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Prop 8 does discriminate

Original post made by Pat, Danville, on Oct 16, 2008

Danville Mayor Candace Andersen's Letter to the Editor printed in the paper Oct. 3 stating "Under California state law the rights and privileges are essentially the same" between "marriage" and "civil unions" is wrong. When you're married and your spouse is sick or hurt, you get into the ambulance or hospital room with no questions asked. In everyday life, and especially in emergency situations, domestic partnerships are simply not enough. Only marriage provides the certainty and the security that people can count on in times of greatest need.
Also marriage conveys immediate tax benefits that domestic partnerships do not. As domestic partners (which we were) if I died tomorrow my partner of 21 years would have to pay inheritance tax on the home we bought together six years ago. However, as a legally married couple (which we now are) he will automatically be granted full title without having to pay a cent.
David and I got married at San Francisco City Hall on June 25, then celebrated the blessing of our vows July 24 in a deeply moving religious ceremony at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church where I both worship and work. This ceremony was attended by 200 friends and members of our parish, many of whom said it was one of the most wonderful expressions of love they had seen in years. I find it ironic that the cover of the issue with Andersen's letter had a bold red headline, "Love of a Life."
If the mayor believes her statement, "I do not believe that anyone in our community should be discriminated against based upon his or her sexual orientation," then she should VOTE NO on Proposition 8.

Pat Parr, Associate for Music Ministry, St. Timothy's Episcopal Church

Comments (205)

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Posted by Concerned in California
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2008 at 11:44 pm

I disagree.

If you are undecided on Prop 8 consider that to tolerate is not the same thing as to condone. Tolerance is a lens through which we should view all people, including gay and lesbian people. We cannot and should not condone all actions. You can love people without loving what they do.

Voting Yes on Prop 8 is a vote for tolerance. Voting Yes on 8 guarantees that rights will be preserved for traditional marriages and for domestic partnerships. Voting Yes on Prop 8 is NOT intolerant, bigoted, or discriminatory. Please vote YES on Prop 8!

Web Link
www.whatisprop8.com
Web Link


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Posted by Gemma
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 6:32 am

Then why call Yes on 8 "Protect Marriage"? Adultery hurts marriage. Divorce hurts marriage. People who get married when they are too young or not committed hurts marriage. These are the things "marriage" needs to be protected from. But if two people love each other ... that does not hurt marriage.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 7:22 am

Dear Concerned: So, peace is war and ducks don't quack? Nobody likes to think of him/herself as bigoted, but it is impossible to escape the fact that Prop 8 denies full social participation to a significant minority of our fellow Californians.

To sustain your "hate the sin/love the sinner" argument, you must decide that homosexuality is a "lifestyle choice," rather than an innate feature of one's make-up. It's not, any more than your or my heterosexual orientation is. It really is like, say, skin color, gender or even handedness -- would you deny equality on any of those bases?

One of my favorite cartoons shows Dad and son, sitting on the edge of the boy's bed, and Dad says: "Son, I think it's time we chose your sexual orientation." Do you really think it works like that?

Constitutions are precious, and there's not enough love in the world. Why would we go way out of our way to institutionalize exclusion and bigotry? CA has always stood for inclusion and acceptance. Please vote "NO" and keep our state open on an equal basis to all who choose love.


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Posted by Paul
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 17, 2008 at 7:51 am

The Prop 8 must pass to have civility in the society. The marriage must be between a man and a woman. At the same time, people with all kinds of sexual orientation must be respected and their rights protected. If the same sex couples ask for the same rights as heterosexual couples, then it makes sense. But please do not call it a "marriage". It is not. It is that person's choice. The Prop 8 does not discriminate anyone. It just states that the marriage is between a man and a woman. How can the generations multiply if it is recognized this way? There will be no reproduction, which is one of the main purposes of a marriage. Do we want our little children, in elementary school, to learn about same sex marriages?


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Posted by Lisa
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 8:02 am

Protect marriage? Protect people from other people who think they know what is best for other human beings because they happen to go to church. I had been in "the church" for years. I was quite involved on a daily basis at one point, and what I saw (even in my own home) was nothing to write home to God about, let alone protecting marriage. Even our own pastor was having an affair. I would like to tell you that it was not common, but it was as common as prayer groups. The reason is; people are just people that happen to to go to church, but for some strange reason someone told us if we go to church it makes it all better. So we can continue on instead of changing our ways, and stop judging our neighbor even if he or she is an awesome individual that has the right to have the right. Enough of that thought process. Vote NO on 8, and tell the hypocrites to stop telling others how they should live their lives. People have torn down the church, not God. My God is a loving God. And as far as I remember back.... Jesus loved all and was a pretty cool guy.


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Posted by Peter Petroski
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 8:05 am

I am much more interested in what a mayorial candidate will be doing for our town than his/her personal beliefs on morality and issues that are state or federal levels ones.
If they wish to campaign for a higher office, then they should do so and leave the affairs of Danville to people who are willing to focus on the job at hand.
I will take this lack of focus into account when I weigh my voting choices.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 8:56 am

Paul: if you're really worried about same-sex marriage as a threat to the survival of the species, please try chaperoning a local high school dance.

You'll come home reassured. ;-)


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Posted by KM
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 9:34 am

When I first read Candace's letter and the previous letter prompting her reply, I thought in general she and the council have done a good job running Danville. But in the end I cannot give my vote to someone who has this prejudice against any one type of person. What other Danville decisions will she make that might reflect her personal prejudices? I have to wonder if she lets edicts from Utah influence her Danville decisions. I am not going to vote for her.


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Posted by Cindy W
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Oct 17, 2008 at 9:52 am

Candace and her gang have lost my vote. The Mayor of Danville is a non-partisan office. Proposition 8 has no barring on the current issues facing the Town of Danville. She should not make Proposition 8 part her campaign. Does Candace also advocate expelling those sinning homosexuals from 'HER' Town?
Why would anyone care if two people who love and care about each other get married? What's so sacred about marriage? Those that condemn same sex marriage often quote the bible, but according to the bible adultery is the most widely condemned of the sexual sins; it is mentioned in the Ten Commandments, all four Gospels, and ten other books of the Bible. So perhaps we need a proposition that punishes those who get divorced and commit adultery.


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Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 10:22 am

In all fairness, Candace has never mentioned Prop 8 in the public or political arena. Where this came from is a letter to the editor which pointed out that she had signed on to endorse Prop 8 on the protect marriage website.

Nor has she at anytime in office proposed/supported or passed any town council legislation that would discriminate against gays or any other group.

Geoff Gillette
Reporter, Danville Weekly


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Posted by Tim
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 10:40 am

This is in response to Paul. You said "Do we really want, our young children in elementary school, to learn about same sex marriage". I believe that we do. By letting children know that most marriages are between a man and a woman, but sometimes two men or two women may decide to marry and that's ok, could help alot of kids. Those that are discriminated against for being different than the other kids would not feel quite as different. The highest teen suicide rate amoung kids is amoung gay teens. They are teased, beat up, made to be outcasts. One of the common slang terms among teens right now is "that's so gay", referring to anything bad.
God forbid one of you're kids ever ends up being gay or lesbian. The gay children are members of their families just like the straight children are. They need the support of their parents, siblings, teachers and society just like everyone else, and sometimes more.


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Posted by LK
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 10:44 am

A History 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. Proposition 8 would eliminate the rights of same sex couples to marry. The Mormon Church is continuing its legacy of discrimination. We don't need to change our California constitution to accommodate the interests of a select few. Vote No on Proposition 8.


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Posted by Elizabeth Werhel
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 11:01 am

Let's get this straight; Proposition 8 doesn't protect anything except fear and prejudice. Getting all excited about the definition of the word "marriage" as opposed to protecting people's rights is absurd. Denying the existence of stable families that look a bit different from my own doesn't make my family safer. And the other arguments in favor of Proposition 8 prove untrue if we just think about them for a minute. Don't be misled by propaganda. Think for yourself. California law has recognized same sex marriage since mid-June and many people have been married. Has anything terrible happened? Has anyone been impacted negatively? On the contrary, protecting the freedoms and rights of everyone in America has always led to a greater America. Be a proud and brave American. Vote no on Proposition 8.


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Posted by Member D
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 11:03 am

From what I remember the institution of marriage was created to protect offspring and the spouse. The male at that time was legally bound to provide for his children. Marriages were financial arrangements that were arranged by the families that also included preservation, or growth of social status in the community. That's why there was a dowry that was given to the bride's parents. Only in the last 100 or so years has romantic marriage become the trend.

Today all types of couples are now able to have a family using many methods ranging from invitro, surrogacy, etc. Whatever the method, a marriage is in the eyes of the law, established to provide for the offspring as well as ensure that the spouse may be there for the other spouse where the law requires it (hospitals, etc) as well as tax benefits.

Considering the amount of unmarried people that are still procreating (Bristol Palin included) passing Prop 8 will definitely not end our species. The generations will continue to multiply. Your childen will not suddenly become homosexual once it passes. They will continue to marry, procreate and probably carry on your narrow minded thinking. Bottom line is how does it really hurt you personally to allow same sex couples this right?


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Posted by Member D
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 11:09 am

Edit: Considering the amount of unmarried people that are still procreating (Bristol Palin included) voting NO on Prop 8 will definitely not end our species.


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Posted by Susan
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 17, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Tolerate? Condone? Whatever happened to live and let live - and the golden rule? I'll be very disappointed in Californians if Prop 8 passes.


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Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 12:56 pm

I was pleased that Danville's Mayor, Candace Andersen wrote to the Danville Weekly regarding her endorsement of Proposition 8, which eliminates the right of same sex couples to marry. The Mayor's position "is simply based upon [her] belief that the term 'marriage' defines the commitment between a man and a woman, and 'civil union' more appropriately defines the legal recognition of a same sex couple's relationship."

Since the Mayor's letter does not include any other justification for denying the right of same sex couples to marry, I can only assume that her research into the issue is limited to her "belief", and does not include discussions with affected parties or the review of the California Supreme Court's decision regarding same sex marriage. I would hope that the mayor's "belief" on other issues affecting Danville residents does not also comprise her sole research.

If the Mayor had researched the issue, she would have read the Supreme Court's News Release of May 15, 2008, which states, "…retaining the traditional definition of marriage and affording same-sex couples only a separate and differently named family relationship will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples, and may perpetuate a more general premise that gay individuals and same-sex couples are in some respects "second-class citizens" who may be treated differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals or opposite-sex couples."

Neither I nor the California Supreme Court agrees with the Mayor that having "essentially" the same rights is enough.

If Candace Andersen believes that endorsing yes on Proposition 8 is consistent with her statement, "I want to make it very clear that I do not believe that anyone in our community should be discriminated against based upon his or her sexual orientation," then she either does not understand the issue, or her concerns regarding discrimination are not genuine.

For the mayor of my town to publicly endorse a proposition that is discriminatory against me and my family certainly indicates that Candace Andersen does not represent me or my concerns. She will not receive a vote from me in November.

I hope the voters of Danville and of all of California realize that Proposition 8 does not protect marriage, but instead protects discrimination.


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Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 12:57 pm

I was pleased that Danville's Mayor, Candace Andersen wrote to the Danville Weekly regarding her endorsement of Proposition 8, which eliminates the right of same sex couples to marry. The Mayor's position "is simply based upon [her] belief that the term 'marriage' defines the commitment between a man and a woman, and 'civil union' more appropriately defines the legal recognition of a same sex couple's relationship."

Since the Mayor's letter does not include any other justification for denying the right of same sex couples to marry, I can only assume that her research into the issue is limited to her "belief", and does not include discussions with affected parties or the review of the California Supreme Court's decision regarding same sex marriage. I would hope that the mayor's "belief" on other issues affecting Danville residents does not also comprise her sole research.

If the Mayor had researched the issue, she would have read the Supreme Court's News Release of May 15, 2008, which states, "…retaining the traditional definition of marriage and affording same-sex couples only a separate and differently named family relationship will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples, and may perpetuate a more general premise that gay individuals and same-sex couples are in some respects "second-class citizens" who may be treated differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals or opposite-sex couples."

Neither I nor the California Supreme Court agrees with the Mayor that having "essentially" the same rights is enough.

If Candace Andersen believes that endorsing yes on Proposition 8 is consistent with her statement, "I want to make it very clear that I do not believe that anyone in our community should be discriminated against based upon his or her sexual orientation," then she either does not understand the issue, or her concerns regarding discrimination are not genuine.

For the mayor of my town to publicly endorse a proposition that is discriminatory against me and my family certainly indicates that Candace Andersen does not represent me or my concerns. She will not receive a vote from me in November.

I hope the voters of Danville and of all of California realize that Proposition 8 does not protect marriage, but instead protects discrimination.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 1:04 pm

As someone brought-up well-churched in the Protestant traditions, I am confused when I read that most of the funding for the amendment sought to be imported into our state constitution comes from churches. Really?

The Jesus whom I came to revere stood for the transcendent power of Love, for compassion and acceptance (cf. Beatitudes). And if we're to be guided by the principle WWJD ("what would Jesus do?" -- one could do worse than to follow this precept), I'm interested to learn how Prop8 supporters square their positions with the best angels of Christian theology.

Given that this is a Town Square discussion, would someone kindly enlighten me as to where you think Jesus would come out (no pun intended) on this issue? Please note that I can find the rote condemnations of honosexuality in Old Testament fire-n-brimstone verse on my own. Kindly concentrate on Christ's teachings -- did he ever opine on the subject, directly or obliquely?

Please know that this is an honest inquiry. I've always liked the quote that the role of religion is "to comfort the afflicted -- and afflict the comfortable." But I wonder --have some of our churches themselves grown too "comfortable?"

Thanks in advance for participating.


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Posted by kennyw
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Geoff:

I beg to differ. I'm the author of the original letter to the editor. When Candace supported Prop 8 on the protectmarriage.com website she listed herself as the MAYOR of Danville. She could have just as easily listed herself as a private citizen. There is a section for both public officials and private citizens so she made a choice to "name-drop" her mayoral title.

Prior to writing the letter to the editor, I wrote her and all the members of the council an email asking if it was appropriate to use the mayoral title when supporting any controversial Proposition that does not have direct bearing on city business. NONE of the council responded to my email. When she used the Danville mayoral title in announcing her support, she was making a public and a political statement.

The voters of Danville have the right to decide: 1) if her decision to use the mayoral title to support a controversial, non-city related issue shows the judgment needed by someone to lead a town and 2) if her support for Prop 8 is consistent with their own beliefs and values.

Personally, I believe the town should have some sort of policy prohibiting the use of the mayoral title when announcing personal positions on controversial topics that don't relate to city business. When the title of mayor is used in supporting or opposing a proposition, it's easy for someone to believe that the mayor is stating an official position of the city. As is evident from the forum discussions and the letters to the editor, she does NOT speak for the entire town on this issue.



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Posted by kennyw
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2008 at 2:14 pm

As a private citizen, Candace has the right to endorse or oppose any proposition. My concern was that she used her title of Mayor to announce her support on a website that clearly encourages discrimination. The protectmarriage website states, "the best situation for a child is to be raised by a married mother and father." That statement implies that families led by gay parents are somehow less than ideal. My children would definitely disagree with this statement. I have two step-children who are now grown that I raised for over 8 years of their life. My partner and I also have two biological children of our own who are now toddlers. My children should not have to hear that their town mayor supports a website that claims their family is somehow inferior to our neighbors who are a traditional married heterosexual couple. If Candace truly objects to discrimination then she ought to say while she supports Prop 8 she does not condone the statement on the protectmarriage website which advocates that heterosexual families are superior to ones led by a gay couple.


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Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 2:21 pm

I appreciate all of the comments on both sides of this issue and hope that these discussions help spark interested, informed and civil debate.


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Posted by Kathy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2008 at 4:25 pm

In these unprecedented uncertain economic times the Mormon and Catholic churches are raising millions and millions of dollars, upwards of $20 million. People are out of work, losing their homes and finding it more difficult to put food on the table all over California and the United States.
But, do you know what the Mormons and Catholics are using their millions to do? They are using it to target a minority group and to take away their legal rights. What a complete waste of precious resources. Just imagine how far this money could go toward world hunger, world peace, helping the unfortunate or the handicapped. If Prop 8 passes, same sex marriage will be invalid and the married families and their children will be forced into the "segregated", "separate but equal" institution of "registered domestic partners".
They might as well just round them all up, brand them, and have them sit in the back of the bus. This is a total outrage! PLEASE VOTE NO ON PROP 8.


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Posted by Kelly
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2008 at 10:35 am

There are two signs that have come out in force throughout my community - Vote for Candace and Vote Yes on Prop 8. It has not escaped my notice that they are on the lawns of every Mormon family I know and more.

It appears that this church and other religious organizations need to be reminded that tax exemption is a privilege, not a right. American tax laws are designed to favor non-profit and charitable institutions, which presumably benefit our communities. However, to qualify for tax-exempt charitable status, organizations must not engage in activity on behalf of political candidates or carry on substantial lobbying activities.

I believe this issue needs to be brought to the attention of our State Attorney because the sheer enormity and uniformity of those signs shows quite clearly that this is a motivated, well-organized political action by the Mormon Church.

Of course I am voting NO on Prop 8 - we are one human family folks, and this is clearly discrimination. And anyone that tries to cloak their discrimination with the "separate but equal" argument should be reminded that this argument was used against African Americans, immigrants, the disabled, and women too. This November any person in political office or running for office that supports discrimination needs to be shown the door. Candace will NOT have my vote in November.


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Posted by Ryan
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Oct 18, 2008 at 10:53 am

I don't think news papers should take a particular stance on political measures considering that half of the people in the state of California support the measure. People of that strongly disagree with your opinion might decide to stop subscribing to your news paper that is why it pays to have a non-biased outlook on things. Unless you want to lose every subscriber that supports proposition 8 including me and members of the Protect Marriage organization I would recommend that you stop publishing articles against proposition 8. By the way gays that are in domestic partnerships have the same rights and privileges as married couples so proposition 8 does not take away rights. Gay couples in domestic partnerships can have power of atorney and can have their partner in their will which would give them the same benifits of married couples. It's a fact. Proposition 8 simply preserves the traditional definition of marriage and the family. If proposition 8 doesn't pass it takes away rights from many groups. Churches will be sued if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings just like they have in Massachusetts. These organizations will lose their tax exempt status. The charities that are operated by religious organizations that hold a traditional view on marriage will be shut down and the poor will no longer receive assistance. Public and private schools will be forced to teach same-sex marriage the same way that traditional marriage is taught regardless of parental consent. The cascade of lawsuits against organizations that still hold a traditional view on marriage will costs tax payers in California money. So whose rights are really being taken away?


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Posted by R.J.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Vote no on Prop. 8.

First, our mayor may have or may not have been out of line with her stated position on Prop. 8. She sounds bigoted to me and I will not vote for her again.

But, what has our country come to? Why is it okay to approach the notion to re-write our state constitution? With a special emphasis to “eliminate" a right from one group of people just because we may not agree with it. I was not put here to judge others based on my religious beliefs. We've all heard “separation of church and state?" Our Founding Fathers were right on the money with their foresight and their bravery to have “all men are created equal" written as the first line in our Declaration of Independence.

I'm tired of all of us Americans fighting each other because each group believes their group is superior to all others. We've got to stop this because same-sex marriage will not be the downfall of our great country, it will be our internal hatred of each other that will be our undoing.

We may not agree with same-sex marriage, but I am a citizen of the Greatest Country in the world, and in history, and I believe all Americans should be treated equally with no exception.

This great experiment we call the United States of America has made great strides since our beginning. I would like to believe that we are continuing our growth.

Please: Vote no on Prop 8. It is the American thing to do.


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Posted by Jean
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Ryan,
Please read Kelly and Kathy's email directly above your's. They will give some insight as to why "domestic partners" is a discriminatory institution. Separate is not equal.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Dear Ryan: you do yourself and your cause no credit by advocating against a free press.

Such an argument betrays a fear that your position won't withstand public scrutiny and debate -- which are of the very essence of the democratic process. And while that fear appears to be realized by the answers to your arguments above, I hope that other supporters of Prop8 will join this conversation and articulate their concerns.

I believe Americans have recently tended to hunker down on our respective sides of important issues, seeking information from only those media that reinforce our predilections. Danville Weekly appears to take no position on this crucial cultural and human rights Proposition, but instead provides us with a forum in which to discuss the elements we find important or problematic.

I, for one, appreciate it and hope we will continue to discuss this matter. I note that there have been more than 500 views on this thread, but there are fewer than thirty entries. Dive in, folks! I also hope someone answers my request to understand how those who support Prop8 on religious grounds believe Jesus' teachings would guide them on the question. Thanks!


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Posted by Lisa
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Ryan in W.C. If No on prop 8 will possibly bring on taxes for your church.... BRING NO ON 8 ON! Some of you need to be taxed, especially when "your church" has spent so much money trying to cram your opinions down all our throats, instead of doing God's work. There are people not eating in the world!!!!! Put your church money to proper use or pay taxes like we all have to! I'm also sure Danville weekly is really worried about you and your clan not reading the free paper you recieve. Just go back and read what you wrote. Are there really people like you in our country? Scary.


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Posted by B.S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Candace Anderson has lost my vote.


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Posted by MCW
a resident of Danville
on Oct 19, 2008 at 10:49 am

I am in total agreement with our current mayor and her comment about Proposition 8. Of course, we should all vote 'no' on 8. We who live in this beautiful area of California, and who represent our selves to be so caring and thoughtful with regard to our fellow Danville neighbors, and Californians are depriving many of the most basic rights, that we have all fought so hard and long to allow.


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Posted by Jean
a resident of Danville
on Oct 19, 2008 at 2:09 pm

A note to MCW:

Candace Anderson came out in favor of Prop 8 as the Mayor of Danville. She would like to see everybody help pass the prop. I will vote "no" on prop 8 and will not vote for Candace Anderson. She is a member of the very organization that pured 40% of the funds to pass this. Shame on her!


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Posted by cardfark
a resident of Danville
on Oct 20, 2008 at 11:30 am

The Contra Costa Times has an on-line poll on this subject, here:

Web Link

Have at it, Danvillians.


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Posted by MN
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 1:09 am

I think the fact that Candace Anderson is one of the only elected officials to voice her opinion on this issue is proof of her integrity. Anyone that can stand firm in her core beliefs amidst the firestorm of antogonistic rubbish I've seen printed here deserves to be re-elected. She has most assuredly secured my vote.


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Posted by The Last Word
a resident of Diablo
on Oct 21, 2008 at 8:35 am

Because even the most important issues can be taken too seriously --

Top Ten Reasons to Make Gay Marriage Illegal

01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all like many of the principles on which this great country was founded; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of the 55% of marriages that don't end in divorce and the fraction of those that can be called "happy" would be destroyed.

06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America. Unitarians don't count – they're disorganized religion.

