Monday, November 10, 2008


Just as I predicted, proposition 8 is not going to hit the constitution without a 2nd-level fight.,0,7280462.story

In addition to the demonstrations mentioned in the L.A. Times article, thousands gathered on the steps of the Capitol building here in Sacramento over the weekend, one of whom is a very good friend of mine. (I was in Seattle "babymooning" (more later), otherwise would have dragged myself over there, pregnant belly and all.)

On "The View" today, Whoopi Goldberg (supporting my theory on why Prop 8 won-out - see previous post) aired a list of mis-truths propogated by the Yes On 8 campaign. Just like me, she speculated on whether the proposition passed on it's own merits at all.

Writing for Jurist (a publication of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law), Douglas NeJaime, the Sears Law Teaching Fellow at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, explains exactly why the claims by Yes on 8 about schools having to teach about gay marriage are false.

First, school curriculum is an intensely local decision. Local school boards, elected by local residents, create, revise, and implement curriculum. While public schools must teach core subjects and ensure that students attain a certain level of competence, they enjoy a tremendous amount of discretion. Nowhere is that discretion more expansive than in the domain of health and sex education. In fact, schools in California may decide to provide no such instruction whatsoever. If schools do offer sex education, the California Education Code requires that schools teach “respect for marriage and committed relationships.” But even this statutory provision is silent as to what that instruction should (let alone must) include.

Instead, local school districts may include what they like, based on parental feedback, teacher input, and the decisions of politically accountable local officials. Some school districts have for years included material on lesbians and gay men, while many others have omitted such material. That variation will not change (and has not changed) in light of the ability of same-sex couples to marry in California. Schools will continue to exercise their broad discretion and will not operate under any new mandates. Furthermore, parents in California enjoy the right to exempt their children from sex education. This right to opt out will continue to exist, meaning that children won’t receive sex education (gay-inclusive or not) to which their parents object.

Whoopi also talked about the Yes on 8's claim that churches could lose their tax-exempt status if gay marriage was allowed to continue. But in fact, the court decision in question regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

In addition, Yes on 8 said that, if proposition 8 didn't pass, people could be sued over their personal beliefs. Yet California’s laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. (Um... yes, sexual orientation... so how the heck do we get to pass a constitutional ammendment that contradicts our own state laws???)

So, I'm further convinced that a significant enough percentage of people voted yes on 8 because they were "feared" into doing so by lies on a number of claims and issues that actually have nothing to do with gay marriage or it's realistic implications. Was this significant enough to result in a different outcome? Who knows. But it sure provides further fuel to my fire to keep this issue alive.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails