doesn't see it as a "civil righs" issue! If you want to hear it straight from the horses mouth you can go to: prop8info.wordpress.com.


Posted by David, a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 10:44 pm

I'm saddened by what is happening in our community. I understand the stakes are very high here, but no one deserves to be treated poorly...even if you disagree with their position. The name-calling, the profanity, and the seemingly outright hatred being shown here (on the internet and blogs) is truly mind-boggling. My greatest wish is that we could at least agree to disagree, and not make this an "us" vs. "them" issue.


Posted by Danville Resident, a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 6:56 am

Ugh, I don't understand all this hate. I don't understand why people can't separate religious views with civic views. You may very well view homosexuality as a sin and that's your right, but as an AMERICAN you can't view them as lesser citizens without the same rights as the rest of us. We've had separate but equal and it didn't work out very well. I think this controversy will some day be viewed the same as blacks and whites being married was viewed by our parents generation. And from a religious standpoint.....the first one not to sin gets to throw the first stone. If homosexuality is a sin then let God deal with it. I'm pretty sure I've got enough of my own sins to worry about. And from what I can see from the hate being spewed on this board, so does everyone else.


Posted by A Student, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Oct 27, 2008 at 7:11 am

I keep seeing "protect the children," as was mentioned by John, as a slogan for Prop 8. I don't understand it. How would banning marriage between two loving people protect children?

And what about the children like me, who identify as part of the LGBT community? Will you protect us? Because if you're planning to protect ALL the children...you'd vote NO on Prop 8.


Posted by Jeff S., a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 8:35 am

Heidi, perhaps you should do a little bit more research.

Barrack Obama and Joe Biden may say that they do not support same sex marriage, but they also say that they do not support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.

Barack Obama, "...I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states." Web Link

Regarding Joe Biden, the San Francisco Chronicle states, "During an appearance Monday on the "Ellen" show, Biden called Proposition 8 'regressive' and 'unfair' and added that he and running mate Barack Obama opposed a similar initiative nationally." Web Link






Posted by Levi, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 27, 2008 at 2:35 pm

1. What happened to separation of chuch and state? Why is "yes on 8" bankrolled by religious institutions?
2. It is wrong to use religious view points to make civil law. We do not live in a theocracy.
3. If churches want to become political action committees they should lose their tax exempt status.
4. Take religion out of this argument, and no argument exists. I am offended that those with religious/biblical arguments are trying to force their religious views upon others, and deny equality to our fellow neighbors and friends.
5. It wasn't so long ago when the Mormon church believed that marriage was between one man and mulitiple women....ironic, isn't it?
5. Web Link

Please vote "no" on prop *.


Posted by Laura, a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 2:38 pm

I am proud of the Leonards for pursuing this civil rights issue. It is easy for many of you to stand back and say, "why are these people spouting hate and why can't you neighbors live harmoniously next to each other?" However, if all of you "yes" supporters had a loved one that this affected in such a dramatic way, I think you'd feel very differently. Why do the supporters of prop 8 feel that it is their duty to push their values on the rest of us? That doesn't sound very Christian to me.


Posted by Moron plus an I, a resident of Diablo
on Oct 27, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Wow! I think this Prop 8 discussion is a hoot. So many people from Cali look down their noses at me when I say I'm from Mississippi. They all assume I'm an uneducated racist. From these posts it sounds like lots of folks from Cali (Danville in particular) have a white robe in the closet with a matching white hood with eye holes cut into it. At least Cali folks can no longer claim superiority over the South. Turns out they are just as homophobic, racist, and elitist as Southerners!

Perhaps the Yes on 8 folks could get a proposition on the ballot making the rebel flag our new State flag. Better yet if the Yes on 8 folks really wanted to save tradition and children they'd outlaw divorce! Oh, wait, it is a heterosexual tradition to marry and then divorce. Look at the statistics regarding marriage over the last 50 years.

And, yes, we should definitely trust the Morms about traditional marriage. Seems like just yesterday they agreed to stop polygamy. Oh, wait, it was just yesterday that they got on board the one man one woman thing!

And, those Catholics should be trusted. They believe so much in marriage that they don't allow divorce. Why mess around with divorce when you can just get an annulment? And the beauty of annulment? Your kids aren't considered illegitimate even though the marriage never existed! How convenient!

I'm so glad that I live in a country where Church and State are separated. Oh, wait, that's what America used to be. Now, if your religion can come up with enough money you can apparently put any law into effect by lying to get it on the ballot and then lying to get it passed. And we wonder why the civilized world has such a low opinion of Americans.


Posted by Heterosexual Mom, a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:59 pm

I have two young kids and if one of them come to me one day and tell me that they are gay I can only hope that they will be able to have the same rights as heterosexuals.

To all of the "YES ON PROP 8" supporters, I wonder if any of your kids will figure out one day that they are gay...yikes. I can only hope your children are able to live their lives being true to themselves and not to their religion. Religion can be a wonderful part of life but not if it asks you to live a lie.

As for schools teaching same sex marriage...all of our kids are learning about same sex marriage now so, we don't have to worry about schools teaching it...my kids are now asking because they see your yard signs, people demonstrating in Danville, hearing and seeing commercials and asking, "what is Prop 8 and the marriage issue?" So much for talking to them when they are ready.

This is the United States of America lets remember why we live here! NO ON PROP 8!!!


Posted by Scott, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Oct 28, 2008 at 12:00 pm

To the comment above me:

A child is not born gay and that has been proven in studies..
No child will all of a sudeen realize that they are gay like you describe. God says that is an abbomination and im there with him. VOTE YES ON PROP 8!


