Friday, October 31, 2008

Children Will Listen

From Andrew Sullivan's blog:

"A reader writes:

My 7 year old just learned about gay marriage. Not form his school or teacher, but by the Yes on Prop 8 ad on radio while carpooling to school. He asked me about it and I gave an age appropriate answer. I have no doubt that many other kids will learn about the gay marriage thanks to prop 8 ads. I hope the theocrats realize the irony ...

Irony isn't their strong point."

It's a point I've been making lately with friends -- you can't keep sexuality in the closet for ever. As Jeff Goldblum said in "Jurassic Park": "Life finds a way."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Look to the Law

Read this story in today's Desert Sun, discussing an opinion released by 50 respected professors of law from around the state regarding the true impact of Proposition 8.

Money quote:

"These scholars concluded that Proposition 8:
• discriminates against gays and lesbians
• would have no effect on a church’s tax exemption
• would not effect education or parental rights

“We recognize that people of integrity can differ in their views of the meaning of marriage,” a news release said the scholars wrote.

“But people who want to take the right to marry away from same-sex couples should not rely on misleading claims about the current state of the law or about what Proposition 8 would do.”"

The Call Has Gone Out

The right are calling upon their invisible superbeing to save California from the menace my husband and I represent. Though their invisible superbeing can't vote, THEY can. So can you. Overwhelm suspicion. Defeat superstition. Don't let some people's mythologies to interfere with the rational process of governing ourselves as a community. Vote No on 8 -- and remind all your friends and family to do the same.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Eight Mile Laundry

In certain 'hoods, there's a tradition of battling with put-down rhymes in the manner of Eminem's movie, "Eight Mile." In the above, my favorite new commercial, a new white rap god arises.

The Real Ticket

The "Straight Talk Express" finally made it to the lawn signs.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wasilla in Action

This may be the funniest thing you watch all week. Maybe all month. It is a one-man performed reading of the full transcript from a Wasilla City Council meeting from 1996, when Sarah Palin was either on the city council or mayor. (I'm not sure which, as 1996 is the year she was elected mayor.)

I don't know which is funnier/more tragic -- that the meeting was five minutes long, or that virtually all the five minutes was taken up with a discussion of refreshments. Either way, it's hysterical.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Maestro Speaks

Violinist Itzhak Perlman reminding us the Proposition 8 is about nothing more than equal treatment under the law.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


The race just gets crazier and crazier. In addition to all the sign stealing (on both sides), now comes this. Apparently, the Yes on 8 campaign in San Diego sent as many as 30 letters to area businesses that had donated to No on 8, threatening that if they didn't make an equivalent donation to Yes on 8, they would publicize the companies' support of same-sex marriage rights. The Yes on 8 campaign admits sending the letters.

Not sure what they thought they were going to get, but I don't think publicity is what they were after.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's Already Happened

So let's decide HOW it's going to happen.

What has happened is that the concept of same-sex marriage has been heard by young children in the classroom. The proponents of prop 8 are trumpeting the field trip as evidence that marriage equality means children will be taught that "same-sex marriage is the same as traditional marriage." Not to burst anyone's bubble, but on a civil level, it is.

Kids need to know the truth. Kindergartners don't need to be taught a unit on the struggle for gay equality. In fact, sexuality and marriage don't need to enter the curriculum until junior high, at least. But what if one of the kids in a kindergarten class is being raised by two women? Or one kid casually mentions to another that his uncle got married to another guy -- and the classmate reacts strangely or even cruelly?

When the subject is raised -- for whatever reason -- when kids have questions, what should teachers do? Tell the kids to ask their parents? Possibly. But that could reinforce the perception of same-sex marriage as something to be ashamed of. (I know, lots of the Yes on 8 people secretly -- or not -- want homosexuality back in the closet, but since it's not going to be, they're going to have to get over it at some point.)

Or should teachers try to avoid the subject until they talk to parents? Or do you spend a few minutes of one class day talking in terms five-year olds can understand: "Though almost all boys one day find themselves really liking girls, some boys get a little older and find out they are attracted to other boys. Some girls discover they like other girls. That's how it is for Mitchell's two moms. It's sort of like being left-handed. We don't know why some people are, but it's wrong to treat anyone differently because of it." Something like that?

The point is, we shouldn't be arguing with the prop 8 proponents about whether discussions of same-sex marriage will happen in public schools. They will. They've been happening for years. Just like discussions of religion. So we need to talk about what we OUGHT to be teaching our children about the subject of civil rights and the "legal and financial aspects of marriage and parenting." That's why we have local schools -- so people can be involved in their children's education.

The field trip, for instance. (You know the one -- the other teachers arranged for a field trip to a fellow teacher's wedding for her young students. It's been a big dust-up in the blogs.) But where's the problem? Parents must always approve their child's attendance on ANY field trip. So if a same-sex wedding ceremony wasn't something you wanted your child to witness, you simply don't sign the permission form. As far as a wedding being an appropriate school activity for kids of that age, I bet it's happened before. I'm betting some kids were allowed to go see a teacher married in a civil ceremony. At some point, it's happened. Same-sex or traditional, a wedding can be a "teachable moment."

