Yesterday, I turned a little of my worry about tomorrow's election into action by making some calls to support the No on 8 Campaign. In case you've missed it, Proposition 8 is the California proposition that will take away the fundamental right to marry from lesbian and gay persons. The direct effect of Prop 8, if successful, is to stop marriages in California, but indirectly its success will do damage throughout our country, including in Illinois. The proponents of Prop 8 certainly see it that way. That's why groups from outside of California, such as Focus on the Family in Colorado, are among the largest donors to support the passage of Prop 8. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette:
Between Dec. 2007 and July, Focus donated $448,406 to support Proposition 8, with most of the money going to ProtectMarriage.com, a California-based coalition. Its largest donation, $250,000, came in June, one month after the court ruling.
Focus is the seventh biggest donor among Proposition 8 supporters, according to the California Secretary of State's Office.
Other major donors are Elsa Prince, a Focus board member ($450,000); the American Family Association ($500,000); Fieldstead & Co. ($600,000); the John Templeton Foundation ($900,000); and the National Organization for Marriage ($941,134.80).
Holding on to marriage in California will help us win legal relationship protections in other states, because of the importance of California as an economic force and a cultural and legal trend-setter for other states.
Calling was easy. You can go to the No on Prop 8 website, www.noonprop8.com, click on Volunteer, and then follow the directions for calling from home, if you live out of state. I spoke to people who had already voted - some yes, unfortunately - but was able to talk to people who had not yet voted. Results in this campaign are likely to be very close, so even a small amount of your time might make the difference in assuring that Prop 8 is defeated. Your call may serve to clarify that voting No means that yes, gays and lesbians will continue to have the right to marry and encourage Californians to get out and vote the whole ballot (it is a long one in California). Finally, you may be the person to change someone's mind from being undecided to being against Prop 8.
If you still have questions about Prop 8, you can go to the website of the ACLU of Northern California, a major player in the fight against Prop 8 or to No on Prop 8 website. There has been a great deal of misinformation put out by Prop 8 supporters. The Los Angeles Times did a good job of setting the records straight:
Religions and their believers are free to define marriage as they please; they are free to consider homosexuality a sin. But they are not free to impose their definitions of morality on the state. ...
Californians must cast a clear eye on Proposition 8's real intentions. It seeks to change the state Constitution in a rare and terrible way, to impose a single moral belief on everyone and to deprive a targeted group of people of civil rights that are now guaranteed. This is something that no Californian, of any religious belief, should accept. Vote no to the bigotry of Proposition 8.
The campaign needs money to support its last-minute ads, so consider donating as well as making some calls.