Posted by rkay, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 28, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Scott...
Cite your studies, post a link. Afterwards, I'll post studies that claim the other. And post links. You can find a study on any topic proving it any number of ways. There are ways to spin numbers and statistics to support anything. Just ask all those neo-nazis who claim they have studies proving that the Holocaust never happened.

No one knows for certain why people are gay. I've never known a gay person who was just minding their own business and got snatched off the street and indoctrinated in being gay. On the other hand, I've heard of lots of folks who've been taken, many times without their consent, and "straightened out".

You and other prop 8 supporters keep using the line from Leviticus about it being an abomination. Well, until you are willing to live by all the other rules from the Old Testament then please put that argument away because it is outdated and invalid. No one lives by the Old Testament anymore. I'd be willing to bet that there are Fundamentalist Jihadist Muslims out there who'd read the OT and be unable to follow it because its too hardcore.

Long story short, provide a real factual study done by a real scientist not on the payroll of the catholic church or any other religious organization (Focus on the Family for example) and I will take some time and find the appropriate counter arguments and we can have a weblink-off.


Posted by Kathy Leonard, a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Posted for John Leonard by Kathy Leonard

Subject: A License To Kill Individual Rights In California

The precedent of amending our State Constitution by majority vote to eliminate rights for one minority group is dangerous. What rights do you have that you might lose in a future referendum?

Imagine a Proposition to amend the State Constitution to:

– Privatize all Social Security accounts of California residents.
– Eliminate all private ownership of guns.
– Eliminate women's reproductive choice in cases of rape or incest.
– Eliminate the non-profit status of churches and other religious organizations.
– Eliminate Affirmative Action and all efforts to integrate public education.
– Eliminate all offshore drilling for oil and natural gas.

Is this the way we want our State to be run? By having all controversial issues decided by a galvanized minority who achieve a majority of votes to amend our Constitution?

In the 2004 general election, only 58.8% of eligible California voters actually voted. That means it could end up that less than 30% of your fellow Californians could decide on your rights. And consider that there are projections that by 2050, Caucasians will make up only 47% of the US population – and be a minority as well.

If Proposition 8 (which is a Proposition to amend the State Constitution to eliminate civil marriage for Gay and Lesbian Couples) passes, what minority groups will be targeted next? Are your rights safe, whatever minority you belong to?

California's Supreme Court overturned our state's law banning interracial marriage in 1948. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down all remaining state laws outlawing interracial marriage in 1967. But it took until 1991 for a majority of American voters to approve of interracial marriage. What if there had been a Proposition to amend the State Constitution to prohibit interracial marriage? Where would those couples be today?

To save constitutional democracy, and individual rights for all of us in California, Vote No on Prop. 8.

Please share this email with everyone you know. Thanks for your help getting the word out about the dangerous world Prop 8 could spawn.

Thank you John for sharing this .....


Posted by Sarah, a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Scott

There are ZERO studies to support this. Who do you think you are to dispense such trash talk and say you are with the San Ramon Valley Schools. They would never support this, who are you? What school do you represent? This is scary that are apart of our community!

NO ON PROP 8!


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Hi Sarah:

I'm guessing that Scott IDs with the school community because he's a student there. And while what he says is naive and wrong-headed, he may be the product of a traditional family in which blind obedience was taught and valued over curiosity and critical thinking. In some families, kids are given The Answers and told they must memorize them -- in others, children are taught how to find answers for themselves. ("Give a man a fish...")

In some ways, I think this issue is a generational thing -- I saw a Gallup poll recently that indicated that if you're over sixty, gay marriage is hard to conceive-of, but if you're under thirty, you probably can't imagine what all the fuss is about.

So maybe there's hope for the Republic, after all. And maybe even for Scott, once he sheds the cocoon.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


Posted by moron with an i, a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm

The quotes below are from an article on slate.com.

For nearly the past 40 years, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has devoted considerable effort to teaching its members about the dangers of Mormonism. In fact, probably no other organization in the nation has played a bigger role in perpetuating the idea that Mormonism is a cult than the Southern Baptist Convention.
And the SBC got serious about tempering the expansion of what was becoming the fastest-growing religion in the world. They developed programs, trained pastors, hosted Mormonism-awareness conferences, and published articles to help spread the message to Southern Baptists that Mormonism was a dangerous cult religion they had to avoid. The SBC's Sunday School Board developed an instruction kit, "The Christian Confronting the Cults," that covered five religious groups: the Mormon Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Worldwide Church of God, the Unification Church (the Moonies), and Christian Scientists. The book quickly became the Sunday School Board's top-selling item. The Baptist Film Centers even purged two films produced by Brigham Young University from its distribution lists. Neither film addressed doctrinal issues, but the Southern Baptist Convention dropped the titles so as not to appear approving of Mormon-produced messages. All of these efforts against Mormonism, an SBC magazine explained, were "to help Baptists witness to Mormons without becoming 'Mormonized' themselves."

The SBC developed a video called The Mormon Puzzle and distributed copies of it with a book titled Mormonism Unmasked. Both works promised to "lift the veil from one of the greatest deceptions in the history of religion," a blurb on the book's cover announced.


The SBC is one of the world's most skilled organizations at spreading hate messages. I guess the Morms learned from the best. The tactics used against the Morms are now the ones they employ against gay marriage.

Good thing the SBC can't get a Prop on the ballot outlawing Mormon marriage. Wait, if they have enough money and spread enough lies, the SBC just might be able to get a ballot initiative banning Mormon marriage.