09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, women as work colleagues or longer life spans.
------------------------------------------------------------------


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Posted by MN
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 8:44 am

I want to ammend that last statement. Candace has never publicly voiced her opinion about Prop 8. I'm just wondering,(kennyw) if she hadn't listed herself as "mayor", do you honestly expect us to believe you and others wouldn't have gone after her anyway? I'm also wondering which presidental/vice presidental candidates you may be supporting because all four have come out in favor of traditional marriage. I think Candace stands in good company.

Mayor Anderson has given countless hours of service to the town of Danville. Her record as mayor and councilwomen speak for themselves. She's honest and stands up for what she believes in. Since when is this such a crime?


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Posted by Michael
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 9:35 am

I respect Candace Andersen and the job she has done on the council and as Mayor. Let's not kid ourselves. She was attacked in this paper for her support of Proposition 8 and that is why she felt she needed to respond. She would not have done so otherwise. Her job is Mayor and the law states that when you give a donation to Proposition 8 you have to list your employer. She complied and that was all. Opponents are just trying to make it into something it is not for their polical purposes. She is very qualified and has been and will continue to be a great leader of our community. Don't believe the hate speech of a few.

Now to the issue of Proposition 8. I am shocked and very saddened at how much animosity and even violence there is in this community against those who support Prop 8. Sadly, most of the hate and venom I see and hear are from those who are advocating Tolerance. I guess tolerance is only one sided. My wife was screamed at and her car pounded on because she had a Yes on Prop 8 bumper sticker. This violence, publishing of names of supporters, and verbal berating has caused citizens to be afraid to say they support Proposition 8. On my street several have said they are afraid of getting fired if people know they support Proposition 8. Getting fired for voting?!!! That is the basic premise of our country - freedom of expression and the voice of the people. Opponents to prop 8 have lost this very important fact.

The core issue for proponents of Proposition 8 is that marriage has always been protected so that society will be strong and stable through the birthing and raising of children. It has not been sustained or protected by law in order to protect the love of husband and wife. 27 states have already supported that fact and made marriage between a man and woman consitutional law and many state supreme courts have heard arguments to the contrary and all but three have sided on the fact that Marriage is more about protecting children than the couple. The only 3 states that have allowed marriage to be between same sex partners have done so against the voice of their people and on a divided vote within their supreme courts. The opinion of only 3 judges have made those decisions for those 3 three states.

Those who support Proposition 8 hold the majority view which has been supported by all but three state supreme courts of law. It continues to be the desire and voice of the people. It is not right to bully and label those who hold this view in our community as hate-mongers, bigots, etc...

Throughout the world only a handful of countries have legalized marriage between same sex partners. Those countries have not experience any good outcomes that would justify the need to change the definition of marriage or its tried and tested societal outcomes. This is a social experiment and I am shocked at comments like, "we have had gay marriage since June and has it effected you or your marriage?". How naive can people be? The effects will be on our children and grandchildren. Those who want to engage in this social experiment should be the ones that have to prove that it won't have huge negative consequences.

An earlier comment that domestic partnerships are not the same as marriage is exactly correct - but their rights are under California law. Even now that the same sex partners - who wrote earlier - are now married, I am sure they will still be questioned when one partner tries to ride in the ambulance with her partner. I too was questioned at a hospital last week on whether I was related to the patient, had to show ID, etc... I was not upset by that, nor is it any act for or against my sexual preference.

American Football and Australian rules Football are similar in many ways but not the same game. Calling them the same thing will not make them the same. We differentiate. Marriage between a man and women is different then a civil union/domestic partnership between and man and a man no matter how loving the relationship or beautiful the celebration. One works biologically and the other doesn't. California has given both "unions" the same rights, but they are different in function and name.

Lastly, one of the big issues on Prop 8 is that there are a few but extremely activist groups of homosexual advocates who are trying to drive the acceptance of their sexual preference into the schools to teach it to small children. Those who deny this are choosing not to see. The gay/straight alliance has on their website a SB71 fact sheet with these comments, "SB 71 clearly states that parental notification and consent policies apply only to sexual health education, HIV/AIDS prevention education, and related assessments." They then ask, "How can you make sure SB 71 is enforced in your school?" They answer, "Make sure the school doesn't require parental notification and consent for anti-bias trainings regarding sexual orientation."

They instruct their activists to make sure that biolocial sex education is not discussed along with homosexuality and in that way they can teach homosexuality and parents have no right to remove their children from the discussion.

That is fact and it is scary. They used this exact argument and similar laws in Massachusets and went to court to fight against parents rights to take their children out of classes teaching homosexuality!

Parents lost their rights to teach their children a moral value in that state and that fight will move here without a doubt. Is that okay? NO, that is not tolerance - that is indoctrination! So, there is no hatred or bigotness by those who want to protect Marriage and be able to keep their rights to teach their children. If prop 8 passes those are the rights that will eventually be lost. Domestic Unions will still have every legal right under California law.

I am sure I will be called a bigot, hate-monger etc... but it is not true and those are powerful buzz words to incite emotions. The truth is I love all people, regardless of anything! And I teach my children to do the same. My sister is in a homosexual relationship. She and her partner have adopted two children. I love my sister very much. I treat her partner as a sister and love their family. I teach my children to do the same. But I also teach them that homosexuality is not right biologically or morally. That teaching does not diminish my love or theirs for my sister. If my sister was demanding, "I know you accept me and love me but I have the right to teach your children all about homosexuality so that they will accept it as morally correct", I would not allow it. My love would not change for her at all, but I would not allow it. Would anyone?

Sadly, experience and history has shown that the rights of many will be diminished by the activist efforts of a few as they push on the fringes of laws. So, if you want traditional families to stay strong, you should vote yes on Prop 8. If you want believe in traditional families AND in allowing gay couples to have the same rights then you should vote yes on Prop 8. If you think the voice of the people is what this country was founded on then you should vote yes on Prop 8. If you want to take away the rights of the majority of parents and enter into an unproven social experiment then you should vote no on Prop 8. But, either way, you should stop calling the other side the names that are being used.


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Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 9:47 am

MN:

Candace Andersen did publicly voice her opinion about Proposition 8 by allowing her name and title to be included on the page of public officials endorsing the proposition, Web Link.

There is a difference between being in favor of traditional marriage and endorsing a proposition which amends the constitution to eliminate the rights of a minority group of people. Both Senator Obama and Senator Biden are both in favor of traditional marriage, but both are opposed to a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.

Biden announced that he would vote against Proposition 8 on Ellen DeGeneres, Web Link

Obama opposes a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage and further, is in favor of repealing the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, Web Link

I am glad that Candace Andersen is honest and speaks what she believes. She believes that my relationship is not as deserving of State recognition and State protections as hers is. She believes that it is acceptable to write discrimination into our State Constitution. With that information, I know that she does not represent me or my interests and that my vote would be better appreciated by another candidate.




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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 10:22 am

This bears repeating (from the "Lost" signs thread):

To the fatherless souls who steal Anti-Prop 8 signs in Danville:

Thank you -- your bigotry is an inspiration. You've provided me with a reminder that this really is a battle against small-mindedness, intolerance and exclusion. Please know that I will redouble my work against this discriminatory attack on our state constitution -- and if you steal more signs, I will redouble again.

Note that this is not vandalism -- the Only Signs Removed from public places are the "Vote No on Prop 8" signs. Completely targeted.

Apropos of the above: I'm going to get replacement materials -- and then some. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE AN ANTI-PROP 8 LAWN SIGN, PLS EMAIL ME AT tfcmail@gmail.com

Very sincerely, Tom Cushing


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Posted by Mrs. C
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 10:31 am

I honestly don't understand why people think it is their right to ban two people from being married. Who are they hurting? If everyone minded their own business we'd all have more time to work on our OWN marriages, which based on the rising divorce rates, is the REAL problem here!


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Posted by Karina
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 10:32 am

Our laws should reflect what is best for society. We have laws to protect our citizens. Our society values family and protects children. Our laws have to reflect what is best for our society.

Families are the base of society. Children need both a mother and a father. Both parents are different and add different aspects to each childs life. I have never met a child that didn't want their mother and father living with them under the same roof. Yes, some families are single parent families, some are divorced families. Some children are born to young teenage mothers. This is sad and the kids are the ones that pay the price. And while there are some awful heterosexual parents and some wonderful homosexual parents, the point remains that we should maintain the institution of marriage as it currently stands because it has been shown through studies to be in the best interest of children.

Candace Andersen did not bring her polital views of Prop 8 to the forefront. She has dedicated so much time and energy to our town. She spents hours and hours at meetings, business openings, lectures, childrens events, grand openings, ribbon cuttings. I have never seen anyone as organized and as hard working as Candace. She has and is also raising 6 wonderful children who are becoming outstanding members of our society. How anyone can claim that Candace is unqualified for Town Council is beyond me.

I thought here in America we were entitled to free speech and our own moral values. Isn't that what our forefathers died for? I thought that until I caught a kid stealing my "Yes on Prop 8" sign in front of my house. I had a car full of boys follow me home and yell at me for not wanting gays to be married. And lastly, when the "f" word was yelled at me as I drove around Danville because I had a bumper sticker on my car. I am now thinking that some people want free speech only when it is what they want to hear.


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Posted by Mrs. C
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 10:41 am

Oh Karina, children don't NEED a mother and a father...children need LOVE. It's as simple as that. Yes, you are certainly entitled to your free speech...and you are entitled to decide who YOU want to be married to. But, I find it very ironic that you are complaining that a very basic right of yours is being taken away, when in essence, you are trying to take rights away from others.


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Posted by Kathy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 10:45 am

Please see below what Morris A. Thurston a Professor at Brigham Young University Law School says about the propaganda being spread on prop 8 regarding teaching in our schools: Please also read his entire memo debunking the untruths being spread in the "six consequences.... if prop8 fails. See the full commentary at noonprop8.com


For Immediate Release Contact: Ali Bay or Eddie Fernandez
October 19, 2008 Phone: 916.284.9187 or 916.425.3363

MORMON SCHOLAR'S MEMO DEBUNKS PROP 8 ADS
Well-known Mormon Legal Scholar Confirms Prop 8 has Nothing to do with Education

SACRAMENTO – On the day that the Proposition 8 campaign released a new television ad repeating for the third time a charge that has been exposed as untrue, the NO on Prop 8 campaign challenged the Prop. 8 campaign to end its campaign of deception.

Opponents of Prop. 8 said that the new ad is clearly false – citing an analysis by a respected Mormon scholar finding that the claims included in Prop. 8 ads are completely "untrue" and "misleading."

Morris A. Thurston, a professor at Brigham Young University law school, confirms what others have been saying for weeks – that the advertising claims that the measure would affect teaching or schools are "untrue" and "misleading," and that nothing in Prop. 8 would affect California schools. The Thurston memo has been posted to www.mormonsformarriage.com, a website sponsored by Mormons who do not support their Church's active campaign against gay marriage.

The NO in Prop. 8 campaign is posting the Thurston memo in its entirety to www.noonprop8.com later this morning.

Kate Kendell, an Executive Committee member of the NO on Prop. 8 campaign, issued the following statement:

"I have reviewed this memorandum. It exposes their shameful scheme to deceive the voters. The memo clearly states the Prop. 8 ads are based entirely on claims that are not true.

"Educators and other experts have been saying this for weeks. So have newspapers.

"Now we have it from one of their own – a prominent Mormon scholar who says claims in the Prop. 8 ads are 'untrue' and 'misleading.'

"In his memo, this Mormon scholar concludes Prop 8. has nothing to do with education or teaching.

"What is particularly disturbing is that the Mormon Church has asked its members to fund a campaign based on these lies. As this Mormon scholar says: 'Relying on deceptive arguments is not only contrary to gospel principles, but ultimately works against the very mission of the Church.'

"There is a reason behind their deception: Californians don't support taking away rights or treating people differently. That's why Californians will vote NO on Prop. 8."



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Posted by MN
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 10:55 am

Jeff:
Prop 8 does not eliminate any rights from the state constitution. There were no fundamental rights for same sex marriage in the California constitution in the first place. When those four judges legislated from the bench (and that's exactly what they did) they redefined marriage as between any two people. This went against the vote of millions of Californians. They weren't interpreting existing law, they were inventing it. Prop 8 helps restore First Amendment rights.

Vote Yes on Prop. 8!!


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Posted by Kathy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 11:17 am

MN,
The California Constitution covers the rights of ALL of it's people, not just some of it's people. And remember in 1948, Californians passed a proposition to ban inter-racial marriage. It was later overturned by the supreme court for being unconstitutional because it was discriminatory. So, just because a majority of people THINK the constitution should be changed to serve their own purposes, doesn't mean it will be.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Oct 21, 2008 at 11:24 am

Why are there so many attacks against the Mormons? They are just one church that has voiced opposition to Proposition 8. In fact, the largest donation to Yes on Prop 8 has come from the Catholic church. The Mormon church itself has not contributed at all, its members have contributed on their own and the total of all their contributions is barely a third of all money raised in favor of the Proposition. It is our Mormon neighbors and friends who are California citizens and good members of our community, not a church, that are giving according to the dicates of their own conscience. How is that wrong?

The sad truth I believe is that the reason the opponents to Proposition 8 are singling out the Mormons and not Catholics or other churches is because there is a hate and bias toward that religion among many people in this country and state. That was very evident in the hateful comments made about Mormons when Mitt Romney ran for President this year. Even here in Danville, we recently heard some ugly Mormon jokes shared and laughed at among the parents at our childrens soccer game. For some sad reason this prejudice and bigotry is acceptable among us. Why do we tolerate that?

The opponents of Prop 8 are fanning the flame of this bigotry against the Mormons in hopes that it will help their position and by the comments above and in the papers it appears to be working. However, it is wrong and if it were any other group we wouldn't allow it. If you buy into that strategy or use it yourself then you need to look in the mirror and question your own willingness to show tolerance. My experience has been that our LDS neighbors are almost without an exception good and decent people who have strong and happy families that give much to our community.


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Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 11:28 am

MN:

The California Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to deny same sex couple the right to marry. Since June 16, 2008, same sex couples have had the right to marry. I should know, I am one of them.

Proposition 8 eliminates that right.

You may not agree with the Court's ruling, but they did their job. Their job is to review and interpret the laws as they relate to our constitution.

I sorry that you feel that marriage has been "redefined" because under California law it is now more inclusive. You can continue to define marriage as you see fit in your personal life or in your house of worship.

Proposition 8 has nothing to do with First Amendment rights. Without its passage, you can continue to freely express your displeasure at same sex marriage or interracial marriage or interfaith marriage for that matter.

Proposition 8 is in direct conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides that "no state shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

And please, MN, I am sure that we all have grown weary of the standard vocabulary used when discussing same sex marriage, such as "legislated from the bench". I hope your next submissions don't include "activist judges" or "slippery slope".

As Kathy, above, has indicated, the Yes on 8 campaign has relied on deception and unthruths to advance the cause.

By voting No on 8, things stay as they are, with marriage equality for all.





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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 11:41 am

MN: your post misinterprets the role of the Constitution.

That role is to express the values of the culture, against which legislative enactments are tested for consistency. It includes the so-called "equal protection clause" which actually protects minorities from the temporary tyranny of the majority. That clause expresses the value that government should treat its citizens equivalently, unless there's at least a rational reason (re: most things) or a "compelling" (= damned important) reason where fundamental rights are implicated. Hard to disagree with that.

All the Supremes did this year was to say that marriage is a fundamental right (of course it is) and that the State has no "compelling interest" in limiting it to male-female, and thus treating same sex couples differently/unequally under the law.

Nobody "invented" anything -- I could more easily argue that the law has always been this way -- especially since 1948 when the same court invalidated a law that outlawed inter-racial marriage. Did they "invent" that result, too? Do you disagree with it, too?

Note that this is hardly a "liberal" court -- indeed, Chief Justice Ronald George, who wrote the opinion, is a Republican -- a Republican who recognizes injustice when he sees it.

Please vote no on Prop 8.



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Posted by Kathy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 11:46 am

Mike,
I agree, the catholic church and the knights of columbus have contributed as much as the mormons, if not more money to pass this proposition. And, they are not getting their fair share of press on this. I think what happened here in Danville that focussed the attention on the mormon church was, when the "yes" signs came out they popped up on every mormon lawn in town simultaneously along with the "candace" signs. It certainly caught my attention and caused me to take a look into how and why all of the mormons in town came out so strongly and so simultaneously.


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Posted by MN
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Jeff:

I beg to differ. Prop 8 has much to do with First Amendment rights. In Massachusetts, the state Supreme Court--not a vote of the people--redefined marriage just as they did in California. In elementary schools in Massachusetts, same sex marriage was taught to second graders. Parents requested they be notified so that they could opt their children out. Can you possibly disagree with parents having the right to do that? You just stated that I can continue to define marriage as I see fit in my personal life. Well it doesn't get much more personal than what my own kids are taught in school!

In Massachusetts when the school district refused to let parents opt their kids out, they sued in federal court.

Guess what? They lost. In a 47 page opinion, the First Circuit held that parents' right to choose traditional marriage education for the child was not protected by the First Amendment because same-sex marriage was permitted by Massachusetts law. This happened in Mass and it most certainly will happen in California. The proof is here, Jeff. Legal scholars on both sides of the fence agree that when First Amendments rights clash with Fourteenth Amendment equal protection, free exercise will lose the fight. Legalizing same sex marriage will vastly change First Amendment rights as well as the face of American law in ways that are unpredictable.

And Jeff, back off about my verbage. I have three kids...I'm tired!


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Posted by cardfark
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 12:45 pm

MN: you'll be pleased to know that California law has already "invented" both local control of school curricula, and parental opt-out of any health-based materials, including what little is taught on the subject of marriage.

So, setting aside the very real question of why anyone would chooose to opt-out, you already have that right here -- it's a non-issue. Nobody is trying to discriminate against YOUR exercise of Your rights under the CA Constitution.




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Posted by Kathy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 12:51 pm

MN,
I invite you to read the commentary from Morris A. Thurston, a professor at Brigham Young University Law school. I'll cut and paste the section on children and education.
******************************************************************
Six Consequences the Coalition [in Support of Proposition 8]
Has Identified If Proposition 8 Fails.....
1. Children in public schools will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is just as good as traditional marriage. The California Education Code already requires that health education classes
instruct children about marriage. (#51890) Therefore, unless Proposition 8 passes, children will be taught that marriage is
between any two adults regardless of gender. There will be serious clashes between the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs.

RESPONSE: This is untrue. California Education Code 51890 provides that "pupils will receive instruction to aid them in making decisions in matters of personal, family, and community health." The focus is on health. The statute provides for community participation, including lectures by practicing professional health and safety personnel from the community. Things that are to be taught include, for example,
drug use and misuse, nutrition, exercise, diseases and disorders, environmental health and safety, as well as "family health and child development, including the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood." Another section of the Education Code (51933) deals with comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention. It provides that instruction shall be age appropriate and medically accurate, shall teach "respect for marriage and committed relationships," and shall encourage a pupil to communicate with his or her parents about human sexuality.
Therefore, no provision of the Education Code requires any teacher to teach that same‐sex marriage is "just as good" as traditional marriage. Teachers are to teach respect for marriage and committed elationships, and Proposition 8 will not change this law.

1 Morris Thurston received his undergraduate degree in political science from BYU and his law degree from Harvard Law School. He recently retired as a senior partner with a global law firm, where he specialized in litigation and intellectual property law. He is a legal consultant to the Joseph Smith Papers Project, an adjunct professor at BYU Law School and co‐author (with his wife) of the recently‐published book "Breathe Life into Your Life Story: How to Write a Story People Will Want to Read." He is an active member of the LDS Church.


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Posted by MN
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm

I've already read Morris Thurston's opinion, and that's exactly what it is, an opinion. It's been out for awhile. Nothing new there for me.


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Posted by BD
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Proposition 8 isn't about Candace Andersen; it isn't about Mormons (or any religion); it isn't about yard signs, bumper stickers, or money. Proposition 8, as I see it, is about semantics.
Homosexual relationships (man/man or woman/woman) are inherently different than heterosexual relationships (man/woman). Using the same term (marriage) to describe both relationships will not make them the same. Using the same term to describe two different things is confusing and imprecise.
Making equal rights for a group of people is not about making them the same as other people. We don't call females male or blacks white. Instead, we embrace the differences, while ensuring equal protection under the law. Why should we call homosexual and heterosexual relationships the same thing? Unless we are going to live in a society that is completely color-blind and gender-blind, we have to recognize differences and use terminology that reflects those differences. Distinguishing between two different types of relationships by using different terms is valid. If homosexuals do not like the term "domestic partnership" or "civil union" they should come up with a term they can embrace.
I love and value homosexual people as integral members of our families, communities, and society. I do not wish to propagate any discriminatory practices against them. But calling their same-sex relationships "marriage" does not change the way their relationships are viewed. For better or worse, they are still homosexual.


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Posted by kathy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm

I am an adoptive mom, and my husband is an adoptive dad, do you also think we should come up with a different name beside mom and dad for our relationship? It's not the same as a biological mother or biological dad.


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Posted by BD
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Kathy, You just used a different term for yourself: you said you are "an adoptive mom." I don't think this is demeaning in any way, or that it changes your rights or role as a mother. But there is a difference and you used a differnt term to indicate that. The same should be the case for homosexual people in committed relationships.


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Posted by kathy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Wow...... so do you think my daughter should call us "adoptive mom" and adoptive dad??


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Posted by BD
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 4:41 pm

She should call you whatever she wants (or whatever you would like her to call you). However, within society and under the law there is a distinction, because there is a difference.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 4:44 pm

BD: Let's let the CA Supreme Court 'splain to you the importance of words:

"Whether or not the name "marriage," in the abstract, is considered a core element of the state constitutional right to marry, one of the core elements of this fundamental right is the right of same-sex couples to have their official family relationship accorded the same dignity, respect, and stature as that accorded to all other officially recognized family relationships.

The current statutes — by drawing a distinction between the name assigned to the family relationship available to opposite-sex couples and the name assigned to the family relationship available to same-sex couples, and by reserving the historic and highly respected designation of marriage exclusively to opposite-sex couples while offering same-sex couples only the new and unfamiliar designation of domestic partnership — pose a serious risk of denying the official family relationship of same-sex couples the equal dignity and respect that is a core element of the constitutional right to marry.

This court's conclusion in [the]"Perez" [case] (citations), that the statutory provision barring interracial marriage was unconstitutional, undoubtedly would have been the same even if alternative nomenclature, such as "transracial union," had been made available to interracial couples."

Do you want "Transracial Unions," too?


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Posted by K
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 4:58 pm

You should go check your facts a little closer. there is no difference under the law. I am on her birth certificate as her mother and my husband as her father. The law makes no distinction.
How about when two people marry that are from different races? They look different from each other and it is different from two people that marry from the same race and look alike. Should we try to come up with a name for that?


