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Proposition 8: Indecent Proposal

In the movie a wealthy charismatic millionare is able to buy the morality of a young couple for one night.

In real life a wealthy charismatic millionare (Papa Doug) is able to buy the morality of an entire state indefinitely with a proposition that places a constitutional ban on the recently legalized same sex marriage.

I am really suprised and I feel bad because I did not think this prop had a chance in hell. When approached by the “No on 8”ers I would say, “Dont worry, this will never pass.” “Its an asinine proposal” since people that I knew that were once neutral or against gay marriage were saying they would not vote on a ban.

I think they felt the way I did: the idea that an individual could take millions of dollars and put something on the ballot that would take rights away from people was so immoral and unjust that no matter how they felt about the issue, this was wrong.

I imagine how Prop 8 began (I know it was started by a small grassroots group, but it was Papa Doug that got it on the ballot): Papa Doug driving in one of his oversized overcompensating work pickup trucks and thinking about his grandchildren. Suddenly he is seized by terror at a scenario where little Doug Jr. the 2nd or 3rd or whatever meets a gay married couple. The once future football star, Homecoming King heir to the uber masculine Manchester Development empire sees a different path he can take. Suddenly he realizes that people have choices and that he could, if he wanted, marry another man.

Papa Doug slams on the breaks, calls his wife and tells her they are going to change this. He gets over $100,000 of his own money out and starts paying people to get signatures. Papa Doug gets teary eyed throughout the process fancying himself the hero in this story. He is doing this not for himself: but for his country, his family, and most importantly, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Angry Protestors take to the streets all across the state feeling that their human rights have been violated. Papa Doug remembers Jesus said, “You will be persecuted”. All the uproar makes him even happier as he knows it solidifies his place in heaven next to the thrown of Jesus who will look at him and proudly declare “Well done good and faithful servant”.

So enough of Papa Dougs over-inflated ego, lets talk about how to fix this.

I see 1000’s of protestors enraged about this and I have to say it is wonderful. My God, I have never seen people in San Diego care so much about ANYTHING. This passion is wonderful! Do you realize how many things you can change with this? Don’t get me wrong, this is a horrible injustice, but I cant help but think…where has all this passion been? There are so many good things to care this much about…the environment, animal rights, political corruption. I mean where were you guys when Goldsmith was getting elected--he spearheaded prop 22 another ban on gay marriage.

The big picture that the very indecent prop 8 proposal brings to light is this:

People with millions of dollars through a loophole called an “independent expenditure” can create “committees” like "Protect Marriage.com" of anyone they want and they can funnel as much money as they want into putting something or someone on the ballot and then getting it passed. Here's the money: http://www.sfgate.com/webdb/prop8/?appSession=74849075809347

What I am trying to say is that you guys are trying to patch the stucco when your entire foundation is cracked. The system that allows this sort of thing to happen is what HAS to change. Otherwise you will be fighting this forever.

Everyone has the right to their opinion. The problem is when 1 person’s opinion counts more than someone elses---this is what happened here. A few people’s opinion backed by millions of dollars scared the bejeezus out of people that may otherwise have been on the fence. (And believe me I couldn't agree more that civil rights should never be able to be voted on in the 1st place, but the problem is compounded w/ the money. And although the No on 8 in the end had more money, the yes on 8 got the party started w/ the initial giant $$ from Doug Manchester)

The whole idea of “independent expenditures” undermines the idea of democracy. I mean its ridiculous. We have these carefully crafted campaign contribution limit laws to prevent 1 person from unfairly effecting the results of an election and then with a wink and a nudge say but you can create a “committee” and put as much money behind it as you want. No wonder people feel so crazy with this schizophrenic political system.

This is what happened to poor Mike Aguirre. I mean he did not have a chance. Goldsmith’s developer supporters gave $100,000 to a committee to send out flyers smashing Aguirre. How many individual contributions of $50 = $100,000. The problem is that with these rules a decent person or proposal does not have a chance.

So in some ways, it is good that this passed. If it hadn't, people would have just gone on with their lives not thinking twice about the system that allowed prop 8 to get on the ballot. Next thing you know it would be on there again with even more money and misleading ads behind it and you would be devestated that all your hard work had been undermined.

As injust as it is, proposition 8 is an excellent opportunity for all of us; gay, straight, bi, trans, how about just human, to do our homework and address the fundamental problems that allow indecent people to put indecent proposals on the ballot.

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In the movie a wealthy charismatic millionare is able to buy the morality of a young couple for one night.

In real life a wealthy charismatic millionare (Papa Doug) is able to buy the morality of an entire state indefinitely with a proposition that places a constitutional ban on the recently legalized same sex marriage.

I am really suprised and I feel bad because I did not think this prop had a chance in hell. When approached by the “No on 8”ers I would say, “Dont worry, this will never pass.” “Its an asinine proposal” since people that I knew that were once neutral or against gay marriage were saying they would not vote on a ban.

I think they felt the way I did: the idea that an individual could take millions of dollars and put something on the ballot that would take rights away from people was so immoral and unjust that no matter how they felt about the issue, this was wrong.