Build hate into your State Constitution and it becomes easier and easier to add more and more hate. So, you never know, the Morms might be next!


Posted by Elizabeth Werhel, a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 4:50 pm

When my husband and I decided to marry in the early 80s, I was hurt and surprised that we were considered a "mixed" marriage by the Catholic Church (he's Catholic, I'm Protestant). My dad reassured me by saying "Don't worry kid, the Pope doesn't recognize my marriage either". But what if the state wouldn't have recognized it?! Passsage of Prop. 8 will deeply hurt those families not seen as "traditional". Think what you are contemplating people! There is no justification for protecting the definition of a word at the expense of families who care for and nurture each other. Let the Pope and any other religious group/leader refuse to recognise the loving bond of family but don't let your fear and prejudice stand in the way of your neighbors' fundamental rights. I can certainly understand the strong feelings of those people facing this potential damage. They are literally fighting for their lives. Stand up for your neighbors' rights! Vote no on Prop 8.


Posted by Bob, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 28, 2008 at 7:51 pm

It's a shame that in our democratic free country that one person's support for a proposition makes him or her a bigot. How is that free speech? It's interesting how the "No on 8" supporters feel that they are all for freedom of speech except when it comes to views that they oppose.
YES ON 8


Posted by john, a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 8:41 pm

haha, all of you NO on 8 voters think that arguing with a couple of people on the internet is going to accomplish something for you and that you will have satisfaction. The truth is that you will never be satisfied because the majority will win and gays will never be excepted as normal. When prop 22 was brought up, 61% voted against gay marraige. Those four corrupt judges overturned the vote that our soldiers bled and died for. Those pigs overturned 4,300,000 votes and said they mean nothing. This time the majority will win no matter how many gay parades flow through the street or how many times a person is called a bigot or gay-hater. The only satisfaction you will have is ganging up with a couple of internet nerds and bashing people on the danville weekly which no-one reads anyways.


Posted by rkay, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 28, 2008 at 10:20 pm

I would ask that all of you who are going to want to respond to John please refrain from doing so. Anyone who's ever been on message boards know that the first rule is Don't feed the trolls. He/she is just trying to get a rise from you. In all probability a high schooler with a bit too much free time and a need to see people freak out over the callous comments they make. Please don't play into it.

Many of the posts on this issue have been respectful, insightful and interesting. Please don't make this a hatefest. This forum is a chance to make people understand each other. Even if you can't agree at least make the attempt to be civilized and respect each other's side.

This issue won't be decided on November 4th. We all know that no matter what happens, lawsuits will be filed and challenges made. I don't agree with prop 8 but I don't hate those who support it. I won't tear down signs or refuse to talk to those who support it. I'd hope we all could do the same.


Posted by moron with an i, a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2008 at 10:47 pm

Rkay: I agree. Nobody is THAT stupid. John is simply looking for attention.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Dear Bob:

When I get to be king, an edict will go out across the land that you have to actually undertand a right, like free speech, before you can invoke it on a message board.

That's just one of many reasons you can be glad I'm not king. But you need to study-up, my friend.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


Posted by Berta Kolin, a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 8:05 am

NO ON PROP 8

Yes on Prop 8ers have no understanding of this great country and the living document that guides it, the very same document that other countries envy us for. It's called the Constitution of the United States of America, in which several of its rubrics are SEPARATION OF CHURCH & STATE, EQUAL PROTECTION and FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION. You Yes on Prop 8ers need to go back to school and take some civics courses because your education is clearly lacking. THE PURPOSE OF THE CONSTITUTION IS TO PROTECT THE MINORITY FROM THE MAJORITY. This great country is not based on majority rule! Our Founding Fathers realized, having been victims of it, that MAJORITY RULE IS TYRANNY.

Suppose the majority wanted to outlaw baseball caps. Just because the majority can put it on the ballot and get the majority votes, doesn't mean it is legal. The majority does not rule, the law does and only the Judicial branch of government, the courts, have the authority from the Constitution to decide what is legal and what is not. The legislative branch cannot overrule the judicial branch on legality so if Prop 8 passes it will then go to the Supremes in Washington and Prop 8 will lose there, which will be final. The good news is that those religious entities that are violating the Separation of Church & State rubric of the Constitution by illegally funding Pro 8 will have lost all the millions they spent that could have gone where Jesus himself would prefer it go, to feeding, housing, treating and educating the poor. Revoking the tax exempt status of religious entities just might force them to spend their congregation's money on the intent the funds were raised for…..benevolence.

EVERY MARRIAGE IN THIS COUNTRY IS A CIVIL UNION PROCTECTED BY CIVIL LAWS, IF A MARRIAGE LICENSES WAS OBTAINED FROM THE GOVERNMENT. Anyone can be married by a clergy person, justice of the peace, ship captain etc without a civil marriage license, but without that CIVIL MARRIAGE LICENSE, the married couple is not protected by the civil laws governing so many things, among them, property, taxes, right of survivorship, parental rights etc so why don't all you yes on prop 8ers just get married in the church? Why? Because YOU WANT CIVIL LAW PROTECTION THAT YOU ARE FIGHTING TO DENY SAME SEX COUPLES. Same sex couples are not asking to be married in your churches. They are demanding equal civil protection guaranteed by that living document mentioned above.

Grow up Yes on Prop 8ers. Gays do not decide to be gay. They just are. When did you decide to be heterosexual? You didn't. You just are. If you think that gays can influence your children to be gay, remember that EVERY GAY PERSON WAS CREATED BY A HETEROSEXUAL COUPLE SO THINK BEFORE YOU SUPPORT TAKING RIGHTS AWAY FROM SOMEONE ELSE BECAUSE THE NEXT GAY CHILD TO COME OUT OF THE CLOSET JUST MIGHT BE YOURS.