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Posted by member
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 9:11 pm

I support proposition 8. I do so because I believe that sexual relations should only be between a married man and his wife. There are many reasons why this makes sense. The most compelling is that God established it that way. He said that a man should cleave unto his wife they should become one flesh (Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:7-8). Jesus denounced sex outside of a man/woman marriage. (Matthew 5:27-28). We do not have the right to redefine marriage to justify prohibited sexual relations. I want to keep marriage between a man and a woman because I feel it is God's will. If a change is needed, I will comply when He makes that change. I view myself as being obedient to God, not intolerant to others.


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Posted by Tons of Pleasant
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2008 at 8:42 am

All -- below is the text of a 2-minute message delivered to the Danville Town Council at its regular bi-weekly meeting last evening, during its "For the Good of the Town" open mic segment. I think it's fair to say that the Mayor was not persuaded. None of the other members commented.

"I am told that the rules call for me to address the Council as a whole, and so I shall. I am speaking to you this evening to voice my strong objection to any council member's endorsement of Proposition 8 in his or her official capacity in the Town of Danville's government. Prop 8 is not Town business, nor did this Council take any action that would lend support to the use of anyone's official capacity on the subject. It would be wrong, in my view, for any Councilperson's name to appear among endorsing elected officials on any Prop 8 website.

I have no objection to anyone's advocating for any cause he or she chooses as a private citizen – but to lend the imprimatur of your office to that cause, without the community or the Council having acted on it, gives a false, and misleading impression that you speak for this body or this town. I can assure you that no one who supports Prop 8 speaks for me on that issue, and if the level of activity on the Danville Weekly's forum website is any indication, such person would not be speaking for a lot of others in this town, as well.

I would ask two things of you – for the Good of the Town.

First, I would ask that if anything like this has occurred, that it be rectified immediately – that the individuals involved formally demand that their names be removed from the roll call of public officials in support of that Proposition, and that they document that request by cc'ing this body, so that there is a public record that the request was timely made.

Second, I would ask that every member of this council agree voluntarily not to lend their official titles to any cause unless it is Town business. I note that the Town Code contains a provision wherein each council candidate is asked to voluntarily limit campaign spending – similarly I would ask that you each voluntarily pledge yourselves to not misuse your offices to promote causes in ways that appear to have Town support, when in fact they do not.

Let me be clear – what you do with your private name is your business – but what you do in the name of the Town of Danville is my business – and the business of every other citizen of our fair little burg. The people of California have been misled, I believe, and while that's quite consistent with the rest of the Prop 8 campaign, it just ain't right.

For the good of the Town, please fix it. Thank you."



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Posted by kathy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2008 at 10:08 am

Dear Member,

I respect your right to your beliefs. Two things:

1) No one should ever attempt to change the constitution to change your right to your religious beliefs.
2) Prop 8 is NOT a religious issue, it is a legal one. It has to do with human rights and discrimination under the law.

Dear tons of pleasant,
Here, here I look forward to seeing something that would "fix it".


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Posted by C
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2008 at 10:10 am

I was born, raised and now live in this town and am raising my daughter here who is now in high school. I don't recall her ever coming home from school saying that she learned about marriage in her daily curriculum. So, why would she be taught about gay marriage in school? That's MY job. I teach her that it may not be how she chooses to live her life, but it's fine for someone else. It has no affect on my life if my next door neighbor or family member is in a same sex marriage. I also agree with Mr. Cushing's comment about procreating. I've chaperoned many a school dance and don't think for 1 minute our human race would be endangered. Many gay couples are taking the responsible step and adopting unwanted babies here and overseas and giving them loving homes. I'm speaking from personal experience because my brother is gay and I would want him to be happy and treated equally. He did a wonderful job (and still does) helping me raise my daughter and know he would make a great dad someday. More than I can say for her straight dad.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2008 at 10:45 am

Dear member:

I guess the Bible can be read in many ways, but yours seems a terribly narrow interpretation. Here's the specific passage of Matthew you cite:

5:27 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 5:28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Now, clearly Jesus is opposed to sex outside of marriage, on that you and I can agree. But nowhere does Christ seem to say "and no woman shall ever marry another woman." And I think it's a very fair reading to say that the "his" and "her" references are not exclusive, but just customary -- as they would remain today for some 95% of couples, even if Prop 8 fails.

In fact, if you take a similarly narrow translation of 5:28 you'd have to conclude that only men can commit adultery, based on that verse's "his's" and "her's."

In a larger sense, I think there's too much focus on actual sex in this debate. For instance, there's a photo in today's CC Times paper of a woman holding a sign that talks about "legalizing perversion." Two problems: most of those "perversions" are already legal between consenting adults and Prop 8 won't affect that fact, AND based on population stats, I am confident that a much higher volume of those particular variations-on-the-theme are committed by heterosexual adventurers than by their homosexual counterparts, married or not. "Calling Dr. Kinsey … "

My point is that marriage is about so much more than sex that the focus on that one aspect says more to me about the Opposition's objection to homosexuality than their stated defense of the "sanctity of marriage."

BTW, "Tons of Pleasant" is me – it's from another message board, by accident. Sorry for any confusion.


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Posted by Traci
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Mayor Gavin Newsom uses his title to say and do whatever he wants even if it is illegal and Mayor Candace Anderson defends her beliefs and the beliefs of most of the conservative community which she represents and you spit venom at her. Where is the tolerance in that. And on top of that you attack the Catholic Church and the Mormons who are known for their charity thought out the world. 15 seconds on the internet pulled up this.

Baton Rouge, LA—Catholic Charities USA this week launched a new pilot program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services aimed at helping victims of disaster quickly access critical services and resources and provide the ongoing support and care they need to recover

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently shipped 142,000 pounds of medical supplies and other aid to Myanmar. United Parcel Service (UPS) provided the cargo plane and CARE International will distribute the supplies to those affected by the cyclone.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has partnered with other humanitarian organizations to vaccinate children in 28 countries. The effort is saving lives worldwide.


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Posted by Jay
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Let's not forget that each of Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin oppose same sex marriage. Perhaps the Californians who are pushing same sex marriage are not so politically correct after all.

There are a lot of reasons you should vote yes on Prop. 8 -- but it's mainly about protecting children and families. There is no doubt that a traditional family is the ideal environment for raising children. Yes, there are many examples to the contrary, but our public policy should encourage the ideal and thousands of years of exerience should trump a small vocal minority's desire to launch our state into a dangerous experiment.

This is not a matter of legal rights. Same sex couples already have the same legal rights as opposite sex couples in California -- so says even the California Supreme Court in its decision. Read it -- all 172 glorious pages of it -- I have.

On that subject, the Supreme Court did all of us Californians a grave disservice by grossly overstepping the separation of powers and engaging in social engineering by inventing "rights" without any legitimate basis for doing so. Read the dissent to the opinion which asserts the majority opinion committed "profound error." I agree. And now the electorate -- who already decided this question once, will have an opportunity to do so again, even though the Supreme Court and Jerry Brown by his twisting of the Prop. 8 ballot wording have done their best to stack the deck against proponents of traditional marriage.

I applaud public servants like Candace Andersen who are brave and tough enough to buck "seemingly" popular opinion on a controversial topic to follow her heart. Politicians are usually derided because they are not grounded in anything but going with the flow -- we need more Candace Andersens in public positions who are willing to take an unpopular stand.

Last, I am deeply embarassed by those who have no apparent ability or capacity for calm discourse on controversial topics and resort to calling good people ugly names like "bigot." In my experience, those name callers are usually the real bigots. Name calling should never be part of a respectful discourse between adults.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Traci:

1 – with all due respect, how do you know I don't object to ANY politician acting beyond the scope of his/her authority? In fact, I do, but he's not my mayor. I can even make a pretty good argument that Newsom's precipitous action ultimately cost Kerry the Presidency, as it allowed Rove to create a wedge issue to "mobilize the base." You, however, should thank him -- he's certainly become the poster boy for your movement.

Now, Newsom may argue, with some justification, that performing marriages is in his job description – which it is. I do not know whether it's in Candace's – but I know she didn't raise it in her own defense (and she is a lawyer, after all).

2 – I think LDS Church and the K of C do many good things – and they're pretty good at those things. I just wish they'd stick to what they're pretty good at, and not divert $millions into this sphere. Just think how much more good they could've done!

The fact that those two out-of-state groups together have funded the majority of the Pro 8 campaign also demonstrates just how narrow the base is. I think that should worry you.

I'd write more, but I'm all venomed out for the moment – and need to make a living.


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Posted by getreal
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Traci:

The mayor of San Francisco is an elected official. Candace was NEVER elected to mayor. It's a title simply rotated to her by the Council. As such, she should stick to issues that relate to city government. Had she wanted to support Prop 8 as a PRIVATE CITIZEN then no problem. Instead, she name-dropped her title hoping to make her support more important. Look at the number of posts on this topic and you'll see that she caused a discussion that's totally unrelated to her job as Council Member. Someone elected to a Council should have the smarts and sense not to use their NON-elected title to further their own self interests and causes. Her views on Prop 8 shouldn't keep her from being re-elected. Her complete LACK of judgment regarding the appropriate use of her mayoral title should be the reason for returning her to the status of a private citizen. Then she can pursue any cause that she wants but she won't be able to use her title inappropriately.


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Posted by kennyw
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Tons of Pleasant:

I know Candace wasn't persuaded and am sure none of the other members were. I wrote the original letter to the editor that sparked her response to the Danville weekly. Weeks before writing my letter to the editor, I wrote Candace and all the other council members and asked their opinion on using their titles to support controversial topics that are completely unrelated to city business. Nobody from the Council responded to me. So my question is - If your Council Members don't care about your opinion then why re-elect them? Re-electing Candace does nothing but return someone to office who apparently does not exercise good judgment with the responsibility entrusted to her by the voters.


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Posted by Kelly
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2008 at 3:10 pm

According to mormonsfor8.com, Mormons are the single largest donor supporting Prop 8 - $9,760,535 or 47% of the funds; see the link on mormonsfor8.com to the current list of donors (the quoted numbers are at the top of the linked spreadsheet). Note that only donations $1000 and higher are reported immediately under California law, so this is the most complete and current information available.

This website also gives the following percentages as a breakdown of who is contributing to Prop 8; this information was as of September 28th and has changed because as stated above the individual Mormon donors are now at 47%; however, this puts other organizations like the Knights in perspective.

- Individual Donors, Mormon - 40%
- Individual Donors, Other (website states that this number includes "probable" Mormons, not yet confirmed) - 30%
- National Organization for Marriage, CA - 7.7%
- Knights of Columbus - 5.3%
- Fieldstead & Co. - 4.7%
- Elsa Prince - 3.6%
- American Family Association - 2.7%
- Focus on the Family - 2.4%
- Concerned Women for America - 2.1%
- Other organizations - 1.2%

I also found an explanation for those yard signs mysteriously appearing one day - on the same website, check out the Mormon Political Actions section. There was a plan to put one million signs out on yards the morning of September 22nd - and more than a few of us noticed, which was undoubtedly the idea. In my area of Danville, the Candace signs went up at the same time as those Prop 8 signs.

This website is not some radical group - as they state, "Mormons for Proposition 8 exists to provide as much information about the LDS church's involvement in supporting California's Proposition 8 as it can gather". The website also provides a link to a letter sent from the First Presidency of the Church of Latter-day Saints to Church leaders in CA to be read to ALL congregations on June 29th. I quote "The Church's teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator's plan for His children." And "We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman."

As for discriminating against Mormons or religious groups I do not. My argument was and still is that religious groups are prohibited from endorsing candidates and lobbying for legislation and all evidence is that the Mormon Church is completely ignoring this fundamental separation of church and state. If you don't want our state interfering with your religion, you must stop your religion interfering with our state.

I'm glad that BD loves and values homosexual people as integral members of our families, communities, and society - as we all should. However, this view is NOT shared among those who are for Prop 8. The same website (mormonsfor8.com) recommends (and provides a link to) an article by Gary Lawrence (a Mormon) who "explains Lucifer's plan to thwart God's 'plan of happiness' for His children by legalizing gay marriage."


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2008 at 4:27 pm

You know Kelly, the mormonsfor8.com is actually hosted by someone with an ax to grind against the LDS Church. It is actually ANTI-mormon but deceptively cloaked as a neutral informational site. Keep that extreme slant in mind if you decide to reference it in your discussions. If you really want to understand what Mormons believe regarding homosexuality, why don't you go to the Church's website and read about it. See link below.

Web Link


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Jay:

1 – re the national candidates, I wouldn't read too much into the Dems' lack of support. My guess is that they mostly don't want to create an issue that would rile the Republican base, esp. on a state matter. I'd also note two things: the only one who favors making marriage a federal Constitutional issue is the neophyte Palin, and the Republican Governor of California, Mr. Schwarzenegger, absolutely opposes Prop 8.

2 – re children: I believe a better way to define the ideal environment is "raising children in circumstances where they are loved and their growth is supported unconditionally." There is value in the Ozzie & Harriet model, but it simply does not have a monopoly on the ideal environment. There is no one model, there is no "dangerous experiment," and there is no evidence that gay couples make better or worse parents, as the small group they will forever be, than we breeders do.

3 – The CA Supremes didn't "invent" anything new. They simply interpreted a law, as it is their job to do, and found it in conflict with existing precedent, dating from 60 years ago. Of course the dissent claimed the majority was in error – that's what dissents do. They lost.

4 – as to the courage of Mrs. Andersen, she simply doesn't understand where her official authority ends, and neither do you.

5 – finally, I've thought a lot about your "bigot" comment. It's a harsh word and we're a polite town. Certainly nobody I know wants to think of him/herself as "one who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ."

But I've concluded that there really is a moral high road here – and it is one that's been traveled by Gandhi, King, Parks and everyone else who has advocated for a stigmatized group that struggles for full social participation. They were opposed by people, some of them well-meaning, who feared their difference and sought to maintain a status quo that was both familiar and favorable to them. Often, they cloaked their positions in polite language – sometimes they did not. But always they were wrong.

Whether prejudice and exclusion are clothed in overalls or Brooks Brothers suits, at the end of the day it's still bigotry. And it's wrong. And we look back on the racial civil rights era now and generally understand who held the high ground, and admire their exceptional courage and foresight. When my grandkids ask me what I did during the great culture war of 2008, I want to be able to say that I stood up for what's clearly right, and another clear-cut issue of civil rights.

So I guess what I'm saying is that bigotry is what it does, and not how it sounds. It's harsh, but not nearly as harsh as trying to take away someone else's chance for equal rights. I stand by it.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by Karen
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Give me a break. The ridiculous and venomous slams against Mayor Candace Andersen are uncalled for. In the 10 years I've known her here in Danville as a co-worker in the schools and community of Danville, I've watched her in action as she's been honest, fair, unbiased and respectful of all races, religions, sexual orientation and various family combinations (including same-sex couples). What happened to free speech in America? Candace simply posted her personal support for Prop 8 on a website, the way elected officials and individuals do throughout the state of California on a wide assortment of issues, and some outsider from Dublin attacked her for this, trying to stir up trouble. City governments throughout the state of California permit their elected representatives to do this, and since some of you disagree with her on this particular issue, you're slamming her for it. Why don't we demand council members tell us about their opinions about global warming, the war in Iraq, and other issues that bear no relevance on the job they do as city council members? Spare me. Stick to the issues, folks. Our council members are individuals too, and they didn't leave their right to free speech at the door when they undertook the tireless job of serving our community. There are strongly held views on both sides of the issue re: Prop 8, both have merit, and during times like this, it's important that we try to be respectful of each other's right to our own, individual views on important issues.


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Posted by Kelly
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 12:18 am

Jack-

I have thoroughly read through the mormonsfor8.com site and looked at over 50 references to it on the web. It is hosted by an administrator who is a current LDS member and who is undecided on the Prop 8 issue. There seems to be as many people sure that this persons is for the Prop as there are people sure that they are against it.

Most of the references to the website were from newspaper articles (AP, NPR), as it is the only place to get information on how much money the Mormons have donated to Prop 8. I also found a few references to it on sites for Prop 8 and against Prop 8 so I would tend to agree with the administrator that it is just information and it could be used by either side.

The source of the information that is presented on the mormonsfor8.com site comes directly from the cal-access.sos.ca.gov (California campaign finance), lds.org website, yesonprop8.com, mormonsformarriage.com and other Mormon websites. The Mormons who are upset by the website, take issue with the fact that this site presents the PUBLIC list of donors to Prop 8 and identifies whether or not they are Mormon. And thus some Mormons are afraid of discrimination against them and their church, on the basis of their discrimination against gays and lesbians. So in the case of campaign finance we should have separation of church and state, but not when it comes to the actual ballot measure? The irony would be funny, if the situation wasn't so sad.

And as you recommended, I read the lds.org position on "same gender attraction" (newsroom.lds.org). I read what Mormons believe regarding homosexuality and I do not understand it. Frankly, I found it deeply upsetting as a mom, a scientist, and a human being.

Vote No on Prop 8.


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Posted by kennyw
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2008 at 2:46 am

Karen:

I'm the author of the original letter. Although I live in Dublin, my children attend a school in Danville so I have every right to express my opinion about Candace. Secondly, I wasn't trying to stir up trouble. I wanted voters to have all the facts when casting their ballot. You might ask Candace whether I wrote her in private weeks before I wrote a letter to the editor. I wrote Candace a private email asking if she thought it truly appropriate to have used her mayoral title on that awful website. She never responded. I don't believe a good mayor/council member ignores letters of concern written to them by people who interact with their city on a daily basis.

Frankly, I don't really give a hoot about Candace's view on gay marriage. Many folks may be upset with me for saying this, but gay marriage really doesn't bring any change to our society. Gay people are discriminated against EVERY day by our federal government. Keeping gay marriage in California won't fix that problem. I can't inherit my partner's interest in our own home without paying federal tax. I've had to buy 3 expensive life insurance policies so that I can pay the estate taxes that would be generated in the event my partner died. I made the personal choice to stay home and raise my kids. Technically, because my partner is the breadwinner, the federal government could charge gift tax on the money he spends to support me. Heterosexual married couples never have to worry about these issues because the federal government doesn't discriminate against them.

How many times have you and your husband been asked, "Which one of you is the real parent?" How many times have you been asked if your kids are biologically related to you? How many times has someone said to you (in front of your children) that it's disgusting that you are allowed to have kids? Allowing gay marriage isn't going to fix the rampant homophobia that runs through our country, state, county, and city.

But, if kids and family are so important and need so many protections then please tell me why divorce is legal? Why don't we assign a Scarlet Letter to people who have babies out of wedlock? Why don't we jail all men who fail to pay child support? Divorce, illegitimacy, and failure to support the children you create are all things that damage families and kids much more than gay marriage. So, if kids are really our focus, then why don't heterosexuals do more to protect them from the destructive forces that heterosexuals are quite happy to heap on them?

Anyone who supports Prop 8 is a bigot. Plain and simple. They can use whatever reasoning makes them feel better about their homophobia but they're a bigot nonetheless. Prop 8 supporters want a separate but equal system for gay couples. I grew up in Selma, AL. I know firsthand how successful a separate but equal policy really is. I've heard many, many passages from the Bible used to explain why racial bigotry is ok and supported by God. I also heard growing up that "We have to respect tradition". People in my hometown used all of these arguments to justify many things. Sadly, these folks also had white robes in their closets with matching white hoods.

Stripping rights away from people and trying to keep them in a separate class prevents people from having empathy for each other. When you remove empathy from your mental capacity, the line between keeping people separate and putting them in concentration camps or lynching them becomes very thin indeed. So, frankly, spare me the "Candace is a good person" speech. I've heard it all before by the folks wearing white.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 7:30 am

Dear Karen -- by all means, please take that break. And then please try the decaf.

NObody is complaining that Mrs. Andersen expresses herself as a private citizen; our beef is that she attached her mayoral title to it.

There are two places for endorsements on the Prop 8 website -- private citizens (where she signed -- no problem) and public officials (where she signed as "Mayor of Danville" -- Big problem). If they are the same, why sign both places? And if CA's several thousand local governments encourage their officers to endorse in their official capacities (as you say), why is that second list So Short? Hmmm...

Also, a bit of Civics on free speech. Like all the Bill of Rights amendments, it protects Individuals against Government tyranny. It's also alive, and very well in CA -- hence this forum we all enjoy. It does not say individuals don't have the right to disagree -- esp. with our government officials. If you think there's "free speech" in the private sector, just try telling your boss what you really think of him/her. ;-)

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by PJ
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 8:32 am

I think it's pretty interesting that Candace Andersen was not alone in attaching her mayoral title to the Proposition 8 Endorsement page. From what I see, there are 23, well-respected, Local Elected Officials in California that decided to do the same. Hmm . . . It looks like it wasn't that strange of a thing to do after all. Could it be possible that we're blowing this entire issue out of proportion? I think so.

This DANVILLE centered blog consists of repeated posts by a very small number of disgruntled extremists that really don't represent the majority of our DANVILLE residents or seem to even care about DANVILLE's real future. Candace, the other members of the council, and the DANVILLE residents that elected them (a majority by the way), really do care about our future. This is a primarily conservative town that holds true to the underlying social principle of traditional marriage, and I'm proud that we have elected officials that will stand up and represent those values.


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Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 8:52 am

PJ - I think it is interesting the language we use while explaining our positions. One poster complained that Pro-8 people were called bigots, and to the Anti-8 people that description seems to be accurate.

You invoke the "social principle of traditional marriage". Merriam Webster defines tradition as, "1 a: an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)" and continues, " b: a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable."

The United States has and had a great many traditions: slavery, segretation, limiting voting to men only, limiting property ownership to whites only, etc.

Though something may be "traditional", that does not necessarily make it the right or fair thing.

The people that I want representing me in government should be able to see past tradition and see what it good and fair for all citizens. Proposition 8 is unfair and wrong.


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Posted by Mike Ambrose
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 9:48 am

Is it true that the "Christian" "knights of Columbus" Spent some $25 million, and the Mormons upwards of $10 million for Prop 8??? What are these supposedly Christian groups afraid of?? A few people, who love each other dearly, marrying like the rest of us? Where is their tolerance? I would ask them: "What would Jesus or Joseph Smith say about all of this?" I remember something about "love your brother as you would love me" and "let he in the glass house throw the first stone". I am not one to quote the bible verse by verse and would lose that battle...but; really, what would Jesus and Joseph Smith say if they were here right this moment?

I'd bet one thing they would say is to spend that money on the poor and homeless...or on those starving in Darfur and Bangladesh...not on some intolerant proposition against people who love each other. Heck...look at the divorce rate among heterosexual couples...where is the love there? "I do" is a joke among these very proponents of this proposition.

This is nothing but more fear-mongering and teaching hate to their children where they should be teaching love for all men and women; regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion (remember it wasn't that long ago that Catholics, Mormons, and others who were "different" were also discriminated against!!!).

As a combat war Veteran, I fought that our country would be free for ALL in society. This hypocrisy, discrimination, and bigotry of Prop 8 just sickens me.