I imagine how Prop 8 began (I know it was started by a small grassroots group, but it was Papa Doug that got it on the ballot): Papa Doug driving in one of his oversized overcompensating work pickup trucks and thinking about his grandchildren. Suddenly he is seized by terror at a scenario where little Doug Jr. the 2nd or 3rd or whatever meets a gay married couple. The once future football star, Homecoming King heir to the uber masculine Manchester Development empire sees a different path he can take. Suddenly he realizes that people have choices and that he could, if he wanted, marry another man.

Papa Doug slams on the breaks, calls his wife and tells her they are going to change this. He gets over $100,000 of his own money out and starts paying people to get signatures. Papa Doug gets teary eyed throughout the process fancying himself the hero in this story. He is doing this not for himself: but for his country, his family, and most importantly, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Angry Protestors take to the streets all across the state feeling that their human rights have been violated. Papa Doug remembers Jesus said, “You will be persecuted”. All the uproar makes him even happier as he knows it solidifies his place in heaven next to the thrown of Jesus who will look at him and proudly declare “Well done good and faithful servant”.

So enough of Papa Dougs over-inflated ego, lets talk about how to fix this.

I see 1000’s of protestors enraged about this and I have to say it is wonderful. My God, I have never seen people in San Diego care so much about ANYTHING. This passion is wonderful! Do you realize how many things you can change with this? Don’t get me wrong, this is a horrible injustice, but I cant help but think…where has all this passion been? There are so many good things to care this much about…the environment, animal rights, political corruption. I mean where were you guys when Goldsmith was getting elected--he spearheaded prop 22 another ban on gay marriage.

The big picture that the very indecent prop 8 proposal brings to light is this:

People with millions of dollars through a loophole called an “independent expenditure” can create “committees” like "Protect Marriage.com" of anyone they want and they can funnel as much money as they want into putting something or someone on the ballot and then getting it passed. Here's the money: http://www.sfgate.com/webdb/prop8/?appSession=74849075809347

What I am trying to say is that you guys are trying to patch the stucco when your entire foundation is cracked. The system that allows this sort of thing to happen is what HAS to change. Otherwise you will be fighting this forever.

Everyone has the right to their opinion. The problem is when 1 person’s opinion counts more than someone elses---this is what happened here. A few people’s opinion backed by millions of dollars scared the bejeezus out of people that may otherwise have been on the fence. (And believe me I couldn't agree more that civil rights should never be able to be voted on in the 1st place, but the problem is compounded w/ the money. And although the No on 8 in the end had more money, the yes on 8 got the party started w/ the initial giant $$ from Doug Manchester)

The whole idea of “independent expenditures” undermines the idea of democracy. I mean its ridiculous. We have these carefully crafted campaign contribution limit laws to prevent 1 person from unfairly effecting the results of an election and then with a wink and a nudge say but you can create a “committee” and put as much money behind it as you want. No wonder people feel so crazy with this schizophrenic political system.

This is what happened to poor Mike Aguirre. I mean he did not have a chance. Goldsmith’s developer supporters gave $100,000 to a committee to send out flyers smashing Aguirre. How many individual contributions of $50 = $100,000. The problem is that with these rules a decent person or proposal does not have a chance.

So in some ways, it is good that this passed. If it hadn't, people would have just gone on with their lives not thinking twice about the system that allowed prop 8 to get on the ballot. Next thing you know it would be on there again with even more money and misleading ads behind it and you would be devestated that all your hard work had been undermined.

As injust as it is, proposition 8 is an excellent opportunity for all of us; gay, straight, bi, trans, how about just human, to do our homework and address the fundamental problems that allow indecent people to put indecent proposals on the ballot.

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Comments
15

The BOYCOTT on Mormon-contributors' businesses has begun. A lengthy list can be found at http://soqueer.blogspot.com/2008/11/boycotts-begin-damnit.html It includes many Denny's, El Pollo Loco restaurants, Marriott Hotels (including Residence Inns and others), Ahmanson Theatre, and many "local" businesses. If particular Mormons contributed to stealing my rights, I have no qualms about "paying them back" in ways which are far less underhanded than the way they dealt their unkind blows. It's too bad I can't VOTE to take away their civil rights until they come to their senses (doubtful), but at the very least I can make sure NOT to contribute to their bottom line so they can continue to fund bigotry - spread the word!!!

Nov. 9, 2008

I couldn't agree more. On one aspect of your article: One person's vote should not be more than another person's vote. The vote a couple of years ago is was passed with a 61%. Four judges decided that the 61% of voters don't know what they are talking about and took away their votes by allowing gay marriage. Isn't that making one person's vote worth more than another?

Nov. 10, 2008

And if 61% of voters pass a law that's unconstitutional, it should stand, correct? Might makes right apparently, or at least enough votes do.

Nov. 10, 2008

Where is marriage in the Constitution?

Are they looking for the title of marriage? If people are living together as partners (straight or gay) there is common law that gives them the vast majority of the benefits as a married couple.