Berta Kolin – grandmother of 2 Danville children, soon to be 5


Posted by Jason, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 29, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Bob

Free speech is only valid and protected by the constitution when it is based on facts and equality for all. Obviously allowing gays not to marry is not equality for all, and furthermore the ads in favor of prop 8 airing on tv (schools, churches, etc) are BLATATENLY FALSE! Free speech is no longer covered under these statues. If you want to say you LOVE or HATE a current President because fill in the blank and action they have done, and its true, you are entitled. But the consitution does not state we can have free speech if it means denying other groups equal rights, and you and I both know that most prop 8 supporters aren't REALLY worried about marriage, but this is more of an outlet for them to expose their bigotry and hate.

VOTE NO ON 8 EVERYONE! STOP THE HATE!

Jason


Posted by Elizabeth Werhel, a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Well said, Berta!


Posted by Jackie, a resident of Danville
on Oct 30, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Berta,

Maybe you should be the one to go back to school. Marriage is not a right. You might want to read the The Bill Rights section under Amendments to the Constitution. The right to bear arms, freedom of religion, speech, etc. are actual rights under the constitution. Black's Law Dicitonary defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife. Marriage is a optional contract that a man or woman can enter into. It is not a right.

Over 60 million dollars have been spent trying to redefine and undefine marriage. With one in four kids dropping out of school the teachers union should have used their millions to improve graduation rates rather than get involved with moral issues.

I plan on exercising my right to vote by voting Yes On Propsition 8.




Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Danville
on Oct 30, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Dear Jackie:

Why do you think you have the "right to vote"? After all, IT won't be found in the Bill of Rights, either. Oh, wait -- there IS that pesky Ninth Amendment, which states: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." In other words, "this isn't an exclusive list of rights."

Trouble is -- when I look in there, the right to marry is there, too.

Further, assuming that you are a woman of majority years, we don't get to Your right to vote until the 19th Amendment, ratified less than 100 years ago (and certainly not in the Bill of Rights).

Believe me on this one thing, please: if there wasn't a right to marry, your leaders wouldn't have extracted $30! million from their flocks to try to take it away from certain of your fellow citizens.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


Posted by Berta Kolin, a resident of Danville
on Oct 31, 2008 at 9:54 am

Jackie -

Excuse me Jackie but only people of LEGAL age "HAVE THE RIGHT TO MARRY".

Black's Law Dictionary defines what has been interpreted in the past. Laws change and so do the definations. The law once was that a black person was not a 100% human being. Gratefully, that has changed hasn't it?

Some rights that are not specifically named in the Constitution are covered under "UNALIENABLE RIGHTS", those which cannot be taken away and are taken for granted for all people like the RIGHT TO PRIVACY, THE RIGHT TO EXIST, THE RIGHT TO AN EDUCATION. Roe v Wade falls under "UNALIENABLE RIGHTS".

Blacks and Whites were once not allowed to marry each other. That has changed too hasn't it? People off all colors were "GRANTED THE RIGHT" TO MARRY WHOMEVER THEY WISH UNDER THE "FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION" RUBRIC OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTON AND THE 14TH AMENDMENT OF "EQUAL PROTECTION".

Education is a wonderfull thing. You should try it.

Berta




Posted by Eric, a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2008 at 10:55 am

I understand people thinking that this is a moral issue based on their religion, that can not be denied. however, it is ALSO a civil issue as much as the the rights of blacks and others has been in the past. What about the apartheid. this was discrimination brought by a minority on the rightful majority. It was abolished because when it come right down to it, the greater of humanity realizes when injustice has been committed.

The Moral argument is a valid one...for the INDIVIDUAL! Your morality is a right and I fully respect that, but it is a right for you and may not be the one I choose and THAT is my right. Christians seem to be the most vocal about this issue. Because you take Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, does that mean that Jews and Muslims should have no rights(perhaps to marry)because they believe he was simply a prophet? Perhaps some feel that way, but do you really think you could get a constitutional amendment taking their rights away?

No one is asking anyone to turn gay. No one is asking you to change your personal definition of marriage. nor will Yours and my heterosexual marriages be compromised in any way by the defeat of proposition 8.

If you can not see the reason in this and must cling to your religious definitions to discriminate, you can always look at it from a more selfish viewpoint... If Homosexuality is indeed an abomination, let them go at it. That way the gays will burn in hell and there will be more room in heaven for you!


Posted by Rob, a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 2, 2008 at 4:35 pm

The last two posts regarding prop 8 have spoken about marriage, both as a civil and a religous/moral issue. Both perspectives have merit, but I will speak to it on a personal level - specifically what is in the best interests of children.

My father was gay - he had same sex tendencies from the age of 13. Still, he married my mother but continued to live the gay lifestyle secretly for many years. I didn't find out about his same sex attractions until after I was in college. Needless to say, that admission shocked us all and put his marriage in jeopardy.

My mom was devastated yet stood by and supported dad through all the years of uncertainty that followed. He did much soul-searching to reconcile his feelings with the deep love he had for my mom and the rest of the family - a very private and intense conflict.

I often think how easy it would have been easy for dad to abandon the family and embrace the gay lifestyle completely - but he elected to remain the father in our home and raised me and my brothers. For that heroic, unselfish act of service I will always be grateful. Few men have the strength and courage to make a sacrifice of that magnitude.

