52% yes, 48% no. A week ago I was on an evening news show with a fundamentalist minister who stated that they (the "yes" side) were leading by 9 points. He made this erroneous claim in answer to an observation which I made on that program. I had cited that in 2000 the proposition then, to limit marriage only to heterosexual persons, won by 61% and that this time the percentages were far closer almost 50/50.
In the past eight years, the population of California has moved from opposing same sex marriages, from 61% to 52%. And that, with the "yes on 8" side spending the lion's share of seventy three million ($73,000,000.00) dollars. Much of this came from donations to non-profit religious organizations. In many cases, the intent of the original donors of those funds may have may have been set aside by the leadership of the various religious organizations. I've already had several Catholics tell me that they gave money to help in charitable endeavors and not to pay for a political campaign. They have informed me, they'll remember this when asked to donate in the future and when/if they give, it will be "directed" or "earmarked" giving, i.e., for specific projects, or defined purposes.
Equally disturbing, were some of the outright deceptions engaged in by "yes on 8" partisans. For example, automated phone calls targeting African Americans in which the voice of Barack Obama was imitated. In these "robocalls" the person imitating Obama's voice asked people to vote "yes on 8". A position which the real, now President-elect Obama opposed. He was in favor of NO on Proposition 8. Beyond this, there was a letter which was extortionist in its tone. It demanded that companies which had donated to "NO on 8" pay the "yes on 8" campaign an equal amount of money or, else they would be targeted for economic retribution. Are these "sour grapes"? No, they simply are a review of facts. What is done, is done; however, it will now be undone.
This morning, an injunction was filed with the courts to prevent this measure from taking effect. This is the beginning of a legal battle which will probably end before the same justices of our State Supreme Court who, only a few months ago, ruled in favor of same sex marriage. Time is also on our side. As I mentioned earlier, only 8 years ago, fairness lost by a margin of 11% of the electorate voting against equal treatment under the law. Then, those in favor of legal discrimination were not nearly as well financed as they were this time and yet, this time they only managed to win by a 2% margin. In a few years, we will be positioned to overturn yesterday's results in a future referendum.
More good news, this cost the opposition HUGE amounts of money and human resources. Money and resources which they do not now have to fight us elsewhere. There is also a new administration in Washington DC which will probably repeal some of the faith based initiatives of Bush & Co. The new government will appoint more sympathetic judges. The question of persons with same sex orientation serving in the Armed Forces will probably be revisited.
Still, more good news, in New York state, the state senate is now in the hands of the Democratic Party. The out going senate, which was controlled by Republicans, effectively blocked passage of same sex marriage legislation which had been approved by that state's lower house and which the Governor was prepared to sign into law. So, this now clears the way for New York to pass this legislation. Yes, we lost the battle for proposition 8 in yesterday's election but, the war for equality and fairness continues. Battles are lost by victors in every war.
Last night, after it was announced that Barack Obama was elected President, the press interviewed an elderly African American man who had fought for equal treatment under the law in the 1960's. The journalist asked him if he ever thought he'd see the day when an African American would be elected President of the United States of America. The elderly man paused and stated: Back then, we were just fighting for the right to sit at the same lunch counter and drink out of the same water fountain. My grandfather was lynched by a mob, we were attacked by the KKK. I never imagined I'd live to see this day.
There were many battles lost on the way to greater liberty and justice for all, others were won. We lost a battle yesterday, by a very narrow margin. This is a time to lick our wounds, learn from our mistakes and redirect our wounded sense of justice to fight twice as hard to obtain justice. We lost a battle in California, we won a battle in New York. We've elected a new national government with a thirst for justice. We will prevail again in California and in our Nation. We will join many other people in Europe, Canada and South Africa were discrimination is now illegal. We shall overcome!
- Boycott the Knights of Columbus
- A wedding sermon.
- An open letter to my parish community.
- Why was a college student in the car of drunken Archbishop-elect Cordileone at 12:26 AM, when Cordileone was arrested for a DUI?
- When the Church married Same-Sex couples.
- How It All began
- The Supreme Court’s Decisions and the New Mason-Dixon Line
- What the Vatican & American bishops DO NOT want you (and Politicians) to know.
- The Morality of Sex, gay & straight.
- San Francisco in archbishop Cordileone’s sight