Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lows and Highs

On Election day my complete elation at Obama's election was tempered by the overwhelming, crushing defeat that was Prop 8.  This protester captured my feelings exactly.   
Since the election I was reconciling with the defeat, happy at least that the decision would be fast tracked and go to court as early as March.  

But then. Obama picked Rick Warren to give the inauguration blessing. Rick Warren.  He actively campaigned FOR Prop 8.  But it's not JUST that. Warren, in an interview with, has since equated allowing loving same-sex couples to get married with redefining marriage to permit incest and pedophilia. And now President-Elect Obama, MY President, who purportedly supports gay rights, has given this guy a national platform from which to preach.

Now I'm all for the "let's disagree, agreeably" approach. I get it. I get holding conversations with people you disagree with. If you don't communicate, how can you ever change? But. But - he could have done that in a less prominent way rather than at the inauguration. AND he needs to make a strong statement on Civil Rights. Gay Marriage is the THE Civil Rights Issue of our time.  It is critical that he address it, and address it well.  With leadership and courage; not baby steps. Check out this post which states it so well.  SIGH. 

BUT WAIT. THERE'S MORE.  Ken Starr - KEN STARR - becomes the attorney for the Yes on 8 people AND petitions the court to OVERTURN the 18,000 gay and lesbian marriages that took place this summer. UGH. I'd love to crawl under a rock until President Obama takes office, but then, oh wait, yes, there's that Rick Warren at the inauguration issue again. AAAAAARGHHHH.  

I didn't even want to write about any of this because I was feeling so disappointed by it all.  But then....THERE'S MORE.  Gavin Newsom is a personal hero for me because of the courage, foresight and leadership he showed in 2004 in enabling gay and lesbian weddings in San Francisco in the first place.  He just said "this isn't right" and made it happen. Well, I have a new hero today.  Jerry Brown, who initially said that as Attorney General of California he would support the law if the voters passed it, on Friday stated that he and his staff have determined they CANNOT support this law, and have ASKED THE CA SUPREME COURT TO OVERTURN IT.  Taken from AP below....
"Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification," Brown said.

The authors of the state Constitution, he said, did not intend "to put a group's right to enjoy liberty to a popular vote."

"It became evident that the Article 1 provision guaranteeing basic liberty, which includes the right to marry, took precedence over the initiative," he said in an interview Friday night. "Based on my duty to defend the law and the entire Constitution, I concluded the court should protect the right to marry even in the face of the 52 percent vote."

Asked about his change of position, Brown said Friday evening that since his initial comments the day after the election, he and senior lawyers in his office had looked closely at the court's precedents and at the recent marriage ruling and concluded they couldn't defend Prop. 8.

"We have a conflict between the amendment power (through voter initiatives) and the duty of the Supreme Court to protect minorities and safeguard liberty," Brown said.

Fundamental rights in the state Constitution, including the right to marry that the state's high court has recognized, "become a dead letter if they can just be amended" by popular vote, Brown said.
EXACTLY what we have all been saying.  So YEAH Jerry Brown!  You've pulled me out of the political doldrums!  Thank you for doing what's right and for showing leadership on a Civil Rights Issue.  Hopefully President Obama will take notice.  

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