As has been noted in many other blog posts, my dad didn't choose to be gay. But he did make a choice that the needs of his children outweighed the personal desires he had for a same sex partner. The best environment for any child is to be raised by their biological mother and father. That simply isn't possible in same sex marriage relationships.

I know many loving gay and lesbian couples personally - and I respect their right to enter into those relationships if that is the lifestyle they chose. However, I cannot support a redefinition of marriage that so many are promoting. California has progressive laws to bring equality in health care benefits, probate, and even the adoption of children. None of these rights go away if prop 8 passes.

For this reason, to protect the best intersts of children, I will vote YES on PROP 8.


Posted by Stewart, a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2008 at 5:23 pm

See excerpt below from Lowell Brown blog: Web Link on the real story about how schools will force feed same sex marriage to our students and parents will NOT be able to opt their children out!!!!!

This is the true, but hidden, agenda of gay marriage proponents.


Perhaps the most hotly-debated question about Proposition 8 is the measure's impact on schoolchildren. If Proposition 8 fails, will young children be taught that same-sex marriage is equal to traditional marriage? Opponents of Prop 8 have adamantly -- and falsely -- claimed this will not happen.

The fact is, Prop 8's leading opponents have been very public for a long time about their goal of teaching schoolchildren about gender orientation at very young ages. What is worse, they have openly promoted strategies for overcoming or circumventing parental objections to such teaching. It is foolish to believe they will not use the same approach to teaching children about same-sex marriage.

Why this matters

When it comes to private sexual practices generally, I've long been attracted to the view of English actress Beatrice Campbell: "I don't care what [people] do, so long as they don't do it in the street and scare the horses." My work colleagues and friends, and anyone who really knows me, know that I consider their personal lives to be just that: personal. All my friends, gay and straight, know I support them in seeking personal happiness. I support California's already very expansive laws providing for domestic partnerships, which, in Family Code Section 297.5, guarantees to registered domestic partners "the same rights, protections and benefits . . . as are granted to and imposed upon spouses."

But marriage is different, and so is teaching schoolchildren.

Most seven year-olds still need to learn how to sit up straight and cover their mouths when they sneeze. Kids don't need the schools teaching them about gender orientation -- an arcane and confusing subject to even the most precocious children -- before they have even thought about their own sexual identities.

Besides, if we are going to start teaching six year-old children that same-sex marriage is the same as traditional marriage, that's a decision that should be made by the people, not by four of the seven judges on the California Supreme Court.

The law on teaching schoolchildren about marriage

Misinformation about just what California's Education Code says about marriage has been flying around the internet and on television and radio ads by the No On 8 campaign. There is no doubt, however, what the Education Code requires as to teaching about marriage and families. Here's an excerpt from the key statute, Section 51933:


(b) A school district that elects to offer comprehensive sexual health education pursuant to subdivision (a), whether taught by school district personnel or outside consultants, shall satisfy all of the following criteria:

. . .

(7) Instruction and materials shall teach respect for marriage and committed relationships.
(Emphasis added.) According to the California Department of Education's website, 96% of California school districts provide sexual health education that places them under Section 51933's requirements. Can anyone reasonably deny that if Prop 8 fails, the instruction about "marriage" this statute refers to will include same-sex marriage?

What Prop 8's leading opponents have said about parental rights

The response to these concerns from from Prop 8's leading opponents has been that Prop 8 has nothing to do with schools. Amazingly, even the State Superintendent of Public Education has filmed a television ad promoting this falsehood.

Think about it: If the State Supreme Court has defined marriage to include same-sex unions, and schools are required to teach about respect for "marriage and committed relationships," well, it seems pretty obvious that from kindergarten on, kids will be learning about same-sex marriage, doesn't it?

But it gets worse. The other response from the No On 8 group has been that parents can simply "opt out" of instruction about gay marriage. This is another deception. The same people who make that claim have argued forcefully that no opt-out rights exist, as long as the instruction is part of "diversity education" encompassing gender orientation. They've even made their case in court.

Regarding opt-out rights, an organization called the California Safe Schools Coalition published A Question & Answer Guide for California School Officials & Administrators. The Coalition's Steering Committee includes The California Teachers Association, Equality California, American Civil Liberties Union chapters throughout California, State Senator Sheila Kuehl, and other prominent backers of No On 8 who have already raised millions of dollars to oppose the measure.

Here's one of the questions and answers:

Can parents 'opt out' of their children's participation in school programs that discuss sexual orientation and gender identity?

State law explicitly provides that "instruction or materials that discuss gender, sexual orientation, or family law and do not discuss human reproductive organs or their functions" is not subject to the parental notice and opt out laws. Thus, where issues of sexual orientation or gender identity are raised in school programs other than HIV/AIDS or sexual health education, such as programs designed to encourage respect and tolerance for diversity, parents are not entitled to have notice of or the opportunity to opt their children out of such programs. California law does not support a broad parental veto regarding the contents of public school instruction.
(Emphasis added.) Translation: If you are a California parent and think you have the right to opt your second-grader out of story time because the teacher is reading the students a book about a prince who marries a prince, you should think again. As long as story time is part of a program "designed to encourage respect and tolerance for diversity," you have nothing to say about whether your child participates. You won't even hear about the book unless your child comes home and mentions it to you.

The California Safe Schools Coalition also published on its web site a "Question and Answer Guide to California's Parental Opt-Out Laws." The Guide's goals include helping educators who are promoting "tolerance and diversity" to circumvent the opt-out laws, as evidenced by this question and answer from that guide:
Do parents have a constitutional right to prevent their children from receiving education in public schools on subjects they disapprove?