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Posted by cardfark
a resident of Diablo
on Oct 23, 2008 at 9:52 am

PJ:

23? Twenty-three?? Out of low thousands of elected officials you think "23" is a lot?

I was gonna ask how you know they're all "well-respected" -- but with a list that small, maybe you actually know them all!

I'm gonna guess that a few more than 23 support your cause -- but that the others had the good sense not to abuse their positions.

23. That's ... underwhelming.


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Posted by kennyw
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:09 am

Candace really shouldn't be defeated or re-elected solely on her views of Prop 8. She's just a local town council member who has no real impact in the grand scheme of things. But, her judgment about using her mayoral title and her apparent unwillingness to discuss the appropriate use of a mayoral title is what voters should really consider. Those items affect her ability to lead. Her views on Prop 8,while interesting, really shouldn't be the focus. It's her desire to draw the City of Danville into a discussion about Prop 8 that's bizarre. If she didn't want the City of Danville drawn into the discussion then she wouldn't have used the mayoral title. Hopefully, the next unelected mayor of Danville will be a bit more careful about throwing around the mayoral title.

As for the local mayors on the protectmarriage website, some are elected mayors and some aren't. Mayors elected by the voters are subject to a full vetting process. Elected mayors and non-elected mayors are completely different.


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Posted by JO
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 11:43 am

Why I am voting for Candace Anderson for Council:
1. Experience
2. Intelligence
3. Integrity
4. Apparently no further political aspirations

Why I am voting YES on Proposition 8:
1. Judges don't make the law or change the law, they only interpret the law. The CA Supreme Court has overstepped its bounds.
2. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Other arrangements are just that. The results of social tinkering will be seen far too late to do anything about. I think that same-sex marriage will hurt families as much as no-fault divorce has; it puts the needs of the adults ahead of the needs of the children.
3. Every child in a same-sex marriage is either fatherless or motherless. There will be no legal preference for placing adopted children in a family with both a father and mother.
4. Redefining marriage causes a hard look at other definitions that are really important to me. The terms husband and wife are rapidly going by the wayside (party A and party B). How long can we legally (and clearly) use the terms mother and father, male and female, or even son and daughter? Gender matters, yet its identifiers are becoming more androgynous every day.
5. Parental notification is at risk. A father named David Parker was arrested and taken to jail for demanding to be notified when same-sex instruction was being given in his son's kindergarten class. The thinking goes that if it is legal, the school has a duty to normalize it, even over the objections of parents, and without their knowledge or consent.
6. A government has the right and responsibility to incentivize behavior that is good for society. There are tax breaks for homeowners, because home ownership stabilizes communities. This is prejudicial against renters! Offering marriage to those who have the biological ability to procreate optimizes the best interests of the state.
7. Prop 8 is not really about equality, it is about social acceptance of homosexuality, with children particularly targeted. In Massachusetts, the Legislature now gives many tax dollars to homosexual activist groups, since these relationships are now officially legal. This money is used to teach school kids about gays, including developing a pornographic booklet on how to have gay sex called The Little Black Book – Queer in the 21st Century, which was distributed to middle and high school students in Brookline, MA.

Finally, towns and churches don't support propositions, people do. Mr. Cushing and Mr. Ambrose, have you taken the opportunity to vote with your wallet? The Secretary of State does not seem to have your names listed as financial supporters. Those residents of California who have made a monetary contribution, especially during these tough economic times, deserve credit for putting their money where their mouth is, whether their church asked them to or not.


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Posted by Jay
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Mr. Cushing.

1. I suspect that you are suggesting that it is not politically expedient for Messrs. Obama and Biden to be honest about their beliefs about marriage in national politics, so they conceal them from the voters. That is not surprising to me. And it is not surprising that you think nothing of it. And if you think Palin is a "neophyte" you must think the same about Obama who has next to no experience.

2. Yes, children need an environment where they are loved. What I said was that public policy should favor the ideal. And there can be no dispute that the ideal environment for raising children is in a traditional family with a loving father and a loving mother. If you don't agree with that, then there is nothing left to discuss.

3. You have obviously not read the California Supreme Court opinion. Or if you did read it, you didn't understand it. The majority did invent a right that has never existed because they felt it was the right thing to do. That is not what courts are supposed to do -- according to our State and Federal Constitutions. That is what voters do. On that basis alone, you should vote yes on Prop. 8. This time you may have liked what the Supreme Court did -- the next time they may come out against your position and you will be howling histerically. The point is that they need to be judges not legislators.

4. Well, I guess if you are the arbiter of what is right and wrong, you must win.

5. Like I said, those who call others bigots and other such ugly terms are usually the real bigots. So, if it makes you feel good, have at it.

Have the moral courage to oppose the shifting sands of political correctness, bullying by those who deem themselves more socially "enlightened" than the rest of us and the near hysterical name callers to do the right thing for our children and grandchildren in California. Vote YES on Prop. 8!!!

Have a nice day.

Jay


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Dear JO:

I'll respond to the new matter in your note. The rest is amply answered elsewhere.

Yes, indeed I have donated, just last weekend I made a matching pledge. How much is between me and my bank account. ;-)

Others who wish to donate may go here -- and also view a new ad from CA's (elected) state Education Secretary Jack O'Connell that debunks the propagandists' most recent school-related fear-mongering, which does relate to "his" job:

Web Link

Please note that I've also purchased merchandise I wear proudly, a few signs someone tore down, and I've donated in-kind, in-time and I will volunteer on Election Day.

Thanks for asking. Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Dear Mr. Jay:

1—re the national Dems, they've been wise not to allow the waters to be muddied by a state issue. I don't know how they really feel, mostly because it's not relevant to federal issues. And I'll let the galloping negatives on the "caribou clotheshorse" respond for me on your other point.

BTW, I do know how our Governor Scharzenegger feels on this matter of state law. He opposes Prop 8.

2 – if the framers of Prop 8 were "really" expending all this effort and money to help kids, they'd have targeted much larger, more relevant groups – like abusers and neglecters, and found more efficient ways to spend all that dough. Why go out of your way to pick on a group that might be only 3% of the population, esp. when there's no evidence they do a worse job than your stilted notion of the ideal? No, it's not kids they worry about, it's homosexuals.

3 – I've not only read the Opinion, I've taught it (don't worry – it's post-graduate education). It's very clear they performed a rudimentary analysis of consistency with Equal Protection, and found guidance in the 1948 Perez case on inter-racial marriage, among other sound and sufficient bases for their determination.

4 – I'll stand humbly in the company of the giants I mentioned.

5 – sorry your feelings are hurt.

Re "shifting sands" – great concept. That is EXACTLY why the Constitution is so important, and should be accorded great respect. It expresses baseline values like Equal Protection, that indeed does protect minorities from the shifting sands of majority opinion and prejudice. It is a precious document, supported by many years of court precedent. It should be protected from those who would change it in a sad campaign against equality.

Again, great catch! It just comes out the other way.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Kelly, responding to your reply above.

First, there is no doubt the mormonsfor8.com site is designed to try to embarrass members of the LDS church who exercise their First Amendment right of free speech over a moral issue. Although there is a broad coalition of millions of good people across California aligned in favor of Prop. 8, it is very curious that someone who you believe is "neutral" would go out of their way to target proponents from one particular religion. As I am sure you know, the Secretary of State cannot legally ask for a donor's religion (or lack thereof), and the efforts of the so-called "neutral" host of the website to dig up or guess at that information should be pretty telling – even for a self described scientist mom such as yourself. That information – to the extent it is accurate – could only be useful to those who seek to discriminate on religious grounds. Kind of like the Nazis forcing the Jews to wear a yellow Jewish star. I hope that is not OK with you.

Let's be clear: mormonsfor8.com is a religious hatchet job, pure and simple. It is worthy of nothing but your contempt and certainly is not the place to go for objective information.

Here is a recap of what the LDS Church believes on the subject. And it is very similar to what the Catholic Church, and many other Christian Churches also believe. The following is from the Church's website: www.lds.org


The Church teaches that all of us are sons and daughters of God and should be honored and respected as such. We reach out to assist people with all of the challenges of life. Those who struggle with same-gender attraction are certainly not excluded from the circle of love and fellowship the Church hopes to provide.

The defining factor for each of us is that we are children of God, born on this earth for a purpose and with a divine destiny. Our challenge and opportunity is to overcome the temptations and difficulties that lead us away from God.

President Gordon B. Hinckley has said: "Nevertheless, and I emphasize this, I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group. As I said from this pulpit one year ago, our hearts reach out to those who refer to themselves as gays and lesbians. We love and honor them as sons and daughters of God. They are welcome in the Church. It is expected, however, that they follow the same God-given rules of conduct that apply to everyone else, whether single or married" ("Why We Do Some of the Things We Do," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 54).

We believe the standard of morality is clearly defined and applies to all of God's children. The Church teaches chastity before marriage and complete fidelity within a marriage. Marriage is also defined by God as the union of a man and woman, and we are not at liberty to change that definition.

We can agree to disagree on Prop. 8. But my family and I will be voting YES on Prop. 8!!!

Jack


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Posted by youscareme
a resident of another community
on Oct 23, 2008 at 2:54 pm

JO;

Your reason #3 is exactly why we need to be protected from people like you. We don't need gay marriage to have children. I had children via a surrogate and it didn't require marriage between any of the parties. Adoption laws don't give preference to heterosexual married couples now so voting for prop 8 won't prevent gay couples from forming families.

You exemplify the typical Yes voter. They say their only goal is to protect marriage but it's really to prevent gay couples from being able to form any type of a family. If prop 8 passes I have no doubt that bigots such as yourself will be pushing further props to strip away rights from gay families.


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Posted by what?
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 23, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Isn't it interesting that a group of people who practiced polygamy for years now want to state what a traditional marriage is?


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Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Jack - I do not understand why you think that your interpretation of God's rules should be what all Californians follow. I personally believe that a marriage between two men or two women should be just as valid, under the law, as a marriage between a man and a woman. But, you believe that your beliefs are more valid than mine and that the laws of our state should reflect your views only.

Even though same sex marriage is now legal in California, neither you, nor your family, nor your house of worship need to worry about participating in such marriages. I believe that the current situation is optimal for all of us to appreciate our First Amendment freedoms.

And, if you claim that "Marriage is also defined by God as the union of a man and a woman," I would like to know where God is quoted as saying that. I think that you will have a very difficult time finding the reference.

I am no student of the Bible, so I have to rely on the research of Vaughn Roste, the son of two Lutheran pastors, who holds degrees in theology and music from two different church institutions:

Marriage consists of one man and one or more women (Gen 4:19, 4:23, 26:34, 28:9, 29:26-30, 30:26, 31:17, 32:22, 36:2, 36:10, 37:2, Ex. 21:10, Judges 8:30, 1 Sam 1:2, 25:43, 27:3, 30:5, 30:18, 2 Sam 2:2, 3:2-5, 1 Chron 3:1-3, 4:5, 8:8, 14:3, 2 Chron 11:21, 13:21, 24:3).

Nothing prevents a man from taking on concubines in addition to the wife or wives he may already have (Gen 25:6, Judges 8:31, 2 Sam 5:13, 1 Kings 11:3, 1 Chron 3:9, 2 Chron 11:21, Dan 5:2-3).

A man might chose any woman he wants for his wife (Gen 6:2, Deut 21:11), provided only that she is not already another man's wife (Lev 18:14-16, Deut. 22:30) or his [half-]sister (Lev 18:11, 20:17), nor the mother (Lev 20:14) or the sister (Lev 18:18) of a woman who is already his wife. The concept of a woman giving her consent to being married is foreign to the Biblical mindset.

If a woman cannot be proven to be a virgin at the time of marriage, she shall be stoned (Deut 22:13-21).

A rapist must marry his victim (Ex. 22:16, Deut. 22:28-29) - unless she was already a fiancé, in which case he should be put to death if he raped her in the country, but both of them killed if he raped her in town (Deut. 22:23-27).

If a man dies childless, his brother must marry the widow (Gen 38:6-10, Deut 25:5-10, Mark 12:19, Luke 20:28).

Women marry the man of their father's choosing (Gen. 24:4, Josh.15:16-17, Judges 1:12-13, 12:9, 21:1, 1 Sam 17:25, 18:19, 1 Kings 2:21, 1 Chron 2:35, Jer 29:6, Dan 11:17).

Women are the property of their father until married and their husband after that (Ex. 20:17, 22:17, Deut. 22:24, Mat 22:25).

The value of a woman might be approximately seven years' work (Gen 29:14-30).

Inter-faith marriages are prohibited (Gen 24:3, 28:1, 28:6, Num 25:1-9, Ezra 9:12, Neh 10:30, 2 Cor 6:14).

Divorce is forbidden (Deut 22:19, Matt 5:32, 19:9, Mark 10:9-12, Luke 16:18, Rom 7:2, 1 Cor 7:10-11, 7:39).

Better to not get married at all - although marriage is not a sin (Matt 19:10, I Cor 7:1, 7:27-28, 7:32-34, 7:38).

I also wonder why to protect marriage, the Pro-8 people say that the people that are allowed to marry under the law must be limited. On the other hand, to protect freedom and liberty, the very cornerstones of our nation, we must spread them throughout the world. "We believe that liberty is the design of nature; we believe that liberty is the direction of history. We believe that human fulfillment and excellence come in the responsible exercise of liberty. And we believe that freedom -- the freedom we prize -- is not for us alone, it is the right and the capacity of all mankind," George W. Bush, Speech, November 6, 2003.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Jeff S.

If you would have ended your diatribe (before it began) with the statement "I am no student of the Bible" that would have saved you some time and done a favor for the readers of this blog.

My point was that mormonsfor8.com is a slanted site designed to embarass those of one religion for expressing their First Amendment -- and majority -- views on marriage.

Now, on Prop. 8, a new subject, you are welcome to believe whatever you want and be as wrong as you want to be. It's a free country. Same sex marriage is a terrible social experiment that counters thousands of years of human experience. I'm not into experimentation when the well being of future generations and the very fabric of our society is at stake. I'll stick with tried and true. Go experiment somewhere else.

Yes on 8!!!!

Jack


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Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Jack - If it is a free country, why don't you want me to be free to marry the person of my choosing? I certainly would not presume to limit your choice of spouse, why do you feel the need to limit mine?

In order for both our freedoms to be exercised, it would be wise and just to vote NO on 8.

And, since I am no student of the Bible, perhaps you could educate me. Where does the Bible say that marriage is defined by God as the union of a man and woman? I believe that I provided many references indicating that it is not an accurate description of God's word.

If same sex marriage is a "terrible social experiment", couldn't the same be said for one man one woman marriage? That construct has only been in existence for a relatively short period of time. "Traditional" marriage really involves one man and many women. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for example, did not disavow polygamy until 1890.

As for your concerns regarding mormonsfor8.com, I don't understand why a Mormon would be embarassed by the public being made aware of his or her donation to yes on 8. Is supporting yes on 8 embarassing? I think so, but I am sure you can understand why I would.


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Posted by Michael
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Two days ago I wrote the following:

Lastly, one of the big issues on Prop 8 is that there are a few but extremely activist groups of homosexual advocates who are trying to drive the acceptance of their sexual preference into the schools to teach it to small children. Those who deny this are choosing not to see. The gay/straight alliance has on their website a SB71 fact sheet with these comments, "SB 71 clearly states that parental notification and consent policies apply only to sexual health education, HIV/AIDS prevention education, and related assessments." They then ask, "How can you make sure SB 71 is enforced in your school?" They answer, "Make sure the school doesn't require parental notification and consent for anti-bias trainings regarding sexual orientation."

They instruct their activists to make sure that biolocial sex education is not discussed along with homosexuality and in that way they can teach homosexuality and parents have no right to remove their children from the discussion.

That is fact and it is scary. They used this exact argument and similar laws in Massachusets and went to court to fight against parents rights to take their children out of classes teaching homosexuality!

Parents lost their rights to teach their children a moral value in that state and that fight will move here without a doubt. Is that okay? NO, that is not tolerance - that is indoctrination! So, there is no hatred or bigotness by those who want to protect Marriage and be able to keep their rights to teach their children. If prop 8 does not pass those are the rights that will eventually be lost. Domestic Unions will still have every legal right under California law.

Well, today I am sad to write that it is happening in our community. It was all over the news yesterday and today about an elementary school in Hayward holding a "Coming Out Day" for its 1st and 2nd graders. This can not be denied and it is not right. There is no reason to even have these discussions in a state funded school and especially not with young 6 and 7 year olds.

Voting yes on Proposition 8 is one thing we parents can do now to help retain our rights to what is taught to our children.


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Posted by John
a resident of Diablo
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Marriage is between a man and a woman. The vast majority of citizens that have ever lived in this country (including our founding fathers) would agree with this statement. Let's open the way for same sex couples to pursue their path of happiness. No one ever said marriage was for everyone. But let's not call it something that it's not. Marriage is between a man and a woman.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:47 pm

Jeff S. You are welcome to marry anyone you want if you live somewhere that allows it. I hope California will not be that place for the benefit of our children and grandchildren, and our society. In the meantime, we Californians have bent over backwards to give same sex couples essentially the same legal rights through the DPA that traditional married couples have.

There are compelling reasons to support Prop. 8 -- if one is willing to study the issue with an open mind. Unfortunately, yours is closed. So forgive me if I don't spend my spare time discussing it further with you. Maybe you can find someone else to spar with.

Your endorsement of those who would try to publicly identify donors by religion deserves no response. I suppose you would feel the same if they were instead trying to identify donors by sexual orientation?

Best wishes to you. YES on 8!!


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:55 pm

The idea that Prop 8 is a Mormon cause is just nuts. Mormons are only 2% of California. Most Californians support prop 8 because it restores marriage without harming same sex couples.


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Posted by Why!
a resident of Danville
on Oct 23, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Hey "What?",

In response to your polygamy comment, if Prop 8 doesn't pass, aren't we just a heartbeat away from legalizing polygamy? If two men or two women can marry, why can't one man marry two women? For that matter, how far away are we from being able to marry minors, animals, or whatever else we deem as "love". Why discriminate against any marriage? Ultimately, we are moving towards defining marriage as nothing more than a gratification of our pleasure base.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Greenbrook Elementary School
on Oct 23, 2008 at 11:01 pm

No on Prop 8 advocates are saying gay marriage wont be promoted in schools. It's already happening today in Danville. Teachers are campaigning in favor of gay marriage to a captive audience--OUR CHILDREN. Try to stop a gay marriage campaigning within school and you'll get sued. This state is so mixed up. Enough is enough. Let them do what they want to do, but don't let them change the definition of what we do.


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Greenbrook Elementary School
on Oct 23, 2008 at 11:03 pm

Why can't I marry my pet? SERIOUSLY. It's my right.


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Posted by cardfark
a resident of Diablo
on Oct 24, 2008 at 12:08 am

Rick and Stevie: what grade are you in at Greenbrook? Stevie -- State Schools Superintendent O'Connell's new commercial should help you off with your tinfoil hat. I believe he uses the term "shameful" to describe the Prop h8 propaganda on schools. He's right about that!

And Ricky -- it's way past your bed time. Tomorrow, ask some adult-not-named-Steve to 'splain you that pets, and children under 18, lack "capacity to contract" and therefore can't be married. Too bad, Fido.

G'night Ricky. Don't let the bedbugs bite -- and most of all don't promise to marry any of 'em! They'd be as disappointed as you to learn the truth.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 7:43 am

Dear Michael:

The key word in your post is "small" -- you might better modify it with "extremely."

Every large civil rights movement has a fringe element. Did you oppose racial civil rights because the Black Panthers exist? Would you vote for dirty air because somebody vandalized a lumberjack's chainsaw? Do you advocate cruelty to animals because some activist ody threw paint on a fur coat? While these few people don't help, for the vast majority who understand their inconsequential numbers and impact, they don't really hurt much, either.

I believe you are attempting to project the actions of those few onto the many, many more gays and heteros, including me, who don't belong to the fringe -- but to mainstream America. That's not fair -- that's fear-mongering to the point of paranoia. It was tried in the 1950s, and didn't work then, either.

Even if these folks exist -- much better to fight Them than support this losing Proposition. You'll have the support of most of us who firmly oppose your current prejudicial attack on our Constitution.

Either that, or you'll just have to keep looking under your bed for these "activists." Did any of them leave a copy of their agenda? And if you use this post to say "See?!? Even They admit it!!" then I hope you will seek professional help.

We have nothing to fear but fear-mongering itself. Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 9:08 am

"Coming Out Day" for 5 year olds?

News release from Pacific Justice Institute
Oct. 22, 2008

HAYWARD -- Parents at a K-8 charter school in Hayward were shocked to learn this week the extent to which their school is promoting gay and lesbian ideals to their daughter in kindergarten.

The parents were shocked to see a poster announcing that "Coming Out Day" will be celebrated at the school today. The school, Faith Ringgold School of Art and Science, chose not to tell parents ahead of time, but it is in the midst of celebrating "Ally Week," a pro-homosexual push typically aimed at high school students. When one mother asked her daughter earlier this week what she was learning in kindergarten at the school, the 5-year-old replied, "We're learning to be allies." The mother also learned that her daughter's kindergarten classroom is regularly used during lunchtime for meetings of a Gay Straight Alliance club.

Later this week, the school is slated to talk about families. The parents have noticed several posters promoting families, all of which depict only homosexual families. More controversial discussions can be expected through next week, as the elementary school continues to celebrate Gay and Lesbian History Month. On Nov. 20, the school will host TransAction Gender-Bender Read-Aloud, where students will hear adapted tales such as "Jane and the Beanstalk."

These parents are being advised by attorneys from Pacific Justice Institute. Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, "Do we need any further proof that gay activists will target children as early as possible? Opponents of traditional marriage keep telling us that Prop. 8 has nothing to do with education. In reality, they want to push the gay lifestyle on kindergartners, and we can only imagine how much worse it will be if Prop. 8 is defeated. This is not a scenario most Californians want replayed in their elementary schools."


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Posted by Member D
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 9:18 am

Michael - in your original post you wrote:

"Throughout the world only a handful of countries have legalized marriage between same sex partners. Those countries have not experience any good outcomes that would justify the need to change the definition of marriage or its tried and tested societal outcomes."

Please provide SPECIFIC references or reports on how those countries didn't "experience any good outcomes".

Thank you


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Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 10:05 am

Wow,

Hasn't anyone noticed that both of the presidential candidates have indicated that they believe that marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman. As an Obama supporter, I have no problem with that. Maybe we need to be consistent in our condemnation, of political leaders, and either condemn the guys at the top of the political food chain, or get off of the Mayor's back.


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Posted by Tom C.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 10:12 am

I second that David. My vote stays with Candace.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 10:36 am

The article posted by Really? "Coming Out Day" for 5 year olds? in Hayward says it all regarding teaching homosexuality in elementary schools. Why is tolerance not a two way street??? Protect marriage between a man and a woman. Respect everyone's opinions. Yes on 8.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 10:40 am

Is the Prop8 crusade running out of money?

