Friday, November 07, 2008

If You're Still Pissed About Prop 8

Thanks to Mikki, who posted a comment in response to my last post, I have a link to another petition, in addition to the one Stephanie Geffeller posted, that you may sign to voice your opinion about Proposition 8 passing. Here is a link to the petition which seeks to strip the Mormon church of its tax exempt status due to excessive participation in "carrying on propaganda" and "attempting to influence legislation". I encourage you to read through this legislation, form your own opinions, and sign the petition (as I did) if you agree with their arguments.

There is one section of this petition that I disagree with vehemently. It reads as follows:

"For the past six months, Mormons misled Californians about the effects of the Supreme Court ruling.

They told us we would lose the right to participate in our children's education. Lies.

They told us the California state public school curriculum would be modified to teach sex education to kindergartners. Lies.

They told us churches would lose the right to free speech. Lies."

Remember when I said "Take a minute to read the arguments from both sides. If you can't or won't take the time to get educated, please don't vote. Stay home and leave it to those of us who are willing to vote with our brains and our conscience, not just follow popular sentiment like a bunch of sheep." I wonder if some of you were taken aback that I would discourage people from going to the voting booth. Well, the outcome of the vote on Proposition 8, and the comments above are exactly why I made that statement.

If you watched TV, read the fliers that came in the mail, listened to the ads on the radio, or saw all the signs in people's front yards and blindly voted in favor of Prop 8 without investigating the full implications of a yes vote, then you are as much at fault as the people who propagated these "lies". So yes, please, go to the above URL, read the information they provide, and make an informed decision. Take the time to follow the links that they provide to back up the statements that they make.

A moment that truly struck me as I worked at a polling place near my house on Tuesday was a young man who walked up to the touch screen voting machine, with no cheat sheet, not voter guide, no nothing in his hand and completed his vote in the space of about 5 minutes. It took me well over an hour in front of my computer, pouring over all sorts of information, to make up my mind about all of the different candidates, ballot measures, and propositions that needed my vote. It is high time that the American public shakes themselves out of their apathetic state and takes the time to really get educated before they vote. I am so tired of people who disconnect their brains and simply vote the way their church, their co-worker, their spouse, or their political party suggests they should vote. This is your country. This is your vote. This is the founding principal of democracy. Please, take the requisite time to decide if the way you are voting really makes sense!

Whew. Done now. Thanks for listening.


ad said...

I think a lot of the post-mortem discussion of Prop 8 is missing the real point. The decision clearly represented the view of the majority of those who voted and probably of the majority of Californians. The outcome is more credibly attributed to the large turnout of eligible voters who don’t usually participate in elections rather than to the machinations of the Roman and Mormon churches. The real problem is that the state constitution can be altered by a simple majority of voters. A constitution should embody the fundamental principles underlying a system of government and should be protected from amendment by a popular whim. The United States constitution is, perhaps, too difficult to change but, at least, nothing like Prop 8 could happen at the federal level. It’s likely that a proposition to require genital mutilation of a man who rapes a child would pass handily (I might vote for it myself) but it would conflict with Article 1, Sec 17 of the California constitution which prohibits “cruel or unusual punishment”. I would hope that a court would find Prop 8 in conflict with Section 1 which states “All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.”

In any case, opinion inevitably will change over the next few years and same sex couples will again be able to marry before long, whether as a result of court action or by another popular initiative. I hope to see physician assisted suicide also become law before I need to avail myself of it.

I For One..... said...

Well said. Changing the process by which California makes constitutional amendments seems like a necessary next step. The problem with the current system is that groups with deep pockets can come from out of state or even out of the country,and given a sufficient number of signatures, put these issues in front of the voters.

I absolutely agree that any change to the constitution should require more than a simple majority. As long as more than half of Californians are willing to be influenced by the fear tactics of people with big advertising budgets, our state will continue to be the target of conservative groups.