Almost never. Parents have filed a number of court cases seeking to prevent public schools from teaching their children controversial literature or subjects . . . and have lost virtually every case. Courts have held that so long as the public school curricula are secular and reasonably related to educational goals, parents do not have veto power over the content of public school instruction. . . . Schools may wish to excuse students from non-essential activities (such excusing a Jehovah's Witness student from a Valentine's Day party) but are not legally required to excuse students from curricular activities such as . . . diversity education. The interests of the school and student in education outweigh parents' interests in preventing their children from being exposed to ideas that conflict with religious traditions.
Here's the guide's concluding paragraph:
[By] carefully articulating the purpose and content of diversity education programs, schools can both fulfill their legal duty to ensure a safe and nondiscriminatory school environment for all students, and also avoid violating parents' notice and opt-out rights.
(Emphasis added.) So, you see, it's all a matter of how the schools set up their program. If they do that right, parents have no voice. The next time you hear a No On 8 spokesman tell you that parents need not worry about their kindergarteners being taught about same-sex marriage, think about the Question and Answer Guide to California's Parental Opt-Out Laws.

(Somewhat curiously, the Question and Answer Guide seems to have disappeared from the Safe Schools Coalition's web site. An e-mail correspondent sent me the Question and Answer Guide on October 23. By October 26, as I am writing this post, the guide no longer appears on the internet. The now-defunct URL is here.)

Proposition 8 raises serious and controversial issues. Instead of continually dissembling about the real facts and the law, it's time for the opponents of Prop 8 to get serious about addressing those issues.

And about telling the truth.

YES on 8!! For the kids and their parents.


Posted by Stewart, a resident of Danville
on Nov 2, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Look at this GREAT youtube video showing the HUGE grassroots support for traditional marriage and putting our children first. Turn on your speakers for great background music!!!!


Web Link


YES on 8!!! For the Kids!!


Posted by Janet, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2008 at 9:48 am

When I saw all the Yes on 8 signs lining Crow Canyon Road on my way to work it made me sick to my stomach. I've lived in Danville for 20 years and although I realized it was a conservative area I never realized how much hatred so many of my neighbors secretly harbor for other people who they see as different from themselves. I will not be able to look at Danville in the same light again. If not for having a child in school in the area I would leave this Stepford-like community of intolerant, hateful, mornonic residents.

Vote NO on 8. Please!!


Posted by Dan Villain, a resident of Blackhawk
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:23 am

Hi Janet: one zealot can place a hundred signs in an hour during the dark of night, and $35 million in tithed contributions can purchase a lot of signs. Please don't buy into the attempt to make this narrowly-based crusade look like it has the support of the general citizenry. It doesn't. Smoke-n-mirrors is a theme of the YES crusade.

BTW, one person can tear up twice that many "NO" signs in a similar amount of time. And they have.

I hope you've had a chance to see the enthusiasm of of NO rallies last week and over the weekend. Lots of families demonstrating, a great din of honking and thumbs-up, and smiles all around.

It does a heart good to see that demonstration of where the "Real" San Ramon Valley stands on this latest issue of civil rights.

Please VOTE! and Vote No on 8!


Posted by Kathy Leonard, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:48 am

The above article in the Danville Weekly was a result of the story below.... Please read it again, nothing has changed.....
*********************************************************************
Hi All,
I don't normally feel compelled to share my personal thoughts with an entire community but, right now I feel a deep commitment to share a bit about our family. We have a big wonderful family spread out across the country from coast to coast. Our family is VERY close, we enjoy each others company and love to spend time together. Now, there is no mistaking the fact that we are all different and unique, the same as any family. We have our quite people (not too many), our boisterous ones, our conservatives, our liberals and all the crazy fun types, too. But one thing we definitely are, is supportive of each other.
One of our families lives in Southern California. The parents are hard working, educated, every Sunday church goers, involved in the community and volunteer when ever possible. This family has a beautiful 4 year old adopted daughter, our niece Ayden. She was adopted in an open adoption in Ohio 4 years ago. These parents are also raising 2 girls, Michelle and Valerie which they rescued via the Foster system from a neglectful mother addicted to drugs and alcohol.
SO, while one parent goes off to work to earn money to keep the quality of life at it's highest, the other stays home and performs all those millions of tasks that keep a household running, you all know what I mean.... just like any other family. So, these are wonderful people doing wonderful work and giving of themselves in ways that most of us wish we could. These are my Brother's-in-Law, They are currently legally married and they are a same-sex couple deeply committed to each other and to our family. They have navigated through this life and the justice system with VERY few rights and still have found a way to accomplish extraordinary things. They have ALWAYS been treated as second class citizens but continue to hold their heads high and take the high road of responsibility. They deserve to have rights just like any other family.
Sometimes I think people don't realize what's at stake for us and countless other families in the same predicament this year. I want to gently and respectfully remind people that if Prop 8 passes, our niece will have NO rights of survivorship, NO inheritance rights and NO dignity or warm safe feelings in her family. Taking away marriage equality would unravel the fabric these good people use to keep going. Our family would be forced into the separate but equal segregated institution of "registered domestic partners". This is analogous to the segregation of blacks in our school system years ago. Separate is NOT equal.
Here in the land of the "free" our family is struggling to understand why some very wealthy powerful religious organizations around here are pouring millions of dollars for a call to action to rip our family apart. It feels hateful and awful to us. My feeling is that if the members of this group are against same sex marriage, then don't marry a gay person but, why they are attempting to change the California Constitution to push their views on me, is beyond my comprehension. As we speak there are 16 states in the process of banning gay adoption. I wonder what they plan to do about the thousands of children already living in same sex households? Can you really imagine taking such basic rights away from such fine citizens? I know this is only one family's story but you can be sure that there are thousands of family's with similar stories.
If you are a Californian, Please vote NO on Prop 8, and tell others to do the same
Thank you for your time,
Lovingly and with respect,
Kathy Leonard


Posted by Ken Leonard, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2008 at 12:04 pm

JUST THE FACTS:

A Legacy of Discrimination:

As recently as 1978, the Mormon Church excluded people of black African descent from Priesthood ordination and from participation in temple ceremonies.

