Matt Potter 4 p.m., Sept. 21
- Community Blog
- I've Got Issues
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.