The Yes on 8 folks are cleaning our clocks on this issue. We're letting them control the debate. We need to shift the emphasis. Exactly how, I'm not sure yet. But we can't let the debate be about whether or not same-sex marriage will be discussed at all, but about when and how it ought to be in the curriculum so that parents' need for control over certain subjects can be balanced against children's need to understand the truth of how our society works.

Because the truth is, Proposition 8 has NOTHING to do with what kids are taught in schools. Kids are going to learn about same-sex relationships -- in school and everywhere else -- no matter how the vote goes on November 4.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's Official

I was married on Monday. In a small, private ceremony, my beloved and I stood with a few family members, looked into each other’s eyes and promised to love each other, to look out for each other’s best interests, and to care for and support each other for the rest of our days, no matter what obstacles life puts in our path.

We want this marriage to last a lifetime. But we are afraid if too many Californians listen to lies and fear-mongering and vote “yes” on Proposition 8, our marriage might last only 23 days.

What can I say to convince you to defeat this perhaps well-intentioned but profoundly misguided effort to eliminate the right of couples such as my partner and I to marry? I know that for many people, there is nothing I can say. But I will try anyway.

Do you worry your church will be forced to marry same-sex couples?

It won’t. The Supreme Court decision that began this era of marriage equality said exactly the opposite: “no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs."

Are you concerned about what children may be taught in school about sexuality?

The only thing mandated by the state is that children be taught “the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.” For parenthood, you will have to discuss sex at some point. But the legal and financial aspects of civil marriage? No need at all to discuss sex or sexuality to teach those lessons.

Worried about changing the definition of the word “marriage”?

I’m sorry, but we need to use that word, too. Domestic partnerships are important, but you know as well as we there’s something profound about the relationship to which we give the name “marriage.” It’s special to us, too. If you can allow Britney Spears’ 55-hour Vegas vindaloo to be called a “marriage,” surely you can allow my rather mundane (however extraordinary it is to me) example of mutual affection and caring to be called one as well.

Are you worried about children? How they “deserve to be raised by both a mother and a father?”

What if, hypothetically, I conceded that was the case? How does denying marriage equality do anything to further that goal? Does anyone seriously believe if Proposition 8 passes that gay people are suddenly going to look for opposite sex partners and start having children?

Of course not. How, then, does my marriage (to a delightful, loving man who is as interested in my well-being and happiness as I am in his) somehow translate into harm for more traditional families?

Gay people aren't going away, even if one of our rights might be.

We didn’t stop being gay when we were teased or abused on the playground because of who we are. We didn’t stop being gay when our parents disowned us because of who we are. Or when we were fired from our jobs or evicted from our homes because of it. When we could be arrested and jailed because of it.

Or beaten, tied to a fence and left to die.

If we didn't give up being queer after enduring all we have -- do people imagine we will forsake our identities because too many Californians refuse to recognize that our civil, legal arrangements with each other – our paperwork – deserve to be equal to yours?

The Yes on 8 campaign has almost $10 million more than those fighting for my rights have. The LDS church alone has raised 40% of the other side’s war chest, already has a very large and effective army in place, and is recruiting more volunteers from out-of-state to fight against equality. The campaign is allying themselves with other well-organized churches. They fill the airwaves with lies and appeals to base and groundless fears. To be honest, I tremble at the thought of them.

But I stand my ground. Because I stand on truth. I stand on the Constitution. All are to receive equal treatment under the law.

Unfortunately, many voters disagree with me. Proposition 8 may pass, and our marriage (at least the paperwork) could ultimately be “valid or recognized” for a mere three weeks and two days.

We must – all fair-minded Californians must, no matter how we feel about same-sex marriage – not vote to eliminate anyone else’s fundamental rights. If we miss this opportunity to guarantee equality, we may not have another chance for a generation or more.

Those of us who are closer to the end of our lives than the beginning may not, as Dr. King said, get to the mountaintop ourselves. But we can all take a giant step toward the promised land of equality for all by voting “No” on Proposition 8.

We can also help forward the cause of marriage by making a donation to Equality for All, the organization leading the fight against Proposition 8. There are approximately one million gay people in California -- but only 30,000 people have made donations to the No on 8 effort. (Hard to believe Bob and I are responsible for 1/1000 of those donors!) And lots of those were straight people. If all the gay folks got together and gave even $10 each, we'd be in great shape for these last two weeks of the campaign. Click here to make a donation. $10, $100, $1000 -- whatever you can do. It's important.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Favorite New Blog

I've only read a handful of posts, but so far I'm in love with The Liberal Mormon That Could. It's written by a young LDS wife and mother trying to make sense of the intolerance her church is spreading. It's beautifully done. Give her a read.

Still Some Open LDS Minds

Click here for an interesting point of view from a 28-year old software engineer from Provo, Utah. He discusses the recent broadcast by LDS church leaders on Proposition 8, pointing out the many examples of mendacity and fear-mongering engaged in by high level leaders of the church.