In 1995, Mormons threatened to withdraw all funding and participation in the Boy Scouts of America unless gays were banned from the BSA. So, they were.

And now, Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have contributed approximately 40% of the funding, over $10 million, in favor of Proposition 8.

In 2008 Proposition 8 would eliminate the rights of same sex couples to marry.

The Mormon Church is continuing its legacy of discrimination, again attempting ENGINEER their narrow world.

We don't need to change our California Constitution to accommodate the interests of a select few.

Vote No on Proposition 8.


Posted by Janet, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Thanks Dan for reminding me that what you think you see isn't necessarily a true representation of how the majority of people around you are thinking -- even if it appears that way. Unfortunately I've missed seeing any of the Vote No on 8 rallies and seem to be faced with Yes on 8 at every turn. I hope you are right and they are just a loud minority. Yard signs in my neighborhood are heavily weighted towards Yes on 8 and parents at my son's middle school have complained because the teachers have No on 8 signs displayed on their cars. So it's really nice to see the support for No on 8 that people are showing in this forum and I will try to remain optimistic that Prop 8 will not win tomorrow. Thanks again Dan!


Posted by David, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2008 at 3:57 pm

To Tom and the rest of the supporters of NO on 8...this is going to be cross-posted to all of the forums on this topic.

I've posted very infrequently in these forums, but I feel that I need to say something in this case. First of all, I applaud you (No on 8 supporters) for exercising your constitutional right to expression, and fighting for a cause you believe in.

I recently posted a comment in another thread about the tactics that are being used on both sides...and how disturbing they are to me. I spoke specifically about how people are supposed to be targeted individually.

Web Link

I was told by several friends that I shouldn't worry about it, and that it is just someone making noise for the sake of making noise.

Well, here's an email that was sent to the employer of a friend of mine. It was sent this afternoon at 1:56 PM from an ANONYMOUS Yahoo email address with the name of Joe Schmo.

The target of this email is a friend of mine. He is a good family man. He, his wife and children, have lived here in our community for many years. The business that his company is involved in is under tremendous pressure, and he is at a very real risk of losing his job. His family is struggling with some other issues that complicate things even further.

Now "Joe Schmo" (who evidently needs a spelling lesson) has decided to out my friend to his employer and business partners for donating to the yes on Prop 8 campaign. Why is Joe targeting him now, 1 day before the election? He can't possibly get my friend to take back his donation to protectmarriage.com. So what is his motive? I'm going to wager that it is to administer as much pain as possible to someone who disagrees with his position.

Awesome job, "Joe". Well done. Way to show the world that you can tolerate someone else's opinion. I'm glad you are showing how hateful Mr. Y is, and how tolerant you are. He truly is the "biggot" here. The best part of Joe's email is how he ends it with "respectfully".

I'll sure be glad when this election is over.

I agree that we should stop the hate. Vote whichever way you feel best about…but stop the hate.

-------------------------
From: Joe Schmo [mailto:twelveinchsurfer@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2008 1:56 PM
To: Mr. X
Cc: Mr. Y

Subject: Mr. Y = Biggot / hate?

Mr. X,

If someone said "I wish they would outlaw marriage between blacks and whites," would that be biggotry? Of what if they said "I don't think it should be legal for Jews and Catholics to marry." Would you think that was o.k.?

Well that is how Mr. Y feels. He wants to deny the rights of two loving and consenting gay adults to marry. He feels so strongly about it that he has given $X,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign through protectmarriage.com. As I am sure you know, Prop 8 is the initiative, being backed heavily by the Mormon Church and its members, that would actually ammend the California state constitution to DENY rights to a group of people... Imagine that... people wanting to ammend the constitution - not for some noble cause or to ensure the rights of a minority - but to DENY rights they already legally have. That is what Mr. Y wants to do.

I just thought you might like to know about the people working with you and that are associating your company name with their biggoted cause.

Web Link=

Did you know that every major paper in California is against Prop 8, including the most conservative editorial boards of the Bakersfield Californian and San Diego Union Tribune (both of whom are endorsing McCain). Most news outlets have pointed out what a ridiculously deceiptful campaign the Yes on 8 backers have run. This is a hateful and biggoted initiative.

Maybe you and your company share the beliefs of Mr. Y; I really hope not.

I hope YOU will vote NO on 8.

Respectfully,

Joe


Posted by Stewart, a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2008 at 6:34 am

Well, Joe, maybe you now realize what trash is fed to us daily by "every major paper in California" and even the "conservative" (HA!) editorial boards.

The papers' views do not represent the opinion of the good people of California. Get it?

What came through loud and clear is the hate and bigotry of the NO vote -- so ironic for a group which claims to be urging tolerance. The voters "got" that irony and won't soon forget it. The NO vote sank so low on this issue that they felt free to, and did, disseminate utter falsehoods, make wholesale attacks on churches, religions and their adherents, and name call EVERYONE who disagreed with them on an important issue the most vile and ugly names.

