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Proudly Out: Paying for 'No'

Proudly Out: Paying for 'No'

If you had asked me last week or even a month ago if the initiative to ban same-sex marriage in California would pass, I would have said no. Well, it seems I can’t say that anymore. Recent polling has shown that there is movement in California and it’s going the wrong way. This is definitely not good news.

If you had asked me last week or even a month ago if the initiative to ban same-sex marriage in California would pass, I would have said no.

Well, it seems I can’t say that anymore. Recent polling has shown that there is movement in California and it’s going the wrong way.

In an unprecedented move, No on Proposition 8, the coalition of organizations and individuals who want to keep same-sex marriage legal in California, released their internal polling. Unfortunately, their data reflected the recent poll done by KPIX, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco. If the election was held today, Proposition 8 would pass by 4 points.

This is definitely not good news. But what has made the tide turn? After all, Barack Obama has had a double digit lead in California for months. Conventional wisdom would lead one to think that the folks who support Obama, even though he walks that same-sex marriage tightrope all presidential candidates have to walk, would also support us. Clearly, that’s not the case.

But as is always the case in politics, it’s all coming down to money. The folks who want to ban same-sex marriage in California have raised $26.8 million. Our side has only brought in $21.4M. With the bulk of the campaign being played out on the airwaves, they’ve been able to buy a lot more media in some of the country’s most expensive markets than we have.

Perhaps the folks on the Radical Christian Right are so dismayed with the John McCain campaign, even with their Sarah Palin poster girl, that they’re putting their money where their mouth is to keep us under their foot. The Mormon Church is digging deep into its collective pockets to help fund the effort. I wonder if that’s a way for them to get their Radical Christian Right membership card?

At first, the Mormons were just asking their California brethren to get involved. According to a report by Mormonsfor8.com, their Golden State members have contributed close to $8 million to ProtectMarriage.com, the site that represents the coalition trying to pass Prop 8. Always looking to expand their hegemony, the Mormon money makes church members ProtectMarriage’s largest group of contributors.

Now, the Church of Latter Day Saints is focusing their hate of our love to their base state of Utah. Last week, the Church beamed a special satellite broadcast from Salt Lake City to church chapels in Utah County, Utah and to California. The church is asking Brigham Young University students and Californians living in Utah to call their “friends, family and fellow-citizens in California” and ask them to vote “yes.”

The Church, along with all Radical Christian Right leaders, is using lies and distortions to make their case. They’re saying that keeping same-sex marriage legal will mean that people can be sued because of their personal beliefs. Not true. They’re saying churches could lose their tax-exempt status. Another lie. They’re scaring people by saying same-sex marriage would be taught in public schools. Not one word in the proposition mentions education and California state law states that no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school.

And, of course, they’re invoking the radical right clarion call of “activist judges.” Well, folks, Prop 8 is not about courts and judges, it's about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn't grant the right, the constitution guarantees the right. This campaign is about whether Californians, right now, in 2008 are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.

We, all of us, LGBT or otherwise, can’t afford for the California proposition to pass. If we value freedom, that means we all should be free to marry. If we value fairness, that means we need to guarantee the same rights and responsibilities to all of us. If we value facts, that means we make decisions based on truth not fear.

And if we value freedom, fairness and facts, we need to place value on our commitment. We need to dig into our pockets to support the “No on Prop 8” effort. Take the time to go online and donate. You can go straight to www.noonprop8.com or you can go to the page I’ve set up to help raise funds to defeat the measure -- www.actblue.com/page/haveanimpact.

What happens in California impacts all of us. Donate now.

Miss the last "Proudly Out"? Read it here.

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