'Twould seem unlikely, given its deep, if few pockets -- but why else would their official group try to strong-arm businesses by threatening to "out" them if they 1 -- contribute to No on 8, and 2 -- don't pay equivalent "protection money" to the Yes group?

Here's the news link: Web Link

Wow. I cannot imagine why anything less than desperate finances would motivate such a move -- it is certain to alienate a whole lot of relatively neutral people who don't like to be threatened -- or to have other people threatened. Prop8 is already behind in the polls of any sample size -- do they really want to drive away those "swing" voters in the middle?

It's a "shakedown" worthy of Tony Soprano and his, uh, Family. Has it really come to this, crusaders? Your true colors are coming out, and they're the same as the Crips and Bloods?

I guess I should thank you, so "thanks for sending over all the voters!"


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Posted by Voteyeson8
a resident of Greenbrook Elementary School
on Oct 24, 2008 at 10:46 am

Hey Cardfark,
O'Connell's propaganda is shameful since in the 4 months since gay marriage was legalized homosexuality is already being taught (and even celebrated) in our CA schools and in schools in MA since it was legalized there in 2004.
Your contentious attacks on Rick and Steve only show your argument is weak (and your immaturity). Let's stick to the issues. Thwarting Prop 8 is is about putting the legal stamp of approval on homosexuality and imposing it with force throughout the various social and political institutions of a society that would never accept it otherwise.


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Posted by Denise
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 10:55 am

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.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:14 am

I'm hoping my neighbor in Diablo won't mind if I respond: whom shall I trust, Jack O'Connell, elected state superintendent of schools, who is an expert on the subject, who identifies himself and is putting his professional reputation on the line, or somebody on a message board who won't even sign his-or-her name to the posting?

Sup't of schools or "vyo8" ... sorry, "vy," I think I have to go with the Superintendent on this one.

BTW, why are so many posters (on both sides of this issue) afraid to use their names?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:22 am

Denise - 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


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Posted by Legally-educated
a resident of Blackhawk
on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:28 am

To the person who keeps posting Thurston's "Prop 8 Myths" piece: please educate yourself. Thurston is not a "well-known Mormon scholar." He's a mediocre (retired) attorney who falsely titled himself a "BYU law professor."
At least half a dozen legitimate constitutional scholars have written counterarguments to Thurston's poorly-researched piece. Thurston himself has backed down on a number of his inaccuracies.
I'd advise you stop supporting your arguments with amateurish propaganda.

A well-researched vote: yes on Prop 8, yes to Candace Andersen.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 12:15 pm

C'mon "legally ed" -- how do we know you're *really* a lawyer? If you won't sign your name, howsabout your Bar Number?

Thanks.


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Posted by Kathy Leonard
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:10 pm


Please feel free to add you comments at the bottom of the page on this link

Web Link


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:26 pm

How do we know you're Tom Cushing? C'mon, how about an address, phone # and SS#? One redeeming fact about this blog is that it keeps political gadflies like yourself glued to the computer screen disseminating written venom (your word) so you can't cause more serious mischief in the real community. So, blog away.

Thanks.


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Posted by Michael
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:34 pm

To Member D

First of all Proposition 8 is about protecting the place of traditional marriage in our society. It doesn't take away from any legal rights under the law. Civil unions have all the rights as marriage relationships under California law.

However, since you asked me to back up my statement above that "countries that have legalized homosexual marriages have not had any good outcomes that would justify us participating in a huge social experiment" let me simply give the following facts:

There are plenty of studies showing that the mental health problems and suicide rates of homosexuals have not decreased in any country that has legalized homosexual marriage. Two examples: the Netherlands -- a country that has for decades embraced and accepted homosexuality and was the first country to legalize same sex marriage, and New Zealand -- which has also been extremely tolerant of homosexual relationships and where legislation giving homosexuality special legal rights is powerful, consistently enforced throughout the country, and virtually never challenged.

The study by Herrell et al. in 1999, a second study by Fergusson et al. 1999 and a third by Sandfort et al. in 2001 all conclude that on average, male homosexuals were much more prone to mental illness, drug use and depression and 5.1 times more likely to exhibit suicide-related behavior or thoughts than their heterosexual counterparts. Those rates are consistent with rates found in the United States.

The studies found that individuals, whether married or single that participate in gay, lesbian or bi-sexual activity are significantly more prone to experiencing depression, drug abuse and suicidal thoughts then their non-GLB contemporaries. Social acceptance or legalizing homosexual marriage does not reduce the social problems of homosexual lifestyles.

Use of motorcycle Helmets, car seatbelts and banning public smoking -- which all had large public outcry due to personal rights -- have all been legislated to promote the health and welfare of our society.

In the same way, given the well documented health experience of other countries, promoting and protecting marriage as only between a man and a woman by passing Proposition 8 would be best for the continued health and welfare of our society.


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Posted by Linda
a resident of Blackhawk
on Oct 24, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Yes on Prop 8!!!!!!


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Dear "Resident:"

I'm in the phone book and I have no reason to use a pseudonym. Easy to find, and not hiding -- you can find a No on 8 sign in front of my house. Of course, I'm also under your bed.

Speaking of which: we just got a new shipment of yardsigns in: email me at tfcmail@gmail.com (my "actual" email address) to arrange to come by and pick one up. Thanks!

Just don't put it anywhere the local constablery considers a "right of way." I'm trying to learn their definition, since they tried to take one off my yard today.

Remember this? Will the real, Tom Cushing, please ... stand up?

/stands


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Posted by Rich
a resident of Danville
on Oct 24, 2008 at 6:36 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


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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Blackhawk
on Oct 25, 2008 at 12:24 am

VOTE NOT ON 8! Equality for all!


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 7:40 am

Apparently this sad crusade against equality has not only divided the community, as reported hereabouts, but also caused deep divisions in the LDS church. It is reported in the CCTimes (hardly a liberal bastion) that there's pressure being brought to bear on the membership generally, and opponents specifically, to contribute and conform.

"Prop 8: California same-sex marriage fight divides LDS faithful" (cctimes): Web Link

I'm reasonably certain that marginalization of the dissent described in that article will continue on this board, and a brave united front will be claimed -- but I have to wonder if church leaders anticipated that this foray into exclusionary politics might drive some of the flock to question their leaders' priorities and tactics?

In other news, you gotta love Apple (okay, I do -- you don't). Yesterday morning it was reported that the Yes on 8 leaders had sent letters trying to strongarm businesses into contributing or they'd be "outed". Apple's response? They announced a $100,000 donation to the naysayers, and Levi's has pitched in another $25,000.

sfgate.com link here: Web Link

Gotta go -- I'll be the guy hammering in lawn signs, wearing my jeans and listening to my iPod.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by Ann N. Imous
a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 9:10 am

All you folks seem to be fired up about "equality" and "fairness" and "discrimination" in your postings. If those are concepts well worth discussing, then why isn't anyone discussing the most unequal, least fair, and most discriminatory issue in California?

I speak, of course, of the property tax debacle which gets worse and worse as time goes on.

My neighbor down the street has lived in his home for a number of years and pays $3,040 per year in property tax. His next door neighbor pays $13,800 per year. Same neighborhood, same lot size, pretty close to the same square footage, and same condition. For most folks they would call the two homes equal. But one guy pays $10,000 more in property tax.

I hear you saying the the high payer CHOOSE to pay those taxes when he bought his home. No he didn't - they were forced on him - it was either pay or hit the road.

I also hear you saying that this has nothing to do with the Prop 8 debate. Well folks, it does indeed. It's regretable that you can turn your "equality, fairness and discrimination" switch on for one issue and turn it off for another issue. we're all people. Where's the consistency?

I will vote no on Prop 8 because of fairness. Now let's see some action on fairness in property taxes.


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 9:59 am

What about the rights of 61% of California's that voted yes on Proposition 22 in the year 2000??? How dare four judges take away our lawful democratic vote! The true hyproscrisy is 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.


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Posted by Allison
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Oct 25, 2008 at 10:15 am

Anne

THis is the EXACT issue that the mayor of Danville should be addressing day in and day out instead of lending her name to a radical right wing website, Protectmarriage.com. Your tax concern is just as inequal as what this proposition is doing to the gays. With prop 8, its such an easy fix, and should never have been brought to vote in first place, but your tax concern is a lot more complex. Its such a sad day when the mayor of Danville endorses yes on prop 8 at the drop of a hat but fails to address much deeper community concerns.


Allison

NO ON PROP 8


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 10:54 am

Dear Jackie:

Every piece of legislation must be consistent with the Constitution of the state -- even if they pass unanimously. That's how it has ALways worked in our democracy. All the CA Supreme Court did is what it always does -- answer the Q of whether that law-by-Prop violates protections that exist in the Constitution to protect all minorities. Those same protections may protect YOU someday. This was no "radical activist court" -- the Chief Justice who wrote the Opinion is a Republican, after all.

That is why those who disagree with that decision (founded in the main on a 60-year old case about inter-racial marriage, which was once banned by law -- believe it or not) have chosen to try to change the Constitution.

That, frankly, is the radical measure here. Constitutions are worthy of a great deal of respect, and shouldn't be changed as a short-term political expedient. That's one of the most important reasons to vote NO; to protect the Constitution from legislation-style meddling, regardless of how you feel about gays or marriage. If you read this board, you'll be exposed to many, many other very good reasons.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by John
a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Allison, I think you need to review your high school civics course if you think a City Mayor is going to do anything to change California's property tax laws. C'mon. Get real.

Prop. 8 is an important social issue that never should have been thrust on us by the activist 4 judges of the California Supremes. They grossly overstepped their authority when they made this one up. The majority of Californians will now need to fix that error for good. Help our families and kids.

YES on 8!!!!!!


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Posted by Kelly
a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Jack, et al-

So why does it embarrass members of the LDS Church to be directly linked to financially supporting Prop 8? If you truly believe that it is morally right and it contains no discrimination against gay and lesbian citizens, then what is wrong with being completely upfront about your support and funding? I think your choice in the word "embarrass" speaks volumes. It is an embarrassment and on that you and I can agree.

Comparing the situation that the LDS church in California finds itself in to the situation of Jewish people in Nazi Germany is insulting. No one is persecuting you, putting you in a concentration camp, or killing you. The LDS Church has brought this situation on themselves by trying to legislate discrimination.

The LDS church has repeatedly called on its members, even outside of CA, to support Prop 8 with their time and money and LDS members have written action plans and used the existing church leadership and organization to implement those plans to collect funds, mobilize efforts, sway voters, place signs, and harass businesses that are against Prop 8. Due to this well organized effort, LDS members have donated the most funds to support Prop 8 and it is clear that they are the major force behind these activities here in Danville.

So let me be clear I am not persecuting you, I am DISAGREEING (vehemently) with you and your church's support of discrimination against gay and lesbian citizens. If you and your church do not want negative opinions of yourselves - then stop your negative actions!

Voters have a right to understand who is behind legislation and that's why we have campaign finance law to list donors who give more than $1000. Religious affiliations are not listed because religious organizations are NOT supposed to actively support legislation (separation of church and state). Since the LDS church has completely ignored this rule, I am not sorry that someone has made this information available. I haven't seen any questions raised about the veracity of the information on mormonsfor8.com, just whether or not this information should be made available.

Lastly, your short statement above doesn't really do justice to what is on lds.org about "same gender attraction," here's a few more direct quotes:

"There is no fullness of joy in the next life without a family unit, including a husband, a wife, and posterity. Further, men are that they might have joy. In the eternal perspective, same-gender activity will only bring sorrow and grief and the loss of eternal opportunities."

"There are differences, of course, but the contrast is not unique. There are people with physical disabilities that prevent them from having any hope — in some cases any actual hope and in other cases any practical hope — of marriage. The circumstance of being currently unable to marry, while tragic, is not unique."

"The Lord's law of moral conduct is abstinence outside of lawful marriage and fidelity within marriage. Sexual relations are proper only between husband and wife, appropriately expressed within the bonds of marriage. Any other sexual conduct, including fornication, adultery, and homosexual and lesbian behavior is sinful. Those who persist in such practices or influence others to do so are subject to Church discipline."

"There is no such thing in the Lord's eyes as something called same-gender marriage. Homosexual behavior is and will always remain before the Lord an abominable sin. Calling it something else by virtue of some political definition does not change that reality."

"Either there is marriage as it is now defined and as defined by the Lord, or there is what could thus be described as genderless marriage. The latter is abhorrent to God, who, as we've been discussing, Himself described what marriage is — between a man and a woman."

The whole business just sickens me. The religious groups who stated this by putting Prop 8 on the ballot have brought dissent to our community, made gay and lesbians feel unwanted, and wasted a truly sinful amount of time and money on both sides by trying to legislate discrimination. The fact that you can put out so much negativity in the world and not expect some back in return just astonishes me. Perhaps you need to be reminded - whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

I believe that people are basically good, although in this case some have abdicated their responsibility to critically and logically evaluate what they are being told. Religions and religious leaders are not above this evaluation. Enough information has been presented in this discussion to raise a reasonable doubt in anyone's mind who chooses to think for themselves. Find independent information, look at opposing views, verify EVERYTHING you've been told. If you have any doubts, don't vote to change our Constitution.

Please Vote No on Prop 8.



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Posted by Greengal
a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Those that advocate majority rule on the issue of gay marriage, should I assume that you feel the same about "interracial' marriage?

In 1959 when the CA Supreme Court legalized it, only 4% of Americans approved of these marriages (94% disapproved).

When the federal Supreme Court legalized it in 1967, only 20% of Americans approved of these marriages (73% disapproved).

It isn't until 1991 that those who approve (48%) of these marriages out number those who disapprove (42%).

The amount of Americans who approve of these marriages did not become a true majority (61%) until 1997 - just eleven years ago.

You can also see this info at www.gallup.com. The fact is that our prejudices persist. It took nearly 50 years of people bearing witness to the fact that there was nothing wrong with these marriages to significantly change these opinions. Just because the majority of CA voters chose to discriminate against gay and lesbian citizens in 2000 and in 2008 we are again facing a significant number of people committed to this discrimination does not make it right nor does it make our CA Supreme Court wrong.

"That the desires of the majority of the people are often for injustice and inhumanity against the minority, is demonstrated by every page of the history of the whole world." - John Adams

"Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights. Because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper." - Larry Flynt


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Posted by Sickofpersecution
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Hitler thought he was correct in killing off Jews, homosexuals and assorted people who didn't fit in with his ideal society. Now you all feel fit to persecute those who don't fall under your moral quidelines? You believe it's wrong because it's directly from the word of God and was written in the bible. The bible is the product of men trying to enforce their idea of order and correctness on society to keep the masses in line with what they believe.

Ring a bell Prop 8 supporters? Come on people, can we please start evolving a little??


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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 5:27 pm

John,

I pray for you that after those kinds of statements you will be able to back them up, that your children will never ever be tempted to do anything out of norm, no taste of alchohol, never to swear, never to have any human feelings of jealousy, wants, or needs, never to have sex before marriage, to be just the true saints your words indicate that you want them to be. And godforbid ANY OF THEM should turn out to be gay, God help them too.


Honestly, the outcome of how your children turn out will be based onn how they are raised in YOUR household, not on the survival of ignorance and the banning of gays to be married, I've never heard of such a thing.

NO ON PROP 8!

Sarah


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Posted by Susan T.
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Protect Traditional Marriage and Vote Yes On Proposition 8!


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Posted by Greengal
a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2008 at 10:18 pm

How about some independent research BEFORE people start spouting nonsense as fact?

No one sued Catholic Charities in Boston and forced them to stop providing adoption services. Overruling their own 42-member board who voted unanimously to CONTINUE considering gay households for adoption placement, the BISHOPS decided to end adoption services once the current contract with the state expires. Eight members of their board resigned when they heard the bishops' decision. Catholic Charities did not do many adoptions but were focused on children with severe emotional and physical needs; to date 13 of the 720 placements by Catholic Charities were with same-sex households. Shame on the bishops for not putting these kids first.

Faith Ringgold School of Art and Science in Hayward had a discussion this week with the school's Gay-Straight Alliance which consists of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders; the discussion was set to coincide with this month's National Coming Out Day. Although conservative religious websites (like Pacific Justice Institute and World Net Daily) have claimed otherwise, the principal stated quite clearly in an interview with ABC news that the discussion was with the GSA and that nothing was done with the grade school kids (kindergarten through 5th grade). The one parent that kept her child home from school that day, did not contact the school to ask what was planned, so her concerns could not be addressed. Shame on this parent for not asking the principal directly and purposefully stirring up conflict.

To point out how ridiculous this parent is, they also expressed concerns about a book that her kindergartner would be reading next month - Jane and the Beanstalk - worried that it was some sort of "gender-bender." Having read that story to my kids, I can report it is a retelling of the familiar folktale with a girl (vs. boy) main character that does all the problem-solving and rescuing. Just some nice girl power really and nothing to be afraid of....unless girls are not supposed to be equal to boys?

If you can't make your case with the truth, then it is clear that your thinking and arguments are not up to the task at hand. Be truthful (i.e. the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth) and if the truth isn't enough, you are on the wrong side of this discussion.



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Posted by Jack
a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 12:35 am

Kelly, our "dialogue" began when you seemed completly misinformed about the purpose of the mormonsfor8 website and its intent of trying to identify and then ostracize LDS members for contributing to Prop. 8. From your subsequent posts, it is obvious that you knew its purpose all along.

Yes, the intent of that website is just like the Nazis pinning yellow Jewish stars on the Jews in 1930s Germany. The parallel could not be more clear. And it seems that you subscribe to that ugly behavior. Remember, the persecution of the Jews started with small things and ultimately led to the Holocaust. Shame on you for even suggesting something like that is appropriate. Maybe the law ought to make Prop. 8 donors disclose their sexual orientation or more. NOT.

Now, to address Prop. 8, your real beef. The LDS Church is a very small part of a broad coalition of churches that support traditional marriage on religious and public policy grounds. Take a look at the long list of official endorsers at the protect marriage website www.protectmarriage.org

There are many, many churches endorsing Prop. 8 and that is besides the many other organizations, public officials and individual endorsers. Obviously, the support for traditional marriage is very high in California.

It's curious (and telling) why gay marriage proponents can't seem to finance their campaign from contributions from ordinary individual citizens and instead have to run to liberal Hollywood bigshots for more money. Why? They don't have grassroots support because Californians think gay marriage is fundamentally the wrong thing to do for our society and our children.

Why do you think it is wrong for a church -- the LDS Church is just one example of many -- to speak up for moral issues that impact families and society. What are you afraid of? That's exactly what churches have done since the founding of this great country and long before and they should continue to do. There is no law that prevents this in the United States and you are simply misinformed on that point.

I have no doubt that some liberal churches preach that none of this matters and solict contributions opposing Prop. 8. But I don't hear you condemning them -- why? Because you like what they say.

So, Kelly, let's be honest. Your rant is not about the LDS Church. It is just about you wanting to slam anyone or any organization or any church whose views you don't agree with. And that, Kelly, is precisely the gay agenda. Anyone who disagrees with them is stupid or bigoted or a hater. There is no middle ground. No compromise. The DPA is not good enough. It's their way or the highway. They must impose their will on everyone else. And, not surprisingly, the LGBT agenda itself typifies the hatred they claim to see in others.

Kelly, I share your dismay at the division Prop. 8 has brought to the community. I too wish it were not so. But remember, the traditional community did not start this fight. It has been the gay community over a period of years that has unceasingly fought -- typically in the courts since they knew they would lose in the court of public opinion -- to impose their will on the majority. That's unDemocratic. That's unAmerican. And it's not right. And Prop. 8 will merely re-institute Prop. 22 that passed with over 61% of the vote in 2000. The majority should rule -- even in Danville, California.

I have gay friends and gay family members. I treat them the same as my straight friends. I do not discriminate. The LDS Church, like many other churches, teaches that all of us -- gay and straight -- are God's children and equally deserving of love and respect. However, based on certain immutable principles that I believe in, I strongly support traditional marriage.

I know that you disagree with me and I support your right to do so. But stop criticizing a church over its principled moral stand that is shared by many, many other churches, organizations and citizens of this great state.

Vote YES on Prop. 8 to protect our families and children.

If you have any doubts, don't let a small vocal minority try to change for the rest of us the concept of marriage that has served civilization well for thousands of years.







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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 1:29 am

Dear Jack:

You claim to know an awful lot about Kelly based on a few entries on a message board. Are you two acquainted outside danvilleweekly.com? Otherwise your post is terribly presumptuous on a personal level.

I tried an experiment with your post -- substituting "black" for "gay." Here's how it reads, in relevant part:

"So, Kelly, let's be honest. Your rant is not about the LDS Church. It is just about you wanting to slam anyone or any organization or any church whose views you don't agree with. And that, Kelly, is precisely the black agenda. Anyone who disagrees with them is stupid or bigoted or a hater. There is no middle ground. No compromise -- it is not good enough. It's their way or the highway. They must impose their will on everyone else. And, not surprisingly, the black agenda itself typifies the hatred they claim to see in others."

"Kelly, I share your dismay at the division Prop. 8 has brought to the community. I too wish it were not so. But remember, the traditional community did not start this fight. It has been the black community over a period of years that has unceasingly fought -- typically in the courts since they knew they would lose in the court of public opinion -- to impose their will on the majority. That's unDemocratic. That's unAmerican. And it's not right. And Prop. 8 will merely re-institute Prop. 22 that passed with over 61% of the vote in 2000. The majority should rule -- even in Danville, California."

"I have black friends and black family members. I treat them the same as my straight friends. I do not discriminate. The LDS Church, like many other churches, teaches that all of us -- black and white -- are God's children and equally deserving of love and respect. However, based on certain immutable principles that I believe in, I strongly support traditional marriage."

It may be easier to understand, in that context, why halfway measures don't suffice in the fight for civil rights and full social participation. It's like sitting only halfway back in the bus -- or allowing integration only in gym class. The stigma remains -- on the partners and their children -- and the shame of it would come to rest on all of us.

For what -- your comfort? You are asking others to bear an unfair burden to support that "lifestyle." Life in Danville or elsewhere won't change much for you when this tawdry initiative is lain to rest -- but it will change immeasurably for those you seek to keep half-way down. If population stats are to be believed, it's a community only slightly larger than the LDS membership in California.

I suspect -- I won't claim to know -- that you view yourself as a principled, fair-minded person. You seem, however, to have a moral log in your eye that blinds you to the discrimination you parctice and the injustice you advocate. It's interesting, in the substitution exercise above, how you blame outsiders, and their "agenda" for bringing discord to our little corner of the world, claim "they" are unreasonable and that some of your best friends are [black/gay/you pick it].

