Friday, October 24, 2008

Notes on my Friday... regarding CA Prop 8 and AZ Prop 102

This all started because a friend of mine wrote that an organization in which her dad's involved was a big supporter of CA Prop 8, aiming to constitutionally ban gay marriage and take away the marriages that have already been performed there. It's an interesting series of points about how fairly minute differences in state civics can make huge differences in how rights are protected in different states... in particular, the differences between states with "direct-democratic" principles like initiative, referendum, and recall, and states that adhere to the original representative frameworks. I've put it in temporal order for legibility's sake.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Erika
Date: Oct 24, 2008 1:00 PM

Well, yeah, KofC is a Catholic organization. So... most of the big opponents are affiliated with religion in some way. Nothing helps a community like keeping non-traditional families weak, you know! It's gross. I spent a whole day the other day looking at all the people and organizations who've donated directly. You can look at it here:
http://www. latimes. com/news/local/la-moneymap,0,2198220. htmlstory
The good news is that in the last few weeks we've pulled even with them money-wise. The bad news is that a higher percentage of our support comes from outside CA, though that may not necessarily translate to fewer votes, it may be just weaker organization within CA. I fear that come election day I'll have a mixed bag and be so happy about President Obama and be so sad about this. It could still get shot down though... I really hope it does.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: (my friend)
Date: Oct 24, 2008 5:40 PM

i guess i don't totally understand prop 8. i mean, isn't gay marriage legal in ca now? are they trying to reverse that? it's just crazy. i keep thinking about the non-traditional thing too... i want to propose a ban on gay marriage and add "and inter-racial "marriage," because the bible preaches slavery" to the bottom of it... then we can see how many people check their "values"

but anyway - it's good to see that the contributions are neck and neck even though there's all those corporate supporters. easy answer: stop recognizing marriage as a legal bond and they can keep marriage. i would rather have it legal though.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Erika
Date: Oct 24, 2008 6:38 PM

Yeah, with Prop 8 the CA courts ruled the gay marriage ban in the CA civil codes unconstitutional... that ban was placed in the civil code by popular vote in 2000. So the tactic of Prop 8 is to constitutionalize the ban, therefore overruling the court's decision and the basis upon which it rests. It's a very tricky legal tactic and honestly, I believe it won't stand for long even if it does pass this year. My primary concern is for those people who have already been married and are on the verge of having their rights taken away again. Frankly, it's cruel. The courts know that you can never win minority rights by popular vote, especially when the majority has so successfully been convinced that they will somehow lose something if their rights are shared by "undeserving" minorities. It's a basic danger of democracy that was addressed by the Framers hundreds of years ago. But most Western states and a few others east of the Mississippi instituted direct democracy laws within the last hundred years. These can place the will of the majority equal to, and in some cases above, the legislature and the courts. Originally the constitutions of states could never be changed by popular vote, only by the legislators... the Founders thought it was crazy and dangerous to put the rights of the whole in the hands of the majority and always moved against it. So that's your civics lesson for today lol. Any other confusions? I believe that Prop 8 may squeak by and it may not. Some people who don't necessarily support gay marriage agree on principle that it's heartless to take away what rights someone has already won. Prop 102 in AZ, I will be very surprised if that does not pass. Direct Democracy at work.

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