Money quote: "The circular logic surrounding modern-day prophets is mind-numbing. When one looks at racist statements by past leaders like Brigham Young or fallacious teachings of Bruce R. McConkie, people are quick to point out that prophets are imperfect. But then people readily immediately accept every word from present leaders of the church. Apparently, prophets only become fallible once they've passed on, how convenient. If prophets really are fallible (as has been shown, numerous times) then members of the church would be wise to not blindly accept, but really think things through thoroughly. Unfortunately, people are quick to follow the advice of N. Eldon Tanner, "When the prophet speaks, the debate is over." People's ability to accept leaders' fallibility at the same moment as denying their fallibility is stunning."

Oh. My. God.

The above is the latest screed from the Republicans in their attempt to remind voters that Barack Obama is, If his skin color wasn't a dead giveaway, they reinforce the point with a bucket of fried chicken, a slice of watermelon and his face on a fake "food stamp."

And this happened in California, not Louisiana or Alabama. Do we really live in 2008?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Show us the money, Ellen!

Ellen de Generes has finally gotten involved in the battle over Proposition 8. She's made a 30-second spot that is accessible from her show website. Yet, despite the millions she has earned from her tv shows and concert dates, so far no donation to the campaign. Her mother, Betty, however, has given $700. I'm certain I have far less than Betty de Generes, and I've given more than that already and have plans to give more.

So Ellen -- love you, love almost everything about you, thinking about being you for Halloween...but WHERE'S THE MONEY?! We have the ads in place that will counter the lies the other side is spreading, but we need cash to get them on the air. Come on, write a check. If Brad Pitt can drop $100K, you can do a million, can't you? Please, please write the check. Today.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Connecticut Too!

A few moments ago, the Connecticut Supreme Court reached the same decision the California Supreme Court did, ruling that the state's civil union law wasn't equal enough and opening the door for marriage equality in the state.

I'm not sure what to make of this decision in terms of the California battle over Proposition 8. Will it convince undecided voters that marriage equality truly is the future? Or will it harden the hearts of those who fret over the specter of "activist" judges? Maybe a little of both.

Update: This link is a more complete story than the link above.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Well Done!

My team did a good job. It makes a good point -- no matter how you feel about same-sex marriage, do you really want to take away some people's fundamental rights?

It won't do anything for the true fundies, but I think it's the right "one thing" you can tell undecideds in 30 seconds.

Fox: See No Obama Supporters, Hear No Obama Supporters...

Count the hands. But hey, if denial works for them, who am I to argue?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Greatest of These is...

Share it.

Who's In Charge Here?

The mess we're in at the moment -- who caused it? I'm not an economist, or a political scientist, but I CAN tell you this: the GOP have been in charge of this country for the last eight years and they have made a COMPLETE mess of our economy and our standing with the rest of the world. Now, as they try to extend their failed reign, the only tools they seem to have left at their disposal are vicious negative attacks, appeals to fear and ignorance, and a willingness to manipulate, dissemble and point a blaming finger at anyone but themselves, instead of accepting responsibility for their role in our current free fall.

Democrats aren't saints. They've been known to stretch the truth a bit, too. But in this campaign, every analysis I have read shows that the biggest lies and the most unwarranted, unjustified attacks are being put to use by the GOP and religious right. But the Democrats are the best we have at the moment, and we must put them back in power.

Glenn Greenwald seems to hit this pretty well in his column in today's issue of Slate.

Money quote: "That the Right believes in the fundamental stupidity of the American voter while simultaneously pretending to revere and speak for them them is reflected in their belief that they can successfully blame the financial crisis and the country's woes generally on Democrats, who -- while hardly covering themselves with glory -- haven't had any meaningful power in this country for as long as one can remember. Ponder how stupid you must think Americans are to believe that you can blame the financial crisis on the 2004 statements of House Democrats about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when that was a time when the GOP controlled all branches of the Government and nothing could have been more inconsequential than what Barney Frank or Maxine Waters, languishing in the minority in Tom DeLay's tyrannical House, said or did about anything."

The graph above illustrates which party has held power in the executive and the Congress over the past eight years.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Teaching Marriage

An interesting piece on the claims by right-wing supporters of Proposition 8 that, if 8 passes, schools will be required to teach same-sex marriage alongside traditional marriage.

Money quote: "[S]tudents need marriage-ed. They need it because we're being taught to associate marriage not with permanent commitment but with social status, diamond rings, gifts, throwing a big party and, for women, wearing a dress that doesn't necessarily fit through the door. As a result, many teens of all sexual orientations (and many adults too) not only confuse sex with love, they confuse the long-term implications of marriage with the short-term gratification of wedding and honeymoon planning."

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Haiku for Last Night

Dark. No moon looks down.
Instead, here comes the first rain.
No more tomatoes.

Still Alive

Just very busy. Hence, no blog posts.

That's it. Just didn't want my nine readers to worry too much about me!