Why, Mr. Jack, you sound for all the world like a genteel southerner of the 1950s. May your views go the way of theirs, in due course. Prop 8's failure won't cause that by itself, of course, but at least you won't be inflicting yourself on other people's lives, and rights, to nearly the same degree.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by Greengal
a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 7:49 am

When mostly rational and reasonable people put their stamp of approval on labeling a group of people as different and therefore excluding them from a right based on who they are....it validates and lends credence to those who desire a much more sinister version of this labeling and exclusion. Our society carries many prejudices against gays and lesbians, so with your vote to support Prop 8 are you helping to feed those prejudices or helping to quell those prejudices? Will your gay and lesbian friends and family be better off after your vote to support Prop 8 or not? This vote is not about your rights - those will remain the same whether or not the Prop passes.

We are all judged by the company that we keep. Spending time with your gay and lesbian friends and family is great, but deserting them when you should be standing up for them is not loving. It is shameful.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 8:46 am

Tom, since you didn't even address the point of my last post for Kelly, I'll assume that you concede it.

Everyone on this blog knows you oppose traditional marriage. Maybe you can repeat it about 5 dozen more times to make sure that we're all clear on that. But stop bullying those (in the majority) who don't want to experiment with the well being of their kids and future generations. Marriage between a man and woman has been the norm for thousands of years. Now a vocal activist few demand that society change to fit their view of what the norm should be. That's wrong.

Please vote YES on 8!!!


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 9:50 am

Dear Jack:

When the NO-on-8 folks tell me to shut up, then I shall listen. This isn't a poll, it's a discussion forum. Besides, you invited a further conversation with your remarkable assumption that your final points were agreeable to me.

Here are your last Two points to Kelly:

"I know that you disagree with me and I support your right to do so. But stop criticizing a church over its principled moral stand that is shared by many, many other churches, organizations and citizens of this great state."

Really? Who are these many, many churches? Organizations? You can start in Danville. I understand that Most local churches do not prescribe their parishioners' views, but present forums on the topic. I further understand that there's been considerable head-scratching among those congregations as to how to square this travesty with the teachings of Christ. Their mental gymnastics skills are simply not up to it. Perhaps you could twist up an explanation?

And "citizens?" Like our Republican Governor, and now his Democratic, Catholic wife?

I mean -- look at the poll. If you're running this close in Danville (small sample), which the CCTimes calls a "conservative stronghold," and you're losing comfortably in that publication's much larger poll that includes us and others -- I do not think you have much hope of carrying the great state.

Your other point: "If you have any doubts, don't let a small vocal minority try to change for the rest of us the concept of marriage that has served civilization well for thousands of years."

The concept of marriage has changed dramatically over even the past hundred years. You need look no farther than the role and rights of women (that they fought-for), or interracial unions (that they fought-for), or polygamy as quite recently practiced, to see that marriage has not been static, but has morphed considerably. It will continue to evolve (in case that term is not anathema).

And "small minority?" No, Jack, the small minority is those whom it affects, not those who oppose this losing Proposition. This Proposition is driven by anti-gay animus and fear of change. It's dressed-up in higher sounding language, and all those gymnastics duds.

BTW, I don't "oppose traditional marriage" -- but neither am I "wed" to it as the Only Answer, especially when that wedding would deny the fundamental rights of my friends and neighbors, here and elsewhere in the state to marry, themelves.

Finally, am I to assume that You agree with everything on this board that You haven't argued against?

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by Kelly
a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 11:04 am

Jack, et al-

Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of minority by another group. So you are part of a group of people (not a minority in your opinion) that is seeking under Prop 8 to amend our CA Constitution to exclude gay and lesbians from the legal right to marry. It also seems that you supported Prop 22, which prevented CA from recognizing gay and lesbian marriages. Without bringing the Holocaust in again, I think it is clear who is doing the persecuting and who is being persecuted.

As to the support for Prop 8, I would DISAGREE that it has the same strength of elected officials, organizations, faith groups and businesses. No on 8 lists 15 pages of these supporters compared to just 8 pages of these supporters for the Yes group. Elected officials who Oppose Prop 8 include - ALL of our federal legislators, Governor Swartzenegger, Lt Governor Garamendi, 61 of our state legislators, and 77 more local officials. That is compared to the pro Prop 8 group that has only 34 state legislators and 26 other local officials. Further, neither McCain nor Obama supports a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Those that make, interpret, and enforce the laws know discrimination when they see it and that is why there is an overwhelming majority of elected officials opposed to Prop 8.

What am I afraid of? Churches and people that want to legislate their religious opinions! The opinion that gays and lesbians should be excluded from the legal right of marriage comes from the LDS Church, the Catholic Church and the other religious organizations. But it is just your opinion and it is NOT shared by all religions, nor all Californians, nor is it shared by all your members. I don't know any Mormons that have chosen to think differently from their church's teachings on this matter, but I do know a number of Catholics who have. Personally, I am a straight, married, humanist mom and exclusion of gays and lesbians from a basic legal right like marriage is NOT OK with me.

Your choice of words interests me - gay agenda, LGBT agenda, UnDemocratic, UnPatriotic, hatred..it seems like you are the one who is carrying around some pretty harsh feelings in your heart. This is a human rights agenda, plain and simple - separate is NEVER equal. You are free to have any opinions and feelings that you want and to express them as a religious group. HOWEVER, you and your religion do not get to use your church's leadership structure and tithing process to legislate your religious opinions and force the rest of us to live our lives accordingly. That is not separation of church and state, and separation of church and state is a fundamental precept of American democracy.

As to your assertion that you represent the majority opinion, I can only say that support for emancipation of women, civil rights for African Americans, and opposition to slavery were all once minority opinions, thankfully no more. Furthermore both your arguments to support Prop based on popular opinion and tradition represent flawed logic. At one time popular opinion held that the earth was flat – it wasn't flat then, anymore than it is now. For most of human existence it was believed that witches and demons caused disease, not microorganisms. So the appeal to tradition would say that we should stick with the witches and demons theory since it's been around longer.

Everyone deserves the same rights and the same protections under the law, regardless of their differences. Anything less is discriminatory and there is no flaw in this logic.

Please Vote No on Prop 8.


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Posted by Jack et al
a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Well, Tom and Kelly are now ganging up. Tom still didn't address the point of my discussion with Kelly. That's OK Tom. Stick to the tried and true falsehoods about why Californians support Prop. 8.

It's not about fear or discrimination. It's because traditional marriage is best for kids and Prop. 8 supporters put the kids first. And that's a "human rights agenda" I support.

Kelly, you seem to have an animus toward organized religion. I don't sense that in Tom, but maybe he feels the same way. I wonder where that comes from? You say you don't want churches to "legislate their religious opinions." Well, I don't want you to "legislate" your PC opinions either. What it comes down to is that you apparently don't like religion generally and really don't like churches that disagree with you on Prop. 8 or other issues. That's OK, but just be honest about it. Churches are entitled to and should speak out on moral issues like Prop. 8.

Admittedly, my faith informs me. But I don't blindly follow anyone. I can and do evaluate the facts and make up my own mind. But what's currently PC is irrelevant to me.

I won't respond to your comment about separation of church and state, because it makes no sense. Churches are not involved in the "state." Your beef is simply that you disagree with various churches' position on a moral issue. I wish you were more informed on the ultimate consequences of gay marriage, but you are free to be as uninformed as you wish.

Finally, Kelly, as I've said before, the majority will decide this issue. Has the majority been wrong on issues over the years? Yes, of course. But it's been right most of the time – that's the beauty of democracy. And that means the minority is more often wrong. Repeating false charges of discrimination over and over, calling people bigots, etc., pounding the table, kicking and screaming hysterically, making threats if "you" don't get your way – that juvenile behavior just disgusts me. And those are often the tactics of gay marriage proponents.

I want to do what is best for the families and children of California. And that leads me and many others to support traditional marriage. It may not be PC in your circle, but it's absolutely the right thing to do.

Now, I think we've exhausted this subject. What if you believe you're right and I'll believe I'm right? Seriously, I do respect your right to believe what you do, and we'll see what Californians say about it on November 4th.

For me and my house, and for the families and children of California, we'll vote YES on Prop. 8.


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Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Jack:

Under Proposition 8 only male-female couples will be allowed to have children? Funny, that is not how the Proposition reads. It reads: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Last I checked, you don't have to be married to have a child, and Proposition 8 does not change that.

If you are putting kids first, what about the children of same sex couples? Don't those kids deserve to have parents with the same protections as the children of opposite sex parents? Or maybe you don't really care about the kids. Maybe all you care about is making sure that those homosexuals do not have a relationship that has the same name as yours.

For ALL the families of California, for ALL the children in California, vote NO on 8.


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Posted by Kathy Leonard
a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Oh Jack, you are sounding desperate....
I don't see any hysteria like you are describing. What I see is is passion and determination to protect our constitution. It's a core type of survival instinct, and though it might make you wince a little, please don't be frightened.... this is only the sound of people who have been attacked by the wealthy religious right who are deeply courageous and will not stand by and watch, as you so wish they would.
Listen closely to what Kelly and Tom and the many others who are defending our constitution have to say, someday that same constitution might save somebody from attacking you. Remember the "yes" people brought this on themselves. You brought this Prop to the table.... we are just trying to bring sanity and dignity back into the discussion.


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

Dear Jack:

Forgive me for overlooking your "point." I thought that since it had been amply, repeatedly covered farther up the thread, it would be unnecessary to re-express it. Especially to someone who complains about the frequency of my presence hereabouts.

As others and I have stated, certainly there is value in the "traditional family" model of child-rearing, but it is both rarely encountered and it does not enjoy a monopoly on value. Many models can work well, and the "ideal" is best expressed in the characteristics that help kids flourish, prime among them being unconditional love and support for their growth and maturation. You would limit the analysis to the mere presence of male and female chromosomes, regardless of whether either "traditional" parent is loving, or supportive. A sadly crude, simple-minded model -- certainly unworthy of high-toned aspirations of a public policy foundation.

The larger point that follows from your model's imprecision is that this initiative is not about kids at all. Never has been. If it were, the many millions extracted from your community in this misbegotten quest would have been invested in much more targeted programs that *actually* help kids -- programs to counteract abuse and neglect (including that which has occured in "traditional families"), and to support single parents who are struggling with their parental responsibilities. Then those $25! millions might have done a lot of good -- now they'll just be wasted generating heat on the concept of family -- but no light.

Instead of helping anyone, and based on closed-minded assumptions rather than evidence, you seek to comdemn an entire class of individuals -- childless or childed -- to second-class citizenship. That has never, ever made sense -- and it gives yet another lie to your motivations. No, Prop 8 has never been about kids -- this "traditional family" claptrap is just so much prejudiced code for "not-gay."

There are lies aplenty in this campaign; they have been yours in false comparisons to MA, not CA law that could not have been anything but calculated to deceive. They continue to haunt the credulous, and if the Times is to be believed, have done real damage to your leaders' credibility among those in your congregations who are not-so-credulous.

You are paying/will pay a very high cost for your zealot's pursuit of an utterly unworthy goal. For your sake, I certainly hope yours is a merciful deity.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by Kelly
a resident of Danville
on Oct 26, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Jack-

I haven't been out "calling people bigots, etc., pounding the table, kicking and screaming hysterically, or making threats if I don't get my way." Have you :) BTW no one is ganging up on anyone - you began this discussion with me and it is an open discussion that anyone may join.

As to your dismissal of the separation of church and state issue. I'll quote the IRS here, "In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for an exempt status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). An exempt organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status." Also the IRS states that exempt organizations "must not participate in or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."

You may also be interested to know that the LA Times (10/3/08) reported: "A watchdog group that advocates the separation of church and state has filed complaints with the Internal Revenue Service against seven churches, including one in Orange County, where pastors on Sunday endorsed presidential candidates or delivered political sermons -- defying a federal ban on campaigning by nonprofit groups."

As to me personally, I have no argument with religious people. I know people of many different faiths, people who feel motivated by their faith to act charitably and help others in need. I have the utmost respect for those actions and it shows the best part of religion/people, taking care of one another within our one human family. I do not agree that any religion has a special moral authority that makes what they have to say any more important than another religion, another group, or another person. We are all equals in this human family.

So when people tell me that their God/religion says that marriages are only for a man and a woman and that their God/religion says kids must have a father and mother that is their opinion, not a fact, not a moral directive. The facts of the matter are otherwise - gay and lesbian people have the same human need as straight people to form lasting, loving bonds with their partners and scholarly research has shown that gay parents are just as effective as heterosexual parents when it comes to raising children.

So what I am saying is that any group, religious or otherwise, can assert their opinion, it just doesn't make a compelling argument without any facts to back it up. I will respect your right to your opinion as long as you don't expect me to share an opinion that has no facts to support.

In contrast there is a compelling, factual argument against treating people "separate but equal" under the law - women, African Americans, Native Americans, virtually every immigrant group in this country, and the disabled have ALL been discriminated against using this same "separate but equal" model. Throughout human history, when mostly rational and reasonable people put their stamp of approval on labeling a group of people as different and use that difference to exclude them from equal rights....it validates and lends credence to those who desire a much more sinister version of this labeling and exclusion.

Our society carries many prejudices against gays and lesbians, so with your vote to support Prop 8 are you helping to feed those prejudices or helping to quell those prejudices? Will your gay and lesbian friends and family be better off after your vote to support Prop 8 or not? This vote is not about your rights - those will remain the same whether or not the Prop passes. You will still have the right to decide who you will marry, but will the gay and lesbian citizens of CA? I certainly hope so. As to whether the majority will get it right, well they came around on "interracial" marriages let's just hope they can see the unmistakable parallels and vote for equality on November 4th.

Please Vote No on Prop 8.


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Posted by Rulon McKay, 6 year resident of Danville
a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:18 am

All laws, propositions, amendments, etc. are, in fact, the process of distributing or re-distributing rights. Each voter is obliged to consider the short and long-term consequences of each measure. In some societies, the tradition is to try to calculate the impact on the seventh generation.

I've calculated as best I can. I understand rights for many parties are at stake. This is not a shallow issue of "it won't hurt anyone" or "equal rights for all." There is no such thing...just ask your kids. We all try to be fair, but equality is not an option when so many complex rights are woven into our democracy. Let's not be silly and pretend that prop 8 is a "simple matter of equality."

Yes, the rights of gays are in question. But this is also a question of religious freedom, and freedom of speech--these are two of our fundamentals, folks. They are worth protecting even if we are no longer as religious as we used to be.

I strongly support Prop 8 because a YES vote on 8 does a better job than a no vote on 8 in ensuring the best, the most fair balance of rights. Sure, there's more paperwork, there's more waiting for stuff when your a gay couple. Talk to gun owners to see if they are happy about the hassle of the extra effort required to buy a gun vs. buy a bike. But, gun owners still get their "right"...and gay couples will still get their rights...and a YES on prop 8 will mean that (unlike in Massachusetts) religious folks will keep their religious freedom and freedom of speech.

Nothin's perfect, nothing is equal. But prop 8 is fair. Let's be fair.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Dear Rulon:

Your post reads a bit abstruse to me, but I'll play. The way I perceive it, if one group's fundamental rights are eliminated, and everyone else's are unaffected, that smells suspiciously like a net loss of rights to me, in every generation.

You claim, without support, that some folks' religious and free speech rights are being affected by gay marriages in which they do not participate. That turns this sad exercise on its head. NO government has restricted anyone's religious freedom here, and lord know we see innumerable examples of free speech on both sides of this issue.

If you're going to make a claim like the one in your post, you need to do more than just announce it. There are many, many people in CA who've come to distrust these pronouncements, because so many have been shown to be palpably, demonstrably, cynically false. It's real clear, on the other hand, what rights are at stake for gay and lesbian Californians.

Further, if you are able to actually identify the burdens you claim, I think they must be balanced, as on a scales of justice, and weighted according to their importance. If you're going to take away a fundamental right like marriage on one side, that's a very heavy burden to place on a group, however few in number. (Indeed, I'm pretty sure you have no idea the burden you seek to impose, since you equate it with a little paperwork.) You'd need to show a similarly heavy burden on the other scale -- one that I don't think exists.

If all you're talking about is your need to opt your kids out of Health Class, that's not new, and not much of a burden to balance against elimination of the marriage right.

There is something quite bizarre about inflicting on the electorate a Proposition that removes someone's else rights, and then claiming that unless we pass it for you, your free speech and religion rights will be damaged. My sympathies for your plight are limited.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by Sue Kim
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 27, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Rulon,

I like your comment about nothing is perfect and nothing is equal. Heterosexuals can procreate and homosexuals can not. No changing that outcome. Maybe we should sue mother nature and all the scientists that support evolution and the big bang theory.

Can someone please explain to me why Civil Unions are not good enough for gay people? I just wonder why they would want to enter into these stats(first marriage 50 % divorce rate, second marriage 60% divorce rate). Not good numbers. Something to think about.

Sue Kim


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Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Sue Kim - Are Civil Unions good enough for straight people?

Same sex couples want the same things as opposite sex couples under the law. It is that simple.

Your question is tremendously condescending.

Could you imagine yourself asking the same thing of black people, "Why can't they be happy sitting at the back of the bus, or using that other drinking fountain, or going to that separate school? The white facilities aren't all that great."

How about the Japanese, "Why can't they be happy in those internment camps? I mean they get free food and shelter. If they were at home they would have to worry about working and paying the mortgage."

Some things may not be equal, but some things can. Marriage in California can be equal, as it is now.


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Posted by Greengal
a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 3:40 pm

A few articles the group might find enlightening:

1. Mormons face flak for backing Prop. 8 (Chronicle, 10/27/08): Web Link

2. Prop 8: California gay marriage fight divides LDS faithful (Salt Lake Tribune, 10/26/08): Web Link

I have to say that I was really shocked at the level of commitment (money and effort) of the LDS church and it's members described in the second article. It was good to hear though that some LDS people are as troubled as I am about their church's position on this issue - described in both articles.


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Posted by Sue Kim
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 27, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Jeff,

I did not mean to offend with question. Sorry, you got your feelings hurt. Maybe once you can marry you feel better. Maybe not. Maybe you divorce. Maybe not. Feel better Jeff.

Sum Kim


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Hi Sue: Your honest inquiries deserve honest responses.

1 -- your point about exclusive reproduction ignores many possibilities: prior opposite-sex procreation, adoption, surrogacy and artificial insemination -- techniques open to, and commonly used by, all childless couples. Clearly homosexuals can become parents in a wide variety of ways.

2 -- what if the courts had said, in 1948, that people of different races, say, Asians and whites, can partner-up, but it's not "traditional" white-on-white marriage that we're used-to, so we'll call it something different -- say, a "transracial union." That conveys something strikingly different, and second-class, to all listeners -- especially the children of that marri -- err, no -- union. Or maybe we should called adopted kids something different -- like "wards." Separate is never, ever equal -- and the people who can best tell you that are those on whom the separation has been forced.

Here's what the CA Supremes said in that context, just this year:

"The current statutes — by drawing a distinction between the name assigned to the family relationship available to opposite-sex couples and the name assigned to the family relationship available to same-sex couples, and by reserving the historic and highly respected designation of marriage exclusively to opposite-sex couples while offering same-sex couples only the new and unfamiliar designation of domestic partnership —- pose a serious risk of denying the official family relationship of same-sex couples the equal dignity and respect that is a core element of the constitutional right to marry."

What's in a name? A helluva lot, especially if you have traditionally suffered cruel prejudice and humiliation at the hands of a majority that now throws you a crumb of respect, and tells you to be happy with it. You deserve the whole loaf, the same loaf they eat from every day of their lives. I admire the gay community for not settling for that crumb, or even half a loaf. Or a different loaf that's almost as good.

Finally, it certainly is true, as you say, that we hets have made a hash of the institution of marriage. Maybe we should chuck the whole thing. Do you really think that the gay community could do worse at it than we have? They deserve to keep their shot at it, anyway.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by John
a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 7:57 pm

People keep complaining about how a YES vote on prop 8 will take away gays rights. They will the same rights as the rest of us do, marry someone of the opposite sex! ha. What's next? Employers have to hire a certain number of gay or lesbian people or else they will be discriminating? If every one in the world went gay, the world would be lifeless in 100 years and humanity would cease to exist! Therefore how can we allow California to take this path when it clearly leads to destruction? Next, look at what a homosexual family tree is, there is no blood relation, no-one would know who their real father is, all the children would know is they came from a sperm bank or were adopted. It is not a family at all! It's a group of gay friends trying to become excepted by the world! I believe that homosexuality is a serious sin and mental issue, and same-sex marraige should not be the debate we are having. We should be building institutions for these "gay" people and try to get them on the right path. If druggies wanted to legalize cocain because they were "born" a coke addict would we legalize it?! Would it be taking away their rights if we did not let them do what they believed they were "born" to do? Just take a step back and look at what this world is coming to. I know that everyone in their hearts knows that homosexuality is wrong, think about anyone who is a homo-sexual, do they look like a confident, happy, outgoing, humble person to you? Whether your a religious person or not, you know it's wrong. OH but there has to be seperation of church and state right? There cant be any MORALS in the government right? Because then we be bringing religion into the government right?! Religion is what this country was brought up with and i hope to God that i never live under a government with no morals! Amen
Vote YES on 8


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Posted by John
a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 7:57 pm

People keep complaining about how a YES vote on prop 8 will take away gays rights. They will the same rights as the rest of us do, marry someone of the opposite sex! ha. What's next? Employers have to hire a certain number of gay or lesbian people or else they will be discriminating? If every one in the world went gay, the world would be lifeless in 100 years and humanity would cease to exist! Therefore how can we allow California to take this path when it clearly leads to destruction? Next, look at what a homosexual family tree is, there is no blood relation, no-one would know who their real father is, all the children would know is they came from a sperm bank or were adopted. It is not a family at all! It's a group of gay friends trying to become excepted by the world! I believe that homosexuality is a serious sin and mental issue, and same-sex marraige should not be the debate we are having. We should be building institutions for these "gay" people and try to get them on the right path. If druggies wanted to legalize cocain because they were "born" a coke addict would we legalize it?! Would it be taking away their rights if we did not let them do what they believed they were "born" to do? Just take a step back and look at what this world is coming to. I know that everyone in their hearts knows that homosexuality is wrong, think about anyone who is a homo-sexual, do they look like a confident, happy, outgoing, humble person to you? Whether your a religious person or not, you know it's wrong. OH but there has to be seperation of church and state right? There cant be any MORALS in the government right? Because then we be bringing religion into the government right?! Religion is what this country was brought up with and i hope to God that i never live under a government with no morals! Amen
Vote YES on 8


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Posted by Kelly
a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:51 pm

OK all those pro Prop 8 folks that stated that they respect gays and lesbians and/or have gay and lesbian friends and family members that they love...what say you to John's post?

I will say this again, when mostly rational and reasonable people put their stamp of approval on labeling a group of people as different and use that difference to exclude them from equal rights....it validates and lends credence to those who desire a far more sinister version of this labeling and exclusion (see John's post).

