Beliefnet
Lynn v. Sekulow

 I have been in the San Francisco area for several days.  My trip coincided with the thirtieth
anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Milk.  The atmosphere would have been somber simply about that, but
it was poisoned even more by the passage of Proposition 8, the reprehensible “amendment” to
the California constitution that sought to prohibit same-sex marriages.

 The Religious Right was the overwhelming reason that this
pernicious proposition gained its narrow majority.  The only real argument raised was that same-sex marriage was
incompatible with Bible teachings. 
Although made with differing levels of overt homophobia and distaste,
the claim was uttered by Charles Colson ( who claimed failure to pass it would
be “apocalyptic”), Rick Warren ( absurdly characterized by the media as a”new evangelical”) and, well, even Fred Phelps. 
These literalist-when-it-suits-them stalwarts have used any opportunities over the years to create a Scriptural
justification for viewing the gay and lesbian communities as immoral.  They should never have been allowed to get away with claiming to have clean
hands when their justifications helped lead others to acts of violence.  Of course we don’t know the stories of
most of these victims as well as we know those of Milk, Brandon Teena and
Matthew Shepherd.  The absence of a
feature film, however, doesn’t make the pain any less for those who have shared
it in real life.

 People in California have already done many of the right
things to try to deal with Proposition 8. Several lawsuits have been filed to
overturn the measure as an illegal “revision” of the Constitution by majority
rule.  Revisions are major changes
in the document that require action by a two-third vote of the
legislature.  The Proposition 8
backers contend that since the change is only one sentence, the measure was a
simple “amendment” which can be accomplished through initiative.  This bean counting approach is
ludicrous.  “Slavery will be
permissible” is even shorter; but would anyone seriously contend that the state
of California could pass that by 50 percent plus one of the voters concurring?
Here, the California constitution has been interpreted by its Supreme Court to
require civil marriage for same sex couples based on twin core principles:
equal protection of the law and the fundamental nature of the right to marry.
Two central values cannot be curtailed by majority vote whether the change is
attempted by one or 1000 sentences.

 It looks like oral arguments before the California Supreme Court will
occur in the spring. With any luck that will put an end to this mischief.

 But is there even more to do, Jay?  I’d like your reaction to these lawsuit and then perhaps we
can look at some other ideas up folks’ sleeves.

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