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You all know this already: the CA Supreme Court will issue its decision on the constitutional challenge to proposition 8 and on what will become of the legal marriages entered by 36,000 people tomorrow at 10 am PST.

Here is what is happening tomorrow night: Day of the Decision. On Saturday, everyone will be meeting “in the middle” of the state…Fresno (which, by the way, has a happening LGBT film festival every year, so don’t totally discount its scene). Here is the info on that: Meet in the Middle. (So Cal folks check out Orange County and Long Beach events.)

Fortunately or unfortunately, my wife and I will be on a remote island in the Caribbean for the next week. Though we wish we could be with you during this historic time, we will relish the opportunity to get away from the struggle and, for a brief time, remember why we are fighting so hard.

With love and in solidarity,




Read the whole opinion.

Compared with the overturning of miscegenation laws enacted ennacted in 41 states to criminalize marriages between people of different races–namely African Americans, Iowa was the third state to overturn such laws. Wikipedia has a timeline showing when the laws were enacted and when they were overturned. Just fyi, the US Supreme Court upheld the bans on interracial marriage in 1883, then overturned them in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia. The US never enacted a federal law or constitutional ban against interracial marriage.

The current Iowa decision is set to take affect in 21 days.

The following is an excerpt from a video interview Rick Warren gave Belief Net recently (give it a second to come up). Thinking people, consider yourselves warned.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Rick Warren is a Homophobe“, posted with vodpod

This video showcases a common problem with “christian” pastors and their followers who irresponsibly use a bully pulpit: there is a complete lack of education and disregard for facts. Rick Warren, bumbles along, but consistently reaffirms the talking points: “for 5,000 years marriage has been defined as a man and a woman.” This is simply not true. For a discussion on what “marriage”  has “traditionally” been, one that uses actual facts, see my previous post on the topic or the Newsweek article, “Our Mutual Joy.” Even if this claim were true, doing something poorly because of our ignorance for a long period of time does not begin to excuse continued bad behavior. Why not argue that since slavery is supported by the bible, common throughout history, and, indeed, common in every culture, it should not have been abolished? This is intellectual infancy.

Warren claims “the reason I supported Prop 8 is because of a free speech issue,” and that pastors could be targeted for “hate speech if he shared his views that he didn’t think homosexuality was the natural way to form relationships.” This typifies at best a complete lack of understanding of our Constitution, and, at worst, a knowing disregard for fact in favor of propaganda. Constitutional guarantees regarding the freedom of speech and religion are articulated in the First Amendment. Rick Warren can, and has, say whatever he wants about other people, just like the Ku Klux Klan and every other white pride whack job can continue to spew out their xenophobic hate.

Warren appears Palin-esque as he remembers high points from the anti-gay script, throwing in “first, the court overread (sic) the will of the people.” I am assuming he meant to say “overruled.” This is another misguided bullet point. It is the court’s responsibility to uphold the constitution and to protect vulnerable minorities from the “tyranny of the majority,” a concept pre-dating the bible. As Byron Williams, an African American Pastor in Oakland so eloquently explains in his California Progress Report article:

Simply being in the majority opinion can lead people to believe they are impervious to the type of arrogance that robs one of self-reflective impulses that can lead to an abuse of power. As de Tocqueville argued in “Democracy in America,” majority rule carries with it an implied moral authority that “there is more intelligence and wisdom in a number of men united than a single individual.”

This is the popular, but erroneous notion that gives rise to the “judicial activism” argument, especially when a ruling by the judiciary branch of government goes against what may be viewed as the popular opinion.

I have received countless e-mails justifying support of Prop. 8 based on the majority rule of Prop. 22 in 2000 and that the state Supreme Court caused this problem by “legislating from the bench.”

This is an elementary understanding of our democracy that has most likely embraced the juvenile orthodoxy of conservative talk radio. But the Framers were aware of the potential problems associated with the tyranny of he majority, or as some would benignly call the “will of the people.”

Warren goes on to equal gay marriage to pedophilia, incest, and polygamy. His demoralizing, hate speech is protected, even though it is factually inaccurate. Marriage between consenting, same gender adults has nothing to do with taking advantage of children or women. Adults from different gene pools are not equivalent to siblings. Again, his hate speech is protected, but it is all lies. Thus, I submit Warren should be sued for slander.

