The intention of this column at the outset of the school year was to report and inform regarding events and trends in the world of journalism. Last week was supposed to be a one-time blip on the radar, a brief detour from our regularly scheduled program. Given that Tuesday is Election Day, however (P.S.: Remember to vote), I feel an obligation to use this space for the common good.
Vote no on Proposition 8. That’s really as simple as the message gets. Voting yes on Prop 8 affirms that bigotry and discrimination have a place in our society at a time when nothing should be further from the truth.
The goal of Proposition 8 is difficult to fathom. How can anyone living in a country based on freedom – on the concept that everyone is created equal – seriously consider making one group of individuals less important than everyone else? Did the civil rights movement teach us nothing? Who people fall in love with is their own damn business and the government has no place restricting it to a certain set of couples.
In a refreshing show of humanity, it seems that a great number of Californians agree with these sentiments and are doing what they can to oppose this offensive legislation.
Big ups to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young, who has donated approximately $50,000 to defeat Prop 8. That Young, of all people, would devote so much money to the cause should demonstrate its importance; he is probably the most famous Mormon on the planet. Technically, the checks are in the name of his wife Barbara (Steve has a stated preference not to take sides on any political issue), but statements from his family make it clear that they are a united front. That the great-great-great grandson of Brigham Young (!) put a “Vote No on Prop 8” sign in his front yard – despite the Mormon church pouring millions of dollars into passing this proposition – sends a refreshing message that maybe not all Californians will vote blindly with their faith come Tuesday.
Young is not the only one putting his belief in what’s right before religion or political ideology. Jerry Sanders, the Republican mayor of San Diego, campaigned this past weekend for the No on Prop 8 campaign. Sanders, a one-time opponent of gay marriage, reversed his position in a tear-filled press conference last year.
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson has recorded a phone message that should go out to California voters in the coming days encouraging them to vote down the proposition. Former President Bill Clinton is asking Californians to vote no. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has recorded a television commercial urging voters to say no to discrimination. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Senator Barack Obama are also telling their supporters to vote against it.
If the names aren’t convincing, maybe numbers will be: 14 national businesses and organizations (among them Google and Apple), 16 civil rights organizations, 12 labor organizations (including the California Teachers Association), 108 faith-based organizations, 50 community based organizations, 17 statewide organizations, 20 national organizations, 38 political groups and organizations and over 200 elected officials all oppose Prop 8.
Names and numbers aside, the most convincing argument to vote against Prop 8 is one of basic human decency. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you; if you want to get married, don’t deny others that same right just because of their sexual orientation.
This column represents only the opinion of RICHARD PROCTER. For The California Aggie’s take on Prop 8, visit theaggie.org/article/1775. Send your thoughts on Prop 8 to Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org.