Jesurgislac’s Journal

November 7, 2008

Invalidate Proposition 8

If you donate $5 or more at www.invalidateprop8.org, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center will send a postcard to President Thomas Monson’s office in Salt Lake City, acknowledging your donation in his name:

A donation has been made in your name by _________________ to “invalidateprop8.org” to overturn California’s Proposition 8 and restore fundamental civil rights to all citizens of California. The money will be donated to legal organizations fighting the case and to support grass-roots activities in support of full marriage equality. Although we decry the reprehensible role the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leadership played in denying all Californians equal rights under the law, we are pleased a donation has been made on your behalf in the effort to overturn the discrimination your church members helped enshrine in the California Constitution. Given that throughout its history the Mormon Church has been subjected to bigotry, we hope you appreciate the donation in your name to fight religious bigotry here in California.

A fine idea. Let’s inundate his office with these cards. The behaviour of the LDS Church in politically campaigning to deny LGBT people in California equality under the law was repellent: I think being showered by postcards notifying the author of this letter how many, many people object to his religious bigotry is the least – the very least – that he deserves.

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3 Comments »

  1. While I support the LAGLC, I strongly disagree with this tactic. Issuing a blanket condemnation of the Mormon Church is as distasteful to me as issuing a blanket condemnation of gay people. I prefer to classify people by nature of the disagreement. So…

    TO ALL WHO OPPOSE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE:

    I think you’re good people, like me. I pay my taxes that support my schools and religious institutions so they can give back to the community. I don’t hurt anyone and only try to help. I oppose people who try to infringe on religious freedoms, and I don’t seek to infringe upon what “marriage” means to you. I appreciate that most of you DO approve of ‘domestic partnerships’ and ‘civil unions’ for gay people, but please listen to why that doesn’t work.

    The federal government gives married people about 1000 rights. The state gives them about 400 additional rights. The reason the government is involved in marriage at all is to promote and protect stable, happy families as basic units of society. Obviously marriage is not solely for procreation, as we do not remove that right from you if you are infertile, elderly, or choose not to have children. When you marry, you are automatically entitled to those 1400 rights, including the right to visit a spouse in the hospital, be added to your spouse’s insurance policies, acquire property with your spouse and automatically inherit it if your spouse dies, and many more. These 1400 rights are not simply and easily written up in a single civil document, nor always enforceable; for instance, a person under a state’s domestic partnership can’t force the IRS to give him the tax benefits afforded to married couples. It is extremely complex and doesn’t always work; I am aware of gay people whose partners died and the deceased’s hostile family successfully asserted their ownership of everything in spite of the contract, leaving the survivor destitute. Imagine children being involved, and a deceased partner’s hostile family takes your children from you because your civil contract didn’t stand up in court proving you were next of kin! In Arkansas, the majority just voted to prohibit unmarried people from adopting, meaning a gay person can’t even adopt their partner’s children to ensure that if their partner dies the children will remain with the surviving parent they love!

    ‘Civil unions’ and ‘domestic partnerships’ permit OSTENSIBLY most of the 400 state-afforded rights of married couples, but NONE of the 1000 federal ones, and I can tell you from personal experience that the state ones are NOT equal. Just one example is that to get on my partner’s insurance policy, we had to provide our certificate of domestic partnership, copies of financial records proving we had co-mingled finances and lived in the same home for at least two years, and more. If I died, my partner would have to wait at least two years to add her new partner to the policy to prove the relationship was ‘real’. Married people don’t even need to provide a copy of a marriage license, and if their spouse died today, they could add a new spouse tomorrow. This is only one example out of MANY.

    Other rights are specific to helping children of married people, including ensuring automatic inheritance rights, the right of a non-blood related parent to pick up a sick child from school, alimony and child support to help with their care in the event of divorce, and many more. No matter the makeup of the family or how it comes to be — be it traditional nuclear, or grandparents raising their grandchild, or a blended family resulting from divorced people remarrying, or single parents, or adoptive parents, or childless couples, or gay couples — ALL of these people deserve the same rights so they have the best chances of happiness and contribution to society.

    What I would like to see the FEDERAL government do is create one proto-marriage type of relationship (‘civil union’?) that applies equally to all people who want it, including granting them all 1400 of the rights and responsibilities that “married” people currently enjoy, and then simply leave the word “marriage” for religiously-inclined people who want to further consecrate their relationship according to their religions. I think that is what the MAJORITY of us all want. Unfortunately, the federal government is currently leaving the issue to states to decide, so we are stuck wrestling for the one word that currently encompasses all 1400 of those rights, and that word is “marriage”. Granting the existing rights encompassed by one word to a minority is a lot easier than changing 1400 laws to encompass them. That’s really all there is to it, see?

    I understand many of you are afraid that legalizing gay marriage will lead to your children being forced to learn in school that homosexuality is “normal”. I will be the first to agree with you that homosexuality is NOT “normal” – the parts don’t fit and we can’t make babies. But consider that in one out of every 100 live births, a child is born with ambiguous genitalia (intersexed). If God creates 1% of babies that way, why do we then do surgery to “correct” them to one sex or the other and make them “normal”? God made me abnormal too – I’m among the small percentage of people whose wiring is crossed so I’m attracted to my own sex. My abnormality doesn’t lead me to hurt anyone. The worst law I’ve ever broken is the speed limit. Learning that homosexuals exist isn’t going to turn any child homosexual, but it will help the small percentage born with this abnormality to feel less alone. That’s really the worst that could happen. All the same, currently in California no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about homosexuality at school.

    As for the slippery slope arguments that legalizing gay marriage will automatically lead to legalizing polygamy or incestuous marriages, those forms of marriage existed throughout most of recorded history but are too impractical or undesirable for the vast majority of Americans to even consider today. As for legalizing gay marriage leading to legalizing people marrying pets or children, these can’t even give informed consent. Please stay off the slippery slope; the ONLY topic we’re asking you to agree on is legalizing gay marriage.

    We gay people and our families are being hurt by laws as they stand, and all we are asking for is the concession that the word “marriage” include us so we may enjoy its rights – and responsibilities. I will leave you with the words of Mildred Loving, who wrote this forty years after her 1967 legal case struck down laws barring interracial marriage:

    “Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the ‘wrong kind of person’ for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry.”

    (And I hope Barack Obama, who supports “Separate But Equal” rights regarding same-sex marriage even though he was born in the U.S. during a time when many states denied his mixed-race parents were even married, is LISTENING!)

    Comment by Paula — November 7, 2008 @ 12:56 pm | Reply

  2. I completely support your right to disagree with this tactic. We may disagree on tactics while supporting the principle. I think it is a good fundraising tactic which targets ire (and postcards!) at a person who was directly responsible for leading LDS Church members to campaign and fundraise for the religious bigotry inherent in Proposition 8.

    However: Issuing a blanket condemnation of the Mormon Church is as distasteful to me as issuing a blanket condemnation of gay people.

    1. It’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or the LDS Church, not “the Mormon Church”. This is not trivial: it’s an important distinction. Mormons are all those who believe in the Book of Mormon and the prophecies of Joseph Smith. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the largest Mormon sect, and the wealthiest.

    2. I see no blanket condemnation of Mormons in this tactic, but a very specific condemnation of “the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leadership”, and of those church members who helped enshrine discrimination in the California Constitution, as they were instructed to do by the LDS Church leadership.

    Comment by jesurgislac — November 7, 2008 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

  3. we did a roof installation about this web site, (invalidateprop8.org) would love to post an image.

    Comment by chadmichael — December 28, 2008 @ 8:15 pm | Reply


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