The old line goes something like “well, if we let those gays marry, then everyone else is going to want to get married too,” and essentially, all hell is going to break lose! Still, why should we care if 5 people want to marry each other? Traditionally, polygamy has been used to control and oppress young girls. This is wrong. However, in this day and age, if 5 consenting adults want to marry each other, they should be free to act on their own morals. The reason I don’t believe same gender marriage will usher in favorable polygamy laws is because there is currently no legal equivalent. Allowing all people to participate in marriage equally does not make laws that would determine responsibility, survivorship, custody, etc., etc., for polygamous relationships. It’s a completely separate issue.

Last, his insistence that he has “gay friends,” and has even “eaten dinner in gay homes” as proof of his acceptance of all people represents a state of flat out denial.  A “homophobe” is someone who “fears and hates” homosexuals. One may feel that they do not “fear” or “hate,” but when you are disrespectful to a group of people, when you use derogatory, inaccurate statements to describe a person whose experience you do not understand, that is considered both. Do a Google search on the phrase “I have black friends,” and you will get almost 30 million results explaining why this claim does not make you any less racist. Just because gay people tolerate your homophobic ass, does not make you any less of a bigot.  How many times must we explain this?

Rick Warren is the Pastor of Orange County’s uber-rich, Saddleback mega church. He has been chosen to offer the opening benediction during the inauguration of Barack Obama. This is LIGHTING UP the blogosphere. I’d go to Pam’s for the most comprehensive coverage. Want to complain? Email Parag Mehta, Obama’s LGBT liaison on the transition team – Then go to EQ CA to sign a petition demanding the Obama campaign rescind the invitation.

The Courage Campaign has become infamous for the following ad:

This triggered the op-ed, “An Ugly Attack on Mormons,” by Jonah Goldberg, which called the video “religious slander.” Goldberg went on to list alleged attacks on Mormons and the Mormon church in the wake of Prop 8, as well as blaming “liberals” in general for supporting the gay “aggressors in the culture war.”

Last week, the Times published a response entitled “Why We’re Mad at the Mormon Church,” written by Rick Jacobs, Chairman of the Courage Campaign. Jacobs responded with the following:

And the truth is very simple: Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints campaigned vigorously to strip rights from gays and lesbians. They contributed a staggering amount of money to pass Proposition 8 — a figure estimated to be at least $20 million (and potentially much higher) to fund a fear-mongering, truth-distorting campaign whose only objective was to outlaw same-sex couples from getting a marriage license. Proposition 8 now threatens to invalidate the same-sex marriages already in existence, pending future rulings from the California Supreme Court. There is an old saying: Truth can’t be libel.

Goldberg claims that the ad focused on the Mormons because they were an easier target, one of many faiths that supported Proposition 8. In reality, the Yes on 8 campaign might as well have been a wholly owned subsidiary of the LDS Church. Many estimate that members of the LDS Church gave more than half of the total amount raised by the Yes on 8 campaign. In addition, the LDS Church ran large call centers supporting Proposition 8 and encouraged its members to travel to California to support the campaign. These efforts were only scaled back after California voters started to become more aware of the massive role that the LDS Church was playing in the campaign. They may also be putting the LDS Church into some legal peril as well: It is being investigated by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for failure to report expenses related to these, as well as other, campaign activities on behalf of Proposition 8.

Unfortunately, this failure to take public responsibility for leading the fight against same-sex marriage, as well as the masking of its efforts behind the shroud of an interfaith coalition, is nothing new for the LDS Church.

An LDS Church internal memo from 1997 regarding strategies to oppose same-sex marriage explains that although the LDS Church may be able to put together the funding for a citizen referendum in California, “The public image of the Catholic Church [is] higher than our Church. In other words, if we get into this, they are ones with which to join.” This is exactly the strategy the LDS Church used to mask its involvement in Proposition 8 until the final weeks before the election.

The LDS Church or any other organization has every right to use its power to influence elections to any extent that is legal. What it doesn’t have a right to do is claim persecution when other organizations do nothing but expose the church’s forays into the political arena before a discerning public.

While the backlash against the LDS Church has made some of its members uncomfortable, they have nobody to blame but their leadership who dragged them into this mess. In an effort to repair its public image, the church has said that it wants to begin a “healing process” and has claimed support for equal rights for gays and lesbians, except for using the word “marriage” to describe unions between same-sex partners. The church now has an opportunity to demonstrate that support: Utah state Sen. Scott McCoy has introduced legislation that would provide gays and lesbians in his state with all rights that straight people enjoy except marriage.

If the LDS Church were to support McCoy, it would show that it really does believe in love, compassion and equal rights. If it does not, the church’s supposedly conciliatory stance would simply be one more obfuscation in support of truly bigoted intentions.

Courage Campaign also released this video:

My favorite, though, is this one:

Live and let love.

Some more fun things for the weekend…