So this week the opponents of Proposition 8 will go to court in order to get the Yes vote thrown out. Their argument is understandable, as there are some issues and rights the voters should not have the choice in taking away. Imagine if someone put together a ballot initiative in 1948 after the State Supreme Court struck down a law that banned inter-racial marriage. What if it had passed and a ban on inter-racial marriage was re-instituted? Are the conservatives willing to go on record and say it was a vote of the people that should be respected? Are they willing to say it to President Obama’s face? Heck, when I pose that question, they constantly deflect the answer.
I wish the opponents luck, but they should never have had their day in court. They should have won on November 4th, there is no excuse in the world. Of course I see a day in the near future where this state will be willing to vote to legalize same sex marriage. Give it 6 to 8 more years. I know it seems like a long time, but you should have fought harder in 2008 to make sure the right didn’t go away. In 2010, the issue will still be a little too fresh in people’s minds. In 8 years you went from having 61% of the voters opposing your right to 52%, even though it should have been under 50%. Fact is, the trend is clearly going your way.
But you need to learn from your mistakes. Hire consultants and field organizers FROM California , do not import them from Arkansas . I will never forget when I heard the field organizer put together a walk in South Orange County and brought precincts from GARDEN GROVE. The best organizers are people who know the lay of the land, who know where the swing areas are that can be turned. It is what myself and my colleagues did at Planned Parenthood with Proposition 85. I knew the coastal areas were ripe to bring over to the NO side on Parental Notification. Yes they were Republican, yes they elected people like Chuck DeVore, but they were not religious fanatics. In the end, cities like Huntington Beach and Newport Beach voted to reject the efforts of the religious right and voted to uphold a woman’s right to choose.
Yet the No on 8 people virtually ignored these areas, based on the fact that they were Republican. They did not cast their net far enough, trying only to reach affluent, liberal, Democratic areas. Folks, that mindset was what harmed the Democratic party in California earlier this decade, to the point where we had a plurality in only 20 counties in the state.
Then my biggest criticism. After Prop 8 passed, when all the protests and marches began, I wanted to ask many of those marching, where were you on the campaign trail. The vast majority of them never called a voter nor did they knock on a door, they took for granted the rights they had not knowing how badly the religious right wanted to seize those rights in their effort to control the lives of all Americans, kind of like the Ayatollah’s like to control the lives of all Iranians because they think God is telling them to do it.
I wish you all luck in court, I hope the court does the right thing and does not disregard the constitution over the threat of recall from the religious right bullies. But take this as a learning experience, and if you have to face the voters again, do things right, learn from your mistakes, and never take the religious right for granted again.