Shame on all those NO voters who acted so despicably. I'm sure there were many NO voters who didn't do that, but your extremist colleages were the ones leading your charge and you let them do so. This vote was, in part, a referendum on your arrogance and incredible selfishness.

Turns out that the YES on 8 vote was far more tolerant and loving than the NOes.



Posted by Scott, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Nov 5, 2008 at 11:06 pm

how emberassing for all of the people in this forum who gave all those deep and thoughtful essays on how prop 8 is wrong. well california has voted and once again the propoition was passed. we could do this every year if you want to...but nothing is going to change. most of the people who are for prop 8 dont like to go out and express it as openly as the opponents do..but when the time came to vote and they saw what choice they had..they chose to ban it because they knew that homosexuality is wrong. better luck next year. youll need it...


Posted by Marcy, a resident of Danville
on Nov 6, 2008 at 6:52 am

It's not embarrassing at all. It's just very, very sad. But I'm not ready to give up my beautiful state of California to those who judge and exclude. Keep that in your church - and long live separation of church and state! (even if it's temporarily on sabbatical)


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Danville
on Nov 6, 2008 at 11:29 am

Dear Scott:

Apparently you find no significance in a margin that has gone from over 20% in 2000 to under 5% in 2008. Or in Contra Costa numbers that show the crusade losing by close to 10% -- but I do.

Tactically, I think the No campaign gave too much attention to the spurious education-related claims -- allowing that to become the frame within which this Q was decided. That's too bad, because it diverted attention from the true essence of this struggle as being to establish the civil rights of an unfairly stimatized minority.

I certainly don't begrudge the time, effort or expense of my involvement on the No side. I am very happy for the connections I've made, I'm heartened that so many of my neighbors feel as I do, and I'm confident that, ultimately, we shall overcome some day (soon).


Posted by Devon Blunden, a resident of Danville
on Nov 7, 2008 at 8:57 am

Anyone who clings to the idea that marriage is sacred should be ecstatic about letting gays do it.

About 60% of marriages fail. So much for God and "until death do us part".

When gays decide to get together to marry (or, in the past, to "civil unionize"), they have usually been together for years and, far more than heterosexual couples, STAY together.

Gay marriages should be the example of love, commitment and sacrifice to heterosexual couples who get a free pass to screw it all up, simply because they happen to fall into a category the law supports.

Any of you Prop 8 supporters who have married, had kids, then divorced -- you've caused more pain, hurt more people and violated God far more than any gay couple ever will.


Posted by Rick, a resident of Danville
on Nov 7, 2008 at 12:12 pm

It's truly sad that extremist religious groups funded largely outside our state were able to hijack the electoral process to deny basic rights to our citizens. No matter how much these people twist their logic to justify their actions, Prop 8 simply boils down to bigotry and inequality. Hopefully it will be nullified in the courts, which are empowered to enforce the state and federal constitutions - which guarantee equality to everyone, not just those who belong to a certain religion, race, or special interest group.


Posted by Member D, a resident of Danville
on Nov 7, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Scott,

Don't be smug. Here are the actual numbers that voted on Prop 8 taken from this publication:


Proposition 8
Yes: 9,202
No: 11,039


The No's outnumbered Yes in Danville, so you should realize your opinion is the minority in Danville and the only one who should be embarrassed is you.


Posted by Member D, a resident of Danville
on Nov 7, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Scott,

Don't be smug. Here are the actual numbers that voted on Prop 8 taken from this publication:


Proposition 8
Yes: 9,202
No: 11,039


The No's outnumbered Yes in Danville, so you should realize your opinion is the minority in Danville and the only one who should be embarrassed is you.


Posted by Someone, a resident of another community
on Nov 24, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Whew! It passed!

Hopefully, the CA supreme court will honor the voice of the CA people this time.

Marriage was preserved. The riots have died down. The hateful badgering of pro-8 supporters has decreased.

Life moves on.


Posted by Tons of Pleasant, a resident of Danville
on Nov 24, 2008 at 7:13 pm

"Life moves on."

...unless you're gay.

The Supreme Court's allegiance is properly to the CA Constitution. Either way they hold, however, this issue will not die until the rights of All Californians are recognized and respected.

You wouldn't have known it from the Sunday Valley Times, but 5,000 people turned out again this past weekend, this time on the Capitol grounds.

The voter demographics are inevitably in favor of the same-sex marriage cause. The only real questions are "how soon?" and "why not now?"



Posted by Someone, a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2008 at 11:09 am

Yes, I agree that the allegiance of the CA supreme court should be with the CA constitution, which is why it should uphold the Prop 8 amendment made to the constitution by the CA people (we are the ones who created the constitution and reserve the right to amend it, which is what we "the people" did).

Let's not go there with the "rights" thing, this was debunked ages (it seems) ago. You say, "equal rights!" I say, "There are equal CA rights, look at the CA codes." You say, "well then, that's separate but equal." I say, "No, that's equal but different." You say, "That's segregation." I say, "No, that's justifiable legal distinctions based on the nature of two types of unions." And we go round and round.

It didn't take long for the media to realize that these riots only hurt the cause--people are turned off by the hate propegated through these tantrums. It's doing more harm than good. That's why these "riots" have died down and why the media doesn't want to lose any more credibility by publishing/broadcasting them. Besides, the public has moved on and the media is getting the message.

Why not now?
Because the CA people said, "Not now." How soon (or how long)? As long as a majority of the CA people realize that there is value in preserving the traditional definition of marriage. I hope the amendment stands for generations.

Yes, life moves on, even if you're gay.


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