My point is that unless some pro Prop 8 folks speak against this sort of venom, than it would appear to me (and everyone else) that you agree and/or condone it. And don't tell me - you need to tell John.

And to John - that's alot of hate you're carrying around in your heart, pal. I know you won't listen to me, but maybe you should listen to some LDS members at mormonsformarriage.com. I APPLAUD them for thinking for themselves and standing up for equal treatment of gays and lesbians under the law.

Please Vote No on Prop 8.



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Posted by Kathy Leonard
a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 10:29 pm

I am curious,as well, if we will hear from the "yes" people denouncing this view that John spits out. So far, the supporters of prop 8 say that they respect and understand the gay couples, and that it is just the DEFINITION of the word "marriage" that really is at the forefront of their argument.
I believe we are seeing maybe just a little bit of what really is at the heart of the issue. Not everyone on the yes side will totally agree with John but I truly believe that there is a component here that rings true with all people voting yes.
Same sex couples have ALWAYS been treated like second class citizens, even though they contribute to our wonderful nation by paying taxes, serving and dying in the military, volunteering in classrooms, holding the highest offices, creating jobs for the rest of us, being good neighbors, attending church, and teaching to love each and every person, even those who would take their rights away.... and all the while holding their heads high.
Oh, you can say "I have friends that are gay" or "I have clients that are gay" so I am not prejudiced. Remember when people used to say "I have friends who are black"... does this sound familiar??? Like my brother-in-law Kevin said, they aren't your friends. Would your friends treat you like you want to treat them, by changing the California Constitution to exclude them from one of the most basic of all rights?

So, let's hear from the yes people, reread his comments,do you agree with John??

VOTE NO on prop 8


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Dear John:

I have one daughter I adopted when she was small, and one daughter I begat the "traditional" way. I can assure that I am the "REAL DAD" to both. REAL parents are parents who love and raise you, and some of them are straight. Some of them are not.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by john
a resident of Danville
on Oct 27, 2008 at 11:19 pm

oh i'm sorry did i offend you? I'm so sorry that i did not put my fealings down in a politically correct manner. It's freedom of speech man. I don't hate gay people, i just dont condemn what they do and I believe what they do is wrong. Does that mean i hate them, no. I dont like what cocain addicts do but do i hate them? No. You dont share my point of view, do i hate you? sortof. haha jk. I just want to help them. Is that such a bad thing? Even if i did hate them, hating is not illegal. I have the right to be hate, be annoyed with or dislike anyone i choose for whatever reason. (But I dont hate gay people!) In (approx.) 16 states now gay marraige has been brought up on the ballot and almost everytime it has been rejected. Does this mean that every one of those millions of people are haters? NO. It means they dont approve or support homosexuality just like me. I'm sorry if i put my words in to plain of context and made generalizations but it's what i believe from my personal life and experiences. Dont try to turn people against me for expressing my personal belief. To me it looks like your the hater.


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 8:12 am

Dear John:

Speaking for myself -- yes, I am personally offended, because your characterizing my fathering as less-than "real" denigrates the love and support I invested (with great joy) in my older, equal daughter.

You see: words matter a great deal, which goes right to the heart of this discussion.

I'll let the rest of your rant speak for itself.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by Ben
a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:55 am

Is being gay the cool thing now? Do we want to raise our children in a society that essentially promotes the idea of being a homosexual? I do not want my kids going to school and learning about adam and steve. King and King? No. I do not mind homosexuals, they can have their civil unions, live happily, i support them having the right to do that, but marriage is between a man and a woman.
YES on 8.


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Posted by MM
a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 10:05 am

John Adams said: "[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue."
I believe in pure virtue. I believe in public virtue. I believe there are millions of Californians who also also believe in these things. I believe that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman. This is part of our religious beliefs, our moral values, and what consitutes pure virtue. Many believe this to be a truth. We are asked to vote on what definition of marriage will be in our state constitution. Because we believe marriage to be between and man and a woman, and we believe this is best for society, we will vote YES on 8.
Many people choose not to participate in marriage. This does not mean that right is taken from them. It simply means they choose not to participate. For some, it is because they would rather not be with someone of the opposite sex. Therefore, they choose a domestic partnership relationship. Some choose not to marry for other reasons. Defining marriage does not take rights from anyone, it preserves the rights of religious freedom, freedom of speech, and most of all preserves public and private virtue...upon which the freedoms of our country are based.
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."
George Washington (www.liberty1.org/virtue)


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Yikes, MM, dontcha see it? The very basic flaw in your reasoning? It's right here:

"Many people choose not to participate in marriage. This does not mean that right is taken from them. It simply means they choose not to participate. For some, it is because they would rather not be with someone of the opposite sex."

Your "choices" are all mixed up. You see, nobody "chooses" their sexuality, and your virtuous(?!) way utterly excludes gays, and their kids, from the most fundamental institution of society. If Prop 8 passes they never will get the choice they -- and you -- currently enjoy as of Right.

You may as well say "blacks can attend segregated schools, as long as they choose to be white," or "that quadruplegic can use that wheelchair-inaccessible bathroom -- if she just chooses to walk on in." In some constrast, most homosexuality is not readily observable, and that may be why you think it's a choice. But it's not. Tell me -- when did you consciously "choose" your heterosexuality?

I think, though, you may have hit on something in the energy independence arena -- if we can only figure out how to harness all that spinning in Founding Fathers' graves.

Please vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by Kathy Leonard
a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 12:51 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.

Vote NO on Prop 8 - and thank you John for sharing this.


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Posted by moron with an i
a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 1:15 pm

John:

You are in desperate need of mental counseling. And please remember, "he doth protest too much". Sounds like you suffer from self-hate due to your own latent homosexuality. Try counseling, dude.


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Posted by Dad of 6
a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Dear John,

Based on your postings, you do not come across as a "confident, happy, outgoing, humble person" to me. In contrast, most of the gay people I know do have those attributes.

Regarding your contention that homosexuality is a mental illness: the mainstream medical profession has not held this view since 1973 (when the American Psychiatric Association declassified it as a mental illness).

Regarding your contention that it is a sin, that's your personal religious viewpoint, but not mine, nor that of my church. I think gambling is a sin, shall we have a proposition on the ballot which eliminates the California State Lottery just because I think it's a sin?


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Posted by Kelly
a resident of Danville
on Oct 28, 2008 at 1:39 pm

The silence of the pro Prop 8 folks speaks volumes. Since you are AOK with the discriminatory and hurtful things said by John, I guess we all have our answer - his post represents your views and you agree with what he said and how he said it.

John - as to turning people against you, I think you've got that job completely covered (no help needed from me!).

All people deserve the same rights and protections under the law - anything less is discrimination.

Please VOTE NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by moron with an i
a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Kelly: Of course they don't oppose John's views. The Prop 8 supporters are opposed to any rights granted to gays. If they were opposed to discrimination then they would be fighting to repeal the Federal DOMA laws. Prop 8 supporters just don't like being called out for what they are: bigots. If they weren't bigots then they'd be horrified that their Federal Government has passed legislation denying gays the same rights given to married heterosexuals. That's why the mayor of Danville is a total joke. She's quite happy to oppose gay marriage but has no problem keeping silent on the discrimination that gays face at the Federal level.


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Posted by Scott
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Oct 28, 2008 at 10:54 pm

wow Tom Cushing.. stop being so technical in your writing. this isnt a formal essay here. and as for this issue goes... traditional marriage has been between a man and woman since our country began. i dont know how many years thats been, but im pretty sure its a lot. why all of a sudden are same-sex marriages even becoming an issue in our society? God says that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and who is to go against what our Lord says..? men and women balance eachother out. they are fertile and can have children. while gay couples are infertile and cannot have children. dont you see a problem..? its not meant to be. It anatomically and physiologically wrong.

VOTE YES ON PROP 8


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Posted by rkay
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 28, 2008 at 11:32 pm

I know I'm violating my own rule by responding to (aka feeding) the Scott/John troll but when the repartee is that scintillating I just have to.

Traditional marriage has been around since our country was founded? Which country are you referring to? Israel? And if you're talking about America, you don't know when it was founded but you're pretty sure it was a long time ago? Sleep through history class that day?

And if you're not sure why same-sex marriages are becoming an issue why do you feel this compulsion to weigh in on the matter citing non-existent studies and making sweeping statements about how the same sex lifestyle is physiologically wrong?

God says marriage is between a man and a woman. In the bible, which was written by men, translated by men, retranslated by men ad infinitum. It also says women are property. Now, I'm sure you feel pretty attached to your mom but I doubt if she thinks you own her.

Men and women balance each other out? It's their personalities, their souls, their essence that complement each other. It's not because tab A will go into slot B.

Finally, please let's not be dissing on Tom Cushing because he chooses to respond to some fairly inflammatory statements with grace, eloquence and elegance (not to mention grammar, spelling and punctuation) that the rest of us can only envy. Just in case I'm being too subtle I'll spell it out for you...it's how grownups talk. Well, some grownups anyway.

Now you should probably be off to bed. Tomorrow is a school day after all and you wouldn't want to be dozing off during any more classes. There might be a test on when the country was founded. ;-)


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 8:50 am

Folks on BOTH SIDES, please note:

Tempers are rising as Election Day approaches, and I think it's important that everyone recognize the limits of civilized discourse -- and the consequences of exceeding them.

Item: there was a fight in SoCal between two advocates: HATE Crimes will be charged, in addition to serious-enough assault-and-battery. Web Link

Item: when I've been "out" around here with "No on 8" signage, I've had one guy offer to "kick my ass and tear down that sign," a woman sprinkle me with (holy?) water and a variety of "faggot" and "go back to SF" epithets flung my way. (Of course, it's also a lot of fun and I've also enjoyed many, many thumbs-up and honks, but I digress. I do recommend it, though!).

I'm sure pro-8 folks can tell similar stories.

The point is that there are *serious legal consequences* for misbehavior -- both criminal AND civil. I can assure the offeror above, for instance, that if he had followed through and kicked my butt (not difficult), I'd soon own everything he has. Digital and cellphone cameras are a great invention.

SO, folks, let's be mindful of our legal obligations to each other. Thanks!

(thanks rkay!)


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Posted by Ben
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 9:05 am

Rkay, this country was founded on July 4th 1776, theres a real fact for you, why dont you try to find some yourself? And yes, traditionally, since America seperated from Britain, marriage has been between a man and a woman in the United States. And way to try to bash on high school students, "sleeping in class...history tests tomorrow?" That only shows you are at a lower level of maturity than a high school student. That young man, who might be voting in this election, made some solid points, why don't you act respectfully, act like an adult and just make your own points from here on out, you too Tom cushing. This forum is about proposition 8, not about "john" or anyone else. So from now on, lets keep it that way.


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Posted by Grant
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 9:13 am

HAHA, i truly feel sorry for all of you NO on 8 voters thinking 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 gay marraige will never be excepted. 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 anyway. So have at it! Come up with a couple B.S. anti-american,far-left wing, anti-religious points but in the end, your vote only counts as one.


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Posted by JAWS
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 29, 2008 at 9:26 am

Tom Cushing... The only thing i agree with you is that it is probably not hard to "beat your ass". You are the type of person that complains about all the wrong doings and fallacies of our government but that's it. You are content to sit back and complain while thinking that your are benefiting society. The truth is you don't do anything. You yourself could never produce and solution to the problems in today's society. On of these problems is Prop 8 and unfortunately because of my age I will not be able to vote YES because I was born two weeks too late. Marriage is a sacred between a man and a woman is not only something that has not only been since the beggining of our country's history but since before civilization. When I apply for a marriage certificate I don't want to be asked if I'm marrying a man or a woman. Union between man and woman is something that is natural. Homosexuality is not. If people could be born gay and homosexuality is so natural then why arent animals in the wild homosexual. Animals act off of instinct and homosexuality is not a natural thing.


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Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 10:11 am

JAWS - Tom Cushing is doing exactly what citizens of this country need to do when facing an injustice. He is putting the word out, to the best of his ability, that we as citizens need to cast NO votes on Proposition 8 to ensure that discrimination is not written into the California Constitution.

There will be people that are not aware of the issues that are associated with Proposition 8, and they may stumble upon this discussion or other discussions on the internet where Tom has posted. They will read his reasoned, intelligent arguments, arguments that are based on fact, and they will realize the right and fair thing to do is to vote NO on Proposition 8.

He will have made a difference.

As for you, JAWS, based on your posting, I think that you need to do a little more research into the issue.

You claim that marriage is sacred. That implies a religious bent to your argument. Under the current state laws, civil same sex marriage is legal. However, no church or religious organization is required to perform same sex marriages because we are free to worship as we see fit.

If you look at history, marriage has primarily been one of one man and many woman. The one man one woman form of marriage has been pretty recent. I am sure that when reading your Bible you will note that most of the men have more than one wife.

You claim that because aminals in the wild are not homosexual that homosexuality is not natural. The facts are that homosexual behavior has been observed among animals. There are numerous citations, you can start with a google search: Web Link






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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 10:26 am

Hiya JAWS:

Have we met?

And when, in your seventeen-years and 11 months-and-change, did you become an expert on both human and animal behavior?

And finally, when Prop 8 fails and you someday apply for a marriage license anyway, why would anyone ask you whether you're "marrying a man or a woman?" You see, it won't matter.

Please ask your parents to vote NO on Prop 8.


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Posted by Rich
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 11:42 am

JAWS-

Wow, you know so much at 17, marriage sacred since before civilization? Is that what the San Ramon Valley Unified School district is teaching? Actually as a product of Danville schools, thats not true. Marriage, as we know it, has only really come into being very recently (Maybe last 200 years?)Prior to that, many cultures and civilizations had various definitions for it, and most important with who married who, some for land rights, other for name distribution, etc. BUt as we know it, in all of civilization? No. Just to educate you, all through the Roman Empire for example, people married for varying reasons, and one of the top ones were same sex couples who loved each other. The Greeks are also on record for embracing same sex relationships as well as the Etruscans and several parts of Europe during the Renassance period. So actually , same sex marriage has equal if not more of a place in ancient history than the concept of one man and one woman.

Please everyone VOTE NO on Prop 8!

Rich


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wolfie
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Oct 29, 2008 at 1:54 pm

JAWS, dude -- you got, like, totally OWNed.


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Posted by rkay
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 29, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Don't you mean he got totally pwned? Or isn't that used anymore?

And as for Ben who took me to task for my teasing of that poor misunderstood high school student. Gee, I'm sorry. If I'd known it wasn't okay to stand up for people on this message board I sure wouldn't have done it. The guy has posted a number of hateful things on this forum, attacked Tom Cushing who has done nothing but advocate a gentle and reasoned debate and in general behave like a teenaged boy coached in what to say.

If you take the time to read Grant's post he just copy and pasted John's post, so you could make the assumption that John/Scott/Grant are either the same person or a group of friends with similar secular leanings.

You asked me to look up facts Ben. Which ones? What facts haven't been presented here? There have been quite a few. Since you so kindly pointed out when the country was founded we've got that one covered. How about Arbor Day? I could look that one up no problem.

The point is that traditional marriage as you describe it isn't some ancient covenant handed down by the almighty. It evolved over the years (and yes I did bring evolution into a quasi-religious argument...ooops.) As another poster mentioned there have been a number of cultures that allowed same sex marriages and the whole man/woman thing was man/women. And the women had the same level of rights as the man's cattle. Probably less because during rough times, they probably fed the cattle more than the wives since they were worth more.

This all comes down to acceptance. Gays want the social acceptance that being married brings. Others do not. Dress it in whatever swaddling clothes, frankincense and myrrh you want, it still boils down to not wanting to accept/condone/whatever a lifestyle you disagree with.

And if the concerns about education are still being voiced, look at the implied threats and violent opinions expressed by high schoolers towards an idea they disagree with and tell me they still don't have a lot to learn.


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Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Regarding Kelly's Post above: "The silence of the pro Prop 8 folks speaks volumes. Since you are AOK with the discriminatory and hurtful things said by John, I guess we all have our answer - his post represents your views and you agree with what he said and how he said it."

I support Prop 8, and could not disagree more. John's comments are inappropriate, of course. It is easy to see the maturity level of the poster (who remains anonymous, really). Many of the posters here supporting Prop 8 have made insensitive and rediculous comments, John included. But is it my job to police everyone who is supporting Prop 8? I'd have to spend my entire life online...and I don't have that kind of time.

For the record, my signs have been stolen/defaced too. I've been subjected to some of the most "hateful" langugage I have ever heard, just because I support Prop 8. It is perfectly acceptable, evidently, to say all sorts of things about me and my family because I support Prop 8. Now I am labeled as a person who hates others.

Kelly, do those people that tell a 12-year-old boy to "F#$% Off" represent your views? From what I've read from you, I don't think that is the case. So please don't paint me with such a broad brush, just because I'm not policing the postings of someone who probably won't even vote in the election.

By the way, I'm not saying that I'm alone in having these experiences. Tom has mentioned several negative experiences he has had from Prop 8 supporters. It's ridiculous that he can't go out in his community to support his own beliefs without being criticized, made fun of, threatened, etc.

So let me say it one time for everyone to read. I don't condone any negative comments, threats or acts of violence towards people who are NO on Prop 8. I don't condone any acts of violence or vandalism against NO on Prop 8 signs. Anything that even smacks of that type of behavior disgusts me. Most of the people (that I know) who are Yes on 8 agree with my position. They would never condone that type of attitude or behavior. My guess is that most of the people who are No on 8 would agree with it as well.


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Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 4:02 pm

I figured I'd split this in 2 since it would have been too long to continue with the post directly above...

Regarding Tom's Post above: "Is the Prop8 crusade running out of money?

Wow. I cannot imagine why anything less than desperate finances would motivate such a move -- it is certain to alienate a whole lot of relatively neutral people who don't like to be threatened -- or to have other people threatened. Prop8 is already behind in the polls of any sample size -- do they really want to drive away those "swing" voters in the middle?

It's a "shakedown" worthy of Tony Soprano and his, uh, Family. Has it really come to this, crusaders? Your true colors are coming out, and they're the same as the Crips and Bloods? "

Tom, I enjoy reading your posts. They make me think of things from a different point of view. I saw the following posting recently, and I'm wondering how you feel it differs from what the "Crusaders" are doing. After all, ,this is not about going after companies, but it is about going after people personally.

No matter what, we need to be civil to each other. We will still be neighbors after this election is come and gone. Regardless of whether Prop 8 passes or doesn't, we will all still be trying to navigate the vicissitudes of life to the best of our ability. We will all want the best for our families, regardless of how they are defined. I hope that we can figure out a way to reach out to those who hold different beliefs from us, and find a way to work together on those things that we do agree on.

-----------------------------------------

I apologize that I'm not tech savvy enough to post this as a hyperlink, I'll post the text below the web address.

Web Link

How YOU can defeat Prop 8 and preserve marriage equality.
by hekebolos
Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 12:00:07 PM PDT
Over the weekend, we asked you for money. You responded in a record-setting way, and for that, you have my thanks, and the thanks of everyone who believes in equality before the law.

Today, I will be asking you for something else: your time. I'll get to exactly how in a minute--but before I do, I want to tell you a story.

It's a story about two weddings. Please join me below the fold.

hekebolos's diary :: ::
On one beautiful weekend in September, I took a trip from Los Angeles to Northern California. My first stop was Grass Valley, where my mom's cousin was holding her stateside wedding reception after getting married over the summer in Italy.

Even though my mom and I are not members of the Mormon church, plenty of our relatives on her side are--and it was, indeed, a festive occasion, and a happy one for my first cousin once removed, who was finally able to celebrate having found love after a couple of instances where she thought she had found the one, only to have him take advantage of her and leave her in the end.

Even though much of my extended family is traditionally conservative, in large part owing to religious reasons, they know that much of my life is spent actively campaigning for Democratic causes, but I am still more than welcome, and our conversations are always pleasant and civil.

The next morning, I left to drive to San Francisco for another wedding: this time, it was that of my good friend Brian. Now, I'm sure that many of you know the Brian I'm talking about: none other than Brian Leubitz, the founder of Calitics. He too was celebrating having found the love of his life. The same festive atmosphere. The same love. The same desire to share a life together, and to enter into a binding contract with one another. The only difference is that Brian's love is another man.

And yet, because of that last fact, certain groups are investing craploads of resources into making sure that the happy scene I saw in San Francisco never happens again.

As a matter of fact, the No on Prop 8 folks told me recently that the "Protect Marriage" campaign has raised $30 million dollars--over half of it from the Mormon Church. Now, I have nothing personally against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They most certainly have the constitutional right to worship in their own way. They have the right to minister in whatever way they see fit and to marry whomever they see fit in their churches based on any qualifications they choose. And they will be well within their rights.

But when the church and its members invest millions of dollars in an attempt to write discrimination into my state's constitution and divorce my friend Brian against his will, there will be hell to pay.

So what am I asking you to do?

Some distributed research.

There is a list of a bunch of Mormon donors to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign (in case that one goes down, here's a mirror with slightly worse formatting.

Here's what I'm asking for:

This list contains information about those who are big donors to the Yes on 8 campaign--donors to the tune of at least $1,000 dollars. And, as you can see, there are a lot of them. It also indicates if they're Mormon or not.

If you're interested in defeating the religious right and preserving marriage equality, here's how you can help:

Find us some ammo.

Use any LEGAL tool at your disposal. Use OpenSecrets to see if these donors have contributed to...shall we say...less than honorable causes, or if any one of these big donors has done something otherwise egregious. If so, we have a legitimate case to make the Yes on 8 campaign return their contributions, or face a bunch of negative publicity.

There are a crapload of donors on this list--so please focus on the larger ones first. $5,000 or more is a good threshold to start with.

Feel free to use Lexis-Nexis searches as well for anything useful, especially given that these people are using "morality" as their primary motivation to support Prop 8...if you find anything that belies that in any way...well, you know what to do.

If you find anything good, please email it to:

equalityresearch at gmail dot com.

Here's the bottom line for me: if someone is willing to contribute thousands of dollars to a campaign to take away legal rights from some very dear friends of mine, they had damn well make sure their lives are beyond scrutiny--because I, for one, won't take it lying down.

This one is for Brian and the millions like him all across the nation.


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Posted by YES ON 8!
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Gays are sodomites, aids carriers, and most of all, THEY ARE GAY! Wake up idiots and realize that you are all PIGS and are going no where in life. Yes, respond to this post and say i'm immature and no nothing about the issue and that i'm a gay hater and i need counseling. I've heard it all before! I'm sick of your anti-american, anti-morals, anti-religion, GAY points!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by rkay
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 29, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Ah and the Grant/Scott/John/Yeson8 high school misanthrope has returned. Thank you for referring to yourself as an immature, know nothing, gay hater who needs counseling. It saves us the time typing it up. It's nice that you keep coming up with new names for yourself as we're all totally fooled into believing that a bunch of guys clutters up the message board with similarly worded garbage.