Nov. 10, 2008

Oh, so they don’t have all the benefits of a married couple? I guess we agree on that. You’re right, “marriage” per se isn’t mentioned in the Constitution. (Neither, by the way, is “separation of church and state,” a fact that many would be surprised to learn.) Nor, I suppose, is prohibiting discrimination against one class of people. But do we permit it? “Sometimes yes, sometimes no” seems to be the answer. Is it right? I think most people would say no -- probably a good 61%. But I know that the courts have struck down “separate but equal.” So maybe you’re right, this is more judicial than constitutional.

Nov. 10, 2008

There are alot of factors in place. I personally think there should be a separation of church and state. Marriage by its nature is not a separation of church and state. I think we should abolish the construct of marriage as it is and reconstruct marriage inder the law to just be that...legal: a legal union of any 2 people (over the age of 18 of course, Im no NAMBLA fan). Unfortunately, that would require alot.

So when I say that no one person's vote should count more than another's---and you mention 61% of people voted against gay marriage. The problem w/ that situation is that we should never have been able to vote on our current construct of marriage for anyone because it combines church and state.

It is messed up, but I like that it has started a dialogue and now we have to look at the validity of these social constructs that we have accepted for so long. Believe me, I agree that everyone should have the same rights, but the state shouldn't have the power to grant that to anyone (at least the God part).

If we take our government back by eliminating unfair independent expenditures, we can restore a true-er sense of democracy to the people.

Nov. 10, 2008

Also, my point was that if special groups---looks like in this case it was some super conservative developers and mormons hadnt been able to fund committees and put millions into it--If Doug Manchester had been confined to individual campaign contribution limits, I do not believe that the prop would have passed. The polls did not show it passing.

It was the terrorizing commercials telling people that if they voted "No" their 1st grader would be taken to a lesbian wedding. I mean, I cant even guess how many times I saw tha commercial--Do you know how expensive those commercials are?

Had people been left to their own devices and their own critical thinking skills---I honestly do not belive the majority of people would have voted on it.

Nov. 10, 2008

Yeah, well, HM, by the final days, the No on 8 side had actually outspent the Yes on 8 side, surprisingly enough, so you can't say they didn't have money on their side, and on propositions, money is usually what decides the outcome. I'd say the No on 8 forces didn't get outspent, they got out-lied. The postmortems will continue for a long time to come though, I'm sure.

By the way, Keith Oberman had some interesting thoughts on the subject. Listen here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677#27652443.

Nov. 10, 2008

As in all political campaigns......unfortunately; the truth seems to be an occasional option.

I don't believe in the accuracy of the polls. Plus, when you look at the people who are voting on both sides there is a stark difference. Remember, the conservatives are considered the "silent masses." Historically, you will find that people will say one thing in public, but the results show up differently.

Nov. 11, 2008

Did Jim give money to the Yes on Prop 8 as well? A better name for Prop. 4 is “Jim’s Law”—for Jim Holman, the editor and publisher of the San Diego Reader and anti-abortion crusader who has bankrolled Props. 73, 85 and 4 to the tune of more than $5 million, money that, presumably, he earned as salary paid for by Reader advertisers. http://sdcitybeat.com/cms/story/detail/our_endorsements/7404/

Nov. 11, 2008

Wouldn't know, jamesf, but the Reader certainly took money from No on 8. A No on 8 banner ad ran on this website quite prominently. Remember?

Nov. 11, 2008

My point on the money is that it would have never got on the ballot had Manchester not swept in w/ that initial $100,000+ getting signatures. It picked up momentum from there.

Nov. 12, 2008

Point taken, HM.

Nov. 12, 2008

<< As in all political campaigns......unfortunately; the truth seems to be an occasional option. >>

Sadly true. Also in short supply are respect and courtesy; there's always enough rudeness and a**holeyness to go around though. I think every sign-stealer deserves to get the book thrown at him and thrown hard; it's counterproductive and STUPID. Still, I'd rather live in a country where people settle disputes by stealing yard signs than with explosive vests and car bombs.

<< I don't believe in the accuracy of the polls...Historically, you will find that people will say one thing in public, but the results show up differently. >>

That certainly was one of the biggest X-factors of many in that particular vote, so many that nobody even pretended he could call it. There is so much to debate about that proposition still that I'm sure books will be written about it in the future.

Nov. 12, 2008

I mean luckily (and pardon the pun) prop 8 had sex appeal--it had enough to get the millionares in Hollywood to throw their weight and their money behind the No campaign.

This was an anomoly, most propositions or people do not have that sort of appeal. Case and point, we got a huge homophobic bigot running the city attorney's office now because he had special interests throw 100s of thousands of dollars at him. The other side could not compete w/ that kind of money.

This is how things usually go. And I am hoping prop 8 brings this to light and all you intelligent, creative, highly educated people that really care will dive in and change this system. Com'on I know there are lawyers and politicians and genuinely good people that can come together to solve this holistically to ensure that good people and proposals have a chance. :)

Nov. 12, 2008

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