Friday, November 14, 2008

Aftermath

I've been reading a lot online about the aftermath of Prop 8. I have been frustrated, saddened, angry and baffled by the reaction and the mob-mentality hitting our streets and airwaves. There's so much information out there.. this post will include links to many places.

I understand the issues are deeply emotional and personal. I understand that defeat moves people to do things they wouldn't in their right minds. I understand the need to find someone, something to blame....to focus all that pent up frustration on. I understand that - but it isn't the right thing to do.

Hypocrisy flaunted in the public square drives me cross-eyed. I honestly believe that if the homosexual agenda, and those that oppose Prop 8 want to be upset with anyone - they ought to look at Gavin Newsom, and the four justices (lawyers in robes) that gave them a counterfeit reality.

Newsom and those lawyers created a reality that they had no right to give. The gave hope and change to people without authority. They short-circuited the people's process which only served to torture a group of folks they claim to support.

Prop 8 came about as a result of what Newsom and those lawyers did. Supporters of traditional marriage and Prop 8 didn't start this cauldron. They rose up in defense of an institution that was threatened. Enough with the catch-phrases. This was never about equal rights.

In California:
California has passed three pieces of legislation that provide rights and responsibilities to registered domestic partners (same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples over the age of 62 are eligible to register). Assembly Bill 26 passed in 1999 established the statewide domestic partner registry and conferred a handful of rights which included hospital visitation and the right of state and local employers the ability to offer health care coverage to the domestic partners of their employees. Assembly Bill 25 was passed in 2001 and extended the rights of domestic partners to include the right to make medical decisions, the right to inherit when partner dies without a will, the right to use state step-parent adoption procedures, the right to use sick leave to care for a domestic partner and the right to be appointed as administrator of estate. In 2003 Assembly Bill 205 was passed, basically extending all of the state-level rights and responsibilities of marriage to domestic partners. The rights and responsibilities associated with Assembly Bill 205 went into effect on Jan. 1, 2005.

I hope people come to their senses. I hope this appalling mob-mentality dissipates quickly. In the meantime I applaud those who stand up for, and recognize that marriage is between one man and one woman. I am grateful to see true heroes in this world. I am also grateful to organizations of all faiths who have stepped up and come out in defense of Mormons, who have been targeted in this fervor of angry unrest.

Elton John recently told folks "I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership," John says. "The word 'marriage,' I think, puts a lot of people off." I applaud Elton John. He said something that is not very trendy in the mainstream, pop-culture world of ours. It would be so much easier for him to just go along with the loud, angry mob.

I hope people can be wise like this 14 year-old girl who did a social experiment on tolerance. It is frustrating when entire cities refuse to listen to the will of the people... for the second time.

It is sad when black-listing and intimidation works to silence those who have given so much to the community. It is insulting and patronizing when Pelosi tells people that the voters are too stupid to know what they are doing.

My hackles get raised when I see base behavior enacted in places of peace and worship. It offends me when I see vandalism and blatant disregard for the law.

Despite this - we, those of us that do believe in tolerance, acceptance and goodness - continue to turn the other cheek.

And last... I'm grateful for guys like Kevin Hamilton...I'm posting his great email (that's been going around) below:

Dear Friends,

In the aftermath of the recent election, we may find ourselves oddly on the defensive regarding our support for the Yes on Proposition 8 cause. Our young people have been especially subject to mean spirited comments by high school friends and teachers. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We did nothing wrong. In fact, we did everything that a civic minded American can and should do. I have put together a few facts that help me to appreciate our position better. For example:

Mormons make up less than 2% of the population of California. There are approximately 800,000 LDS out of a total population of approximately 34 million.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) donated no money to the Yes on 8 campaign. Individual members of the Church were encouraged to support the Yes on 8 efforts and, exercising their constitutional right to free speech, donated whatever they felt like donating.

The No on 8 campaign raised more money than the Yes on 8 campaign. Unofficial estimates put No on 8 at $38 million and Yes on 8 at $32 million, making it the most expensive non-presidential election in the country.

Advertising messages for the Yes on 8 campaign are based on case law and real-life situations. The No on 8 supporters have insisted that the Yes on 8 messaging is based on lies. Every Yes on 8 claim is supported.

The majority of our friends and neighbors voted Yes on 8. Even Los Angeles County voted in favor of Yes on 8. Ventura County voted in favor of Yes on 8.

African Americans overwhelmingly supported Yes on 8. Exit polls show that 70% of Black voters chose Yes on 8. This was interesting because the majority of these voters voted for President-elect Obama. No on 8 supporters had assumed that Obama voters would vote No on 8.

The majority of Latino voters voted Yes on 8. Exit polls show that the majority of Latinos supported Yes on 8 and cited religious beliefs (assumed to be primarily Catholic).

The Yes on 8 coalition was a broad spectrum of religious organizations. Catholics, Evangelicals, Protestants, Orthodox Jews, Muslims – all supported Yes on 8. It is estimated that there are 10 million Catholics and 10 million Protestants in California. Mormons were a tiny fraction of the population represented by Yes on 8 coalition members.

Not all Mormons voted in favor of Proposition 8. Our faith accords that each person be allowed to choose for him or her self. Church leaders have asked members to treat other members with "civility, respect and love," despite their differing views.

The Church did not violate the principal of separation of church and state. This principle is derived from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." The phrase "separation of church and state", which does not appear in the Constitution itself, is generally traced to an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, although it has since been quoted in several opinions handed down by the United States Supreme Court in recent years. The LDS Church is under no obligation to refrain from participating in the political process, to the extent permitted by law. U.S. election law is very clear that Churches may not endorse candidates, but may support issues. The Church as always been very careful on this matter and occasionally (not often) chooses to support causes that it feels to be of a moral nature.

Supporters of Proposition 8 did exactly what the Constitution provides for all citizens: they exercised their First Amendment rights to speak out on an issue that concerned them, make contributions to a cause that they support, and then vote in the regular electoral process. For the most part, this seems to have been done in an open, fair, and civil way. Opponents of 8 have accused supporters of being bigots, liars, and worse. The fact is, we simply did what Americans do – we spoke up, we campaigned, and we voted.

Hold your heads up high – you did a great job on this most important cause. We will have more opportunities in the future to participate in our democratic process. Let's remember the lessons learned and do an even better job next time.

These are my personal opinions and thoughts; any errors are mine and in now way reflect official Church policy or doctrine.

Thanks,
Kevin Hamilton

4 comments:

Holli said...

The whole thing makes me so sad. Not angry, but so, so sad.

Queen Scarlett said...

You're right...it's all very sad.

Jennifer B. said...

Thank you so much for this post. You have articulated what many, many people have been feeling.

Queen Scarlett said...

Thank you - means a lot coming from you.