I am sorry that you feel this is entertaining, doing your very best to hurt people just to draw attention to yourself. And you do a disservice to your cause, if you even believe in it. You show everyone the worst that this argument has to offer.

It's obvious you are young and are enjoying the anonymity of this forum to say things which you know you'd never have the courage to say to a thinking, feeling human standing in front of you. I'm sure also your parents would be mortified at the garbage you are leaving in your wake. If you are caught of course you'll cop out the way most kids caught doing stupid will do and say 'i was just messing around. it was just a joke.' It's not a joke. What you are saying is homophobic and hateful and you should be ashamed.

Yes you provoked me enough to respond so I guess you win, but the day that any person with an ounce of humanity allows individuals like yourself to spout that venomous rhetoric, then we deserve what happens to us.

Someday when you are older, I hope you look back on this period of your life and you shudder at your actions. But given the level of maturity and intelligence you are displaying today I doubt if any of us will live long enough for you to get that point.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by scott
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Oct 29, 2008 at 10:06 pm

you know whats sad rkay.. is that your trying to argue with high schoolers. you must've felt extremely accomplished after you sent me that essay you wrote trying to diss me. what parent likes to come home and get on the danville weekly website forum to argue with high schoolers? thats quite emberassing rkay.. you should definitely be doing some more useful things around the house..

P.S. im going to go study for my history test now..


 +   Like this comment
Posted by yes on 8
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 10:34 pm

agreed scott! i'm studying for my english test now.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Hi David: I don't like it -- it's a gotcha tactic that is too similar to what the Yes-ers did with business, and ultimately it is intended to intimidate. Not sure we'll ever know "who shot first."

I actually had a curious set of responses, because somewhere up the thread somebody on the Yes side called me out, for apparently not having donated to the NO side (in fact I had, but apparently it was not yet a matter of public record). I didn't think a lot about it at the time, but maybe they were doing some similar "research?" Anyway, I'm not what you'd call a big donor, and maybe my most controversial group is the Humane Society. Not much political hay to be made there.

But when I read your Daily Koz excerpt, I liked it less -- cuz it's clear that the intent is to embarrass donors who gave in their private capacities. Some of those donations may even have been made under some duress, which I am given to believe is being applied by certain of the sponsoring organizations.

I don't think they're looking for illegality, but for public humiliation -- and that gives it a sort of Scarlet Letter-ish tinge. My mama (traditional family!) used to say that you should live your life as if it would be published in the paper. I don't go that far -- I think there's a place for the little privacy we get to enjoy in this data-heavy age. And I really don't much care about the answers they'll get.

I was telling somone tonight that, for all the concepts we're throwing around here, the posts that really "get me" are people's stories about what this right means to them -- the human experiences and emotions it has generated. A woman on the Pleasanton Board, in particular, wrote one that I found incredibly poignant. I'll see if I can find it and post it here -- she signed her name to it, so I doubt she'll mind its republication.

Please vote NO on Prop 8 (anyway).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by rkay
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 29, 2008 at 10:58 pm

LOL. Arrgh. I am cut to the quick. I fear I won't be able to show my digital face again because now the mouthy high schooler cries foul. I'm such a bully picking on teenagers who view posting hate speech on a public forum as the height of entertainment. Ah the shame of it all.

Just fyi john/scott/grant/yeson8, the conversation on this topic was fairly straightforward, on topic and with only a little venom before you started with your talk of attacking other posters, calling people idiots, nerdbashing, sodomites etc. Again, all things you wouldn't dare to say if the person in question were standing in front of you.

And as for doing something more useful...pot, kettle, black. B-)

Good luck on those tests.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jaws
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 29, 2008 at 10:58 pm

Since the GAYS are already allowed civil unions in this state, and have the same benefits as being married, then why must they receive the title OF being married. If voting no on prop 8 is not about equality, then what is it about?
And in response to comments about my age, being older does not make you any smarter or any more qualified to talk about issues of this concern. I am old enough to know what marriage is and what marriage should be. And you better believe that my parents are going to vote Yes on prop 8 because that is the right choice.
So Tom Cushing... please ask your boyfriend ( not husband, becasue you can't get married and should never be allowed to) to vote YES on prop 8!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cole
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 29, 2008 at 11:04 pm

After reading many of these arguments, I see that rkay is even less mature than the assumed high-schoolers. Be proud rgay, you are an embarassment to our country.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by rkay
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 29, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Tom,
Well spoken. I have had serious qualms about duplicating those tactics. I'm glad to hear we are in agreement. I think to some degree this is being made into a gays vs mormons crusade. There are lots of other groups who have donated to.

As has been said before we need to raise awareness and answer claims made by pro8 groups. Engaging in mudslinging or dirty dealing doesn't seem to be the right way to achieve that.

Thanks for all your patient responses. Would it be sacreligious to say you have the patience of a saint?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2008 at 11:26 pm

Hiya jawsie: I see you've adopted a lower case persona, apparently not out of humility.

I'd ask my boyfriend how to vote, but -- alas -- I've chosen the heterosexual lifestyle. It was a tough decision! I had to give up all that pointless, cruel opprobrium (look it up) that could have been mine from zealots who know there's only one answer, and want me to know it, too. I also could've enjoyed discrimination in employment and housing in most of the country -- with no recourse! The excitement of that was almost too good to pass-up. AND -- I coulda had an agenda!

But I guess I'm just a glutton-for-reward. I promise to consult my girlfriend, however. I don't think you'll like the result.

Please vote NO on Prop 8. It's what my girlfriend wants you to do.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by moron with an i
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Oct 29, 2008 at 11:57 pm

One thing that's been lost in all of this discussion: CandyAnn clearly wasn't speaking for all or half of Danville when she used her mayoral title to support Prop 8. So, no matter how you vote on Prop 8 please be sure to vote out CandyAnn.

For those interested, her husband donated money to support Prop 8. You can see folks who've donated to the yes on 8 campaign by looking at mormonsfor8.com

If CandyAnn really cared about Danville she would have kept her mayoral title out of it. Again, her view on Prop 8 is not what should keep her from being re-elected. It's her total stupidity on the appropriate use of her title.

Vote out CandyAnn.


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Posted by rkay
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 30, 2008 at 12:33 am

My cousin and his wife actually just came over tonight for dinner and they brought a whole new perspective to my attention. They are conservative and of course, are voting for Prop 8, yet they had so many great points supporting their position that it was hard for me to even come back with any of my own. I not believe that if Prop 8 passes, it will be for the better of our society. As much as I hate to say that, it is true. Please vote Yes on Prop 8.

VOTE YES ON PROP 8....(sorry Tom)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 30, 2008 at 12:39 am

rkay:

Please reconsider this choice. I pray for you that after those kinds of statements you will be able to back them up, that your children will never ever be tempted to do anything out of norm, no taste of alchohol, never to swear, never to have any human feelings of jealousy, wants, or needs, never to have sex before marriage, to be just the true saints your words indicate that you want them to be. And godforbid ANY OF THEM should turn out to be gay, God help them too.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by rkay (the real one)
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 30, 2008 at 7:37 am

Here lies the true danger of anonymous message boards. Some scumbag can pretend to be you and lie. I have not now nor will I ever change my position on Proposition 8. I respect those of you voting for it but I will be voting no on Tuesday.

Please disregard the fake post above. Scott/John/Cole/Yeson8 and the rest of you who would stoop to such a despicable low should be ashamed of yourselves. This ranks right up there with stealing yard signs, defacing property of people who support the other side.

Vote an emphatic NO on November 4th to show these people that this sort of intolerant behavior will not now or ever be rewarded.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by rkay (the real one)
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 30, 2008 at 7:54 am

I would also ask the moderator of this forum to delete the fake post as I don't want people becoming confused. I've said what I've needed to say on this issue, and this behavior by a bored high school student has derailed any real discussion on this board. I'm done. I'll let my vote speak for me on november4.

Vote No on Prop 8


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 30, 2008 at 8:03 am

rkay: that wasn't me, either, just above. Maybe it was mischief night for the kiddos, last evening?

Geoff or Dolores: I'm sorry to say we may need some "Moderation" on this board. Would you kindly remove the post attributed to me that reads "Please reconsider ... too"? Or maybe leave it and attribute it to somebody named "prankster" or something?

Thanks.

No candy for you, jawsie.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jaws
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 30, 2008 at 9:13 am

Tom... you have just confirmed that homosexuality is a choice and is not a natural birth defect. I am normal and a heterosexual with good morals and a conscious that clearly says that homosexuality is an utter disgrace to mankind. And im sre your girlfriend is very happy to know that you constantly wish you were gay and that you live everyday in regret. Please seek phsyciatric help and please move to Canada because you disgrace this countrty. And if I am immature for arguing instead of paying attention in class, then you must be absolutely useless because you clearly do nothing with your life.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by flaming liberal
a resident of Danville
on Oct 30, 2008 at 9:20 am

i am a liberal


 +   Like this comment
Posted by thing
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Oct 30, 2008 at 9:22 am

depaoli... get out!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 30, 2008 at 9:23 am

Aw, jawsie -- better you should pay attention in class. They might be teaching "parody."

Please vote NO on Prop 8, so jaws can graduate.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lynne: Concerned Parent
a resident of Danville
on Oct 30, 2008 at 9:38 am

Hi Tom Cushing, the real rkay, Kelly, David, Jeff, Kathy, et al.,

I have enjoyed reading this discussion for a few weeks and I see merit in arguments on both sides of the issue.

As a parent, I am concerned about the public school's rights and responsibilities to teach my children about gender issues (should they really trump my parental rights?).

Have you seen the article below? If providing homosexual couples the right to have their marriages recognized and validated by the state means that the state will no longer recognize my parental rights in deciding what and how my children are taught about gender issues, then I will be voting Yes on proposition 8.

Yes: Other side's hypocritical argument
Letter-to-the-Editor
October 27, 2008
By John Maxfield
Orange County Register
It is simply amazing how the "No on Prop. 8" campaign is unwilling to stand up for what it believes. For a week now the campaign has said one thing; yet it believes something else.
What do I mean? Well, the "No on Prop. 8" campaign maintains that, if Proposition 8 fails, kids will not be exposed to same-sex marriage instruction in school; yet it maintains that gay marriage is a fundamental right. Huh? If gay marriage is a fundamental right, then it should be taught in school. Can you think of another fundamental right that is not taught in school? The campaign's dirty little secret? They know gay marriage will be taught in school and they are desperate to say anything so that we don't figure it out on our own.
In an effort to make sure we don't figure this out, they have now paraded the state education chief, Jack O'Connell, out to say that schools don't have to teach about marriage. Sadly, Mr. O'Connell hasn't told the whole truth. According to California Education Code Section 51933, if a school decides to teach a comprehensive sex education class to K-12 graders (and which school district doesn't?), "Instruction and materials shall teach respect for marriage and committed relationships." Thus, marriage is taught in California schools.
Moreover, the California Safe Schools Coalition asserts that children will be taught in class about homosexuality and gender identity (read confusion). Please note that many of the members of the California Safe Schools Coalition are also supporters of the "No on Prop. 8" campaign, including the California Teachers Association, the ACLU (which actually argued in the Massachusetts case that the court should require the teaching of same-sex marriage in schools) and numerous other gay and lesbian organizations.
Interestingly, according to the coalition's Web site, the Capistrano Unified School District, Escondido Union High School District, Monterey Unified Peninsula School District, Palm Springs Unified School District, San Francisco Unified School District and the Ventura County Office of Education are all members of this coalition.
According to the coalition's Question and Answer Guide on California's Parental Opt-out Statutes, the coalition asserts that parents do not have the right to notice about and to opt their children out of diversity education programs that include discussions of sexual orientation or other controversial topics.
The coalition describes how a school district can develop a plan that will preclude parents from opting out of such teachings. According to the coalition, so long as the purpose and content of these diversity programs are "carefully articulated" and do not include sexually explicit content (i.e. discuss the human reproductive organs and their functions), parents are not entitled to prior notice and the opportunity to opt their children out.
In essence, the coalition's reasoning is precisely the same reasoning successfully used against the parents in the Massachusetts case where a federal appeals court held that the parents could not opt their kindergartner out of a class discussing tolerance of gay marriage. According to this reasoning, if Prop. 8 fails, same-sex marriage will be taught in schools.
We don't need to look any further than our own state to see how this will work. The implementation of this coalition's goals is already in progress in a charter school in Hayward. According to the Pacific Justice Institute, parents of a kindergartener at the Faith Ringgold School of Art and Science were shocked to see a poster announcing that "Coming Out Day" was to be celebrated at the school Oct. 23. The school chose not to tell parents ahead of time. The school is celebrating Gay and Lesbian History Month. During this celebration, the parents have noticed several posters promoting families, all of which depict only homosexual families.
Gay marriage will be taught in schools if Prop. 8 fails. Why doesn't the "No on Prop. 8" campaign come clean and say what it really believes will happen if Prop. 8 is defeated? If the campaign is so confident in its position that gay marriage is a fundamental right, then why lie? Now ask yourself: do you really want to support a campaign of this type of hypocrisy? If the answer is "no," then just vote "Yes" on Prop. 8.


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Posted by From Pleasanton Board
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2008 at 9:40 am

Sometimes the human effects get lost in the debate. Here's an entry that speaks to the joy that the expression of equal rights has brought to one of our neighbors:

"What does Prop 8 mean to me personally? My wife and I were one of the first same-sex couples to marry in CA and it was the happiest day of our lives. We met folks on that day that had waited nearly 40 years to form a legal family. It was a day of joyful tears and long awaited celebration.

When people talk of getting married at City Hall, there isn't often a connotation of romance, pomp and circumstance. For us, however, it was a day I wouldn't trade for anything. We began our journey as two people who love each other and we've emerged as a family, complete with the legal regulations and protections of the state. For anyone who believes that civil unions are a good enough substitute for marriage or that "separate but equal" breeds anything other than inequality, I wish you could feel the liberation of shedding second-class citizenship. I shed mine on June 17th, and I plead for your support now, to help me keep my family safe. How would you feel if you woke up on Nov. 5th and realized that you could no longer be married to your spouse? That's how it could feel for me and for the 12,000 other couples who've been married since June.

Without equal marriage rights, couples who share their lives in loving relationships are denied basic marital rights such as property inheritance and joint ownership of assets, pension benefits, employment benefits, and even hospital visitation rights. Domestic partnerships can bridge much of the (roughly) 300 state rights conferred in marriage, but why should you ask me to drink from a separate water fountain? I am no threat to you or to your family.

I am proud of who I am and my sexual orientation was not a choice. I don't want you to watch the advertisements on TV and somehow feel better about your choice to vote against me. I'm not a number. I have a name and I want you to know it. I have a face and I invite you to recognize me in the community. I spend most of my days helping other people and I need your help now. We will all live richer, safer lives if we learn tolerance and teach it to our children. I pray that our society learns from the past by refusing to embrace yet another form of discrimination and hatred called homophobia. We are your neighbors, kids, parents, doctors and friends. We live productive lives, pay taxes and deserve equal treatment under the law. It's the only thing we're asking for.

Please educate yourself on the issues and don't buy into the fear. I am tolerant of those who don't personally agree with gay marriage, I simply ask that you carefully consider the ramifications of voting to write discrimination in to the state Constitution. It's not the right thing to do and it's bad for all Californians.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you don't personally know any gay or lesbian people and you want to see what a "yes" vote would take away from my life, feel free to view my wedding photos at Web Link and at Web Link No matter what your views, I simply ask that you're respectful and don't leave negative comments on my page.

I wish you and your family lots of joy and peace as we approach the holiday season. I hope to still be married on November 5th so PLEASE join me in voting NO on 8! Your vote is crucial! My wife and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Tara Walsh"

NO on 8 = No on Hate


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Posted by Jeff S.
a resident of Danville
on Oct 30, 2008 at 11:02 am

Lynne - From what I understand, in California there is no requirement for marriage to be taught in schools. If it is taught, I understand that parents can opt out of children being taught about it, like they can have their children opt out of sex education.

Could you tell me why you fear that gay marriage may be taught in schools?

You don't need to worry about children being turned into homosexuals. I was never taught anything about homosexuality in school and I still managed to realize that I am gay. If I and my fellow students had received some education about homosexuality, I might have realized that I was not the only gay person in the world. School might have been a bit easier for me.

Children are taught about John Wilkes Booth, but that does not mean that they will grow up to want to kill the president. They learn about Hitler, but that does not mean that they will want to gas the Jews. They learn about Jackie Robinson, but they may not want to grow up to be baseball players.

I think that it would be a good thing for children to receive as much information as possible about the world and the people in it so that they can make informed decisions on how they relate to the world?

If your issue is children's education, perhaps there should be some other proposition put on the ballot that addresses parental consent for the education of sensitive issues, rather than a constitutional amendment that limits what adult another adult may marry.

Lynn, in all seriousness, if education is your concern, wouldn't that make more sense?


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Posted by Kelly
a resident of Danville
on Oct 30, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Lynne, et al.

Well this is not an "article" - what you reprinted is an opinion of individual. Now this opinion has made its way to most of the websites supporting Prop 8, but has any one of these supporters actually read the guide? Somehow I doubt it. It appears that even Mr. Maxfield did not read it or chose to purposefully misrepresent it. It is easy, but intellectually lazy to parrot something you read on a website without verifying it, just because you happen to agree with it.

The organization is California Safe Schools Coalition and their chief goal is "to ensure the effective and comprehensive implementation of the California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000." This is about complying with the CURRENT CALIFORNIA LAW folks! I'm glad to see six school districts here, I wish there were more.

The document Mr. Maxfield referred to is the School Safety and Violence Prevention for LGBT Students, a Q&A Guide for CA School Officials and Administrators (Web Link). Let's quote the guide directly:

"How do we comply with anti-discrimination laws and still respect the religious and cultural diversity of our students and their families?

Schools may have to address claims that efforts to prevent discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity violate students' and parents' religious views about homosexuality and gender roles. Teaching students that violence, name-calling and other harassment are wrong, and ensuring that all students are treated equally, does not violate any student's religious beliefs or disrespect any student's cultural background. Students are free to hold any beliefs they choose regarding homosexuality and gender, so long as they do not harass or threaten other students.

What if our anti-bias education programs, or the formation of a gay-straight alliance club, cause controversy in the community?

Because anti-bias education programs (including curricula, presentations by outside groups, and activities) are fairly new, there may be misunderstandings about the purpose and content of such programs. Although these misunderstandings can lead to controversy, school districts are still required by law to protect students from harassment and discrimination. Involving and informing parents and community organizations, such as the PTA, at the outset may help stem any controversy before it arises. School officials should be prepared to discuss with parents the school's obligations under the law, the need for such laws and programs, and the content of the programs. In addition, it is important to communicate to parents that these programs provide accurate, age-appropriate, objective, and up-to-date information that is relevant to subject matter in schools and in accordance with state standards and local school district policies and that the purpose of anti-bias programs is not to "promote sexuality" or "advocate the homosexual lifestyle" but to promote tolerance and the safety and well-being of all students.

Why are these laws necessary?

These laws are necessary because research has shown that hostile learning climates undermine students' ability to focus on their education. Studies consistently demonstrate that LGBT students uniformly encounter a pervasive atmosphere of hostility at school. The 2004 Safe Place to Learn Report, which examines school-based harassment based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender in California schools, found:

• 91% of students reported hearing students make negative comments based on sexual orientation.
• 46% of students said their schools were not safe for LGBT students.
• 24% of students who had been harassed based on actual or perceived sexual orientation had low grades (Cs or below), compared to 17% of their peers.
• 27% of students who had been harassed based on actual or perceived sexual orientation had missed school in the past month because they felt unsafe in school, compared to 7% of their peers."

OK so now let's deal with the opt out issue. Yes, you can opt out of health/sex education; however, CURRENT CALIFORNIA LAW "does not support a broad parental veto regarding the contents of public school instruction." The problem is that diversity/anti-bias programs don't work, if those that need to hear the message are kept home from school.

The sad irony is the Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 was passed because parents do teach discrimination and bias against LGBT people and it has resulted in a hostile atmosphere for these students. If we had better parenting that taught tolerance and equality, there would be no need for any of this.

Prop 8 has NOTHING to do with this law, nor the cited guide, so as whole Mr. Maxfield's letter is immaterial and his failure to accurately present the facts is purposely dishonest.

PLEASE VOTE NO ON PROP 8.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of Blackhawk
on Oct 30, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Lynne,
I have to respectfully disagree. The Yes on prop 8 folks keep pointing to these things that occur at charter schools. There are private and charter schools all over the country which practice things that I might not agree with. I dont think they are representative of all schools in their states.

Any parent can opt out, as was mentioned. People keep talking about not exposing their kids to same sex marriage. This whole debate has done more to bring the issue of same sex marriage to light than anything else going on in the world today.

Bottom line, gay people are just that, people. They love, they hate, they care the same as the rest of us. And to be told over and over and over again that whaty they do with their lives is wrong is just intolerants and unfair.

No one is trying to force your kids to be gay, they just want those that are to feel like they're part of the world, not something set apart.

Vote No on 8.

Robert


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Posted by Dolores Fox Ciardelli
a resident of Danville
on Oct 30, 2008 at 12:32 pm

This Town Square item has run its course.

Dolores Fox Ciardelli, editor


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Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 30, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Hi Lynne:

What do I think? Here's what I think.

1 -- I think your intro was disingenuous, intended to convey concern and ambivalence that you do not feel (just an educated guess, from what followed in your post, obviously),

2 -- I think the tactic that reads: "When your campaign has been caught in a lie, try to convince the unsuspecting public that the other side is lying, too" is found in the early pages of Karl Rove's cookbook. I also think the nation has moved beyond those tactics. We'll see.

3 -- I think that the article demonstrates the irrelevance of Prop 8 to education by its own terms as follows, quoting the Education Code: "Instruction and materials shall teach respect for marriage **and committed relationships.**" (emphasis mine)

Thankfully, Prop 8 does not seek to prohibit gays from having "committed relationships." So by my reading, at least, respect for committed relationships can already be taught, and Prop h8 adds no new so-called "protections" from it.

4 -- I think you enjoy both local control of K-12 curricula and the right to opt-out of sex-ed and other curricula with which you disagree for your kids. Personally, I think caring parents' role is to teach their kids how to Think For Themselves, rather than to indoctrinate and shield them from alternative opinions, but your mileage may vary. Regardless, nobody is trying to revoke YOUR several rights in this regard.

That you may actually fear a loss of your parental rights might give you some insight into the feelings of those whose fundamental rights *really are* at-risk here.

and finally:

5 -- I think the Prop 8 emphasis on kids is a cynical product of campaign polling that indicated gay-bashing per se was a losing proposition. But "protecting our kids" -- who can argue with that? But I think you led with it too soon, the lie is exposed and obvious everywhere outside of Orange County. Prop 8 is still a losing Proposition.

Please vote NO on Prop 8. Some may have sold their souls into this fetid bog, but you don't have-to.


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