It's Becoming Predictable Every Election Season
It’s becoming predictable every election season. California’s anti-gay groups are attempting to put a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the November ballot. They presume Californians will agree with them and flock to the polls, erasing years of progress.
My hope is this November California voters will be galvanized and electrified by a sense of hope for the future, not limiting it. That’s why I am STRONGLY supporting the "Decline to Sign" campaign fighting to keep the same-sex marriage initiative off the ballot. Whether or not they succeed, California voters will be put on notice that this potential ban would write discrimination into the state’s Constitution.
It’s certainly not lost on most voters that the anti-gay marriage initiative is also a shameless tactic used by Republicans before to get voters to the polls. Recently, Arizona voters saw they were being played for fools by the Republicans and defeated a similar same-sex marriage ban.
The proposed constitutional amendment specifies that only marriage between a man and a woman be valid or recognized in California. The arguments by anti-gay groups are glaringly weak.
I have always supported same-sex marriage because I believe in a person’s civil rights, the United States Constitution and separation of Church and State. This country is not based on one faith or one moral code. Race, sex, religion and sexual orientation must never affect our civil rights. We all have equal rights under the law.
In March 2005 a Superior Court judge in San Francisco ruled that the law denying same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The state appealed and the California Court of Appeals in a split decision overturned the ruling. It was then appealed to the California Supreme Court. In March the justices heard arguments in the case and a decision is expected in the next three months. I believe the California Supreme Court will rule that the equal-protection clauses of the state’s Constitution trumps the state law defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Throughout this legal wrangling, the California Legislature also passed several bills allowing same-sex marriage but they were vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. I have been a co-author on each of them and am proud to be part of that history-making moment.
Same-sex couples are as likely as straight couples to live healthy, happy, productive lives and provide a good environment to raise children. The arguments offered by opponents to equal rights are retreads of the rhetoric used about Catholics marrying Protestants or Protestants marrying someone of the Jewish faith. We should remember that it wasn’t too long ago that California state law prohibited interracial marriage.
The proposed measure has yet to qualify for the ballot and we as Californians have the ability to stop it. If anyone asks you to sign a petition to "protect marriage" tell them no.
And frankly it should go without saying, but if anyone asks you or your friends to sign a petition to qualify something, anything for the ballot, make sure you read it first. I know that sounds obvious, but you would be amazed at the number of people I talk to or see signing petitions without first reading what they are signing.
California is the most progressive, innovative state in the nation and I refuse to go anywhere but forward on this civil rights issue.
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About Lloyd Levine | All Reports by Lloyd Levine
State Assembly + State Senate + LGBTIQ + Discrimination + Marriage Equality
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