Saturday, November 08, 2008

Lies, Money and Tyranny

Next to the presidential race, the California Proposition 8 campaign was the most expensive and divisive campaign this year. It appears that both sides raised and spent a total of $75 million dollars. We made a five-figure donation to the “No On Prop 8” campaign to help counter the attacks. It was the largest gift we have ever given to a political cause. We spent thousands of dollars on a second “official” wedding. We combined the ceremony with program of speakers that talked about the importance of marriage equality. The wedding event motivated our 400 guest to raise an additional $20,000 for the cause.

I am angry and depressed about the vote and the colossal waste of money. Instead of prohibiting committed couples marrying, the religious right (Mormons, Catholics, Southern Baptists, etc.) could have spent their money on helping the "widows and orphans", the hungry, the homeless, the sick, the uneducated, the poor.

I am also pissed that these religious organizations used lies, misinformation and distortions to fool millions of voters to vote for bigotry, discrimination and to create a second-class status out of a minority of its citizens. Shame on African-Americans and other California minorities that forgot and ignored their own historical marriage battles.

The maddening thing about same-sex marriage ban voter referendums is that majority rule was never intended to be the ideal American way to legislate laws regarding constitutional changes and civil rights. Historically, federal and state constitutions were intended to protect and further freedom and the civil rights of the individual. Under no circumstances was it envisioned that the ballot box or constitutional law would be used to limit the rights of any individual. Otherwise you run into First Amendment issues.

Fearing the tyranny of the majority, particularly with regard to the rights and freedom of the individual, the nation's founders developed a system of checks and balances designed to make the courts the final arbiter of justice and interpreter of the constitutionality of laws; provide the executive with the power to veto bad legislative decisions and even temper the power of the ballot box.

Californians Against Hate has a website listing the “Dishonor Roll” of donors that gave $5000 and more to “Yes on 8”. This is public information that comes from the California Secretary of State’s Office. There are places on the web you can lookup all donors to Prop 8 (LA Times)—pro and con. Learn who your friends and enemies are.


Esther said...

It is incredibly disheartening. As a Jew, I could never vote to discriminate against someone else.

You're right, what a colossal waste of money that could really have been used to help children and families.

What incenses me the most is that the supporters made this about protecting children. As if any child faces a threat from gay or lesbian citizens exercising their rights. I think we know who's truly immoral here.

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