HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Sunday, October 19, 2008

NO-ON-8 NEEDS MONEY, LOTS OF IT; OR PROP-8 PASSES

San Diego -- The No-on-8 campaign is losing ground and needs some serious money if the anti-gay marriage initiative on the November ballot is to be defeated.
As a legal issue, three state high courts have ruled that is it a violation of the equal-protection clause of their state Constitutions to have a two-tiered system of marriage: one for Gays & Lesbians (domestic partnerships) and another for straights (marriage).
But, proponents of Prop-8 ignore our law because they follow a "higher law" - their religion. However, religious law is not the rule-of-law in the United States.
Even straight Latinos are speaking out, opposed to Prop. 8.
"I now believe we simply can't have a two-tiered system where some of us have the right to marry and others don't, based on their sexual orientation," wrote Ruben Navarrette, Jr., a vice president and columnist for the San Diego Union Tribune.
"The fact that Gays and Lesbians - including some who are already in committed relationships - want to get married doesn't weaken the institution.
"It strengthens it by allowing more people to participate. As more states allow Gays and Lesbians to marry (Connecticut recently joined California and Massachusetts), I've taken note that civilizations have not crumbled.
"Here in California, some people still worry (that) it might," Navarrette wrote.
California's Proposition 22 was passed as a similar initiative in 2000 and declared that "Only marriage between a man and woman is valid in California."
Last march, the state Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 22 violated the state Constitution.
So the gay-marriage foes are back this November with Proposition-8. It will amend the state Constitution and overrule the state Supreme Court's ruling.
Proponents argue that the high court should have respected the "will of the people" in that 2000 vote. That argument is aired hundreds of times each week in TV ads. However, if the "will of the people" were to pass a state constitutional amendment declaring that wives were the property of their husbands, it too would be found unconstitutional.
In other words, voters cannot approve an initiative that creates an unconstitutional state law. So the proponents are trying to change the state Constitution.
If it's approved next month, many in the G & L community believe it will set back gay civil rights about 40-years, to the pre-Stonewall era.
Proponents of Prop.-8 are throwing millions into the campaign. For example, Mormon church members have given over $18.8 million as of October 1st, over 77 percent of all the money raised by the Yes-on-8 campaign since June.
Unless Gays and Lesbians - and their straight allies - begin donating some serious money soon, it looks like Prop.-8 will pass and gay marriages will be banned in California.
To donate on-line, go to the Equality California website at www.eqca.org/lovehonorcherish.
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Copyright, 2008, by journalist Leo E. Laurence, leopowerhere@msn.com (619) 757-4909

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