What is Marriage? Rift in Gay Marriage Effort Widens

See this from ProtectMarriage.com
Dear Friends,

I have previously shared reports of a rift within the same-sex marriage movement about whether to press ahead to attempt to invalidate Prop 8 by initiative in 2010, or to push off the effort to 2012 or later. This week, the chasm between the two camps reached a noteworthy summit: one of California’s largest LGBT grassroots groups (they claim 700,000 supporters), the Courage Campaign, announced the withdrawal of its support for a 2010 fight.

After the Courage Campaign spent a reported $200,000 on voter research, its founder, Rick Jacobs, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “We do not see a path to victory.”

This is significant news because last May the Courage Campaign was one of the first same-sex marriage advocacy groups to sponsor the 2010 initiative effort. It seems that the decisive victories for traditional marriage in California and Maine, the election of pro-marriage governors in New Jersey and Virginia and a pro-marriage Democrat Congressional candidate in New York have homosexual marriage advocates heading back to the drawing board.
In a press release issued this week, Courage Campaign’s Jacobs said:

“We are taking the lessons learned from last year’s Prop. 8 campaign, the campaigns in Maine and other states to understand the fundamental work that must be done before moving forward in California. We also must come together as a community to create a broad coalition and governance structure, put in place a strong manager and secure the resources to win. Right now, the pieces are not all in place to do so confidently.”

That leaves a coalition of small gay rights groups, with Love Honor Cherish as its leading proponent, behind the effort to repeal Prop 8 in 2010. California’s largest LGBT organization, Equality California, will continue to focus efforts on the re-launch of Let California Ring, its multi-year, multimillion dollar educational campaign which also aims to abolish Prop 8, but not until 2012.

While our opponent’s path to an electoral victory has been significantly – if not fatally – damaged by this week’s news, we continue our strategic work on the legal front. The federal lawsuit challenging the validity of Prop 8 is scheduled to go to trial in early January. And yesterday in Pasadena, a 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal heard our objections to recent orders to disclose internal campaign documents to opposing counsel.

We are literally working day and night to protect traditional marriage, and we appreciate your support to help us continue this critical fight.

Thank you for standing with us to protect the institution of marriage for this and future generations.


Ron Prentice
Executive Director

You can donate to the Prop 8 defense fund at:

Prop 8 Team to Help Maine with People’s Veto

maine people's veto

Working for State Marriage Amendment

From Marriage News:

“After becoming the fifth state to legalize gay marriage on May 6, the State of Maine has seen its citizens rally to stop the law from going into effect. It appears that the new statewide strategy to oppose the redefined marriage law will follow California’s Proposition 8, which successfully amended California’s constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.


The people of Maine have taken many cues from California’s 2008 strategy for protecting traditional marriage, even hiring Schubert Flint Public Affairs, the powerhouse public relations firm that managed the Proposition 8 campaign and helped win 52 percent of the vote in last November’s California election. The PR firm says it will play a consulting role to Maine’s citizens who seek to preserve historic marriage and family. Polling data suggest that the majority of citizens in Maine oppose same-sex marriage.”

Read more here


New York is the new California: Fast and Pray


God Can Do Mighty Things If We Ask

A while back, a friend from New York (who wants to remain anonymous) asked for help organizing an event. She is Christian, and wanted an event that would join Christians all across New York in prayer to change hearts. I think her approach is important.

At some point, hearts need to be changed so that truth is more easily seen.

There were many prayer events in California during the prop 8 campaign, and we saw real-life miracles. Lots of miracles, actually, leading up to the passage of prop 8 and then the CA supreme court decision.

A neutered marriage bill has already passed the NY assembly, and only five members in the senate block its passage there. [read bb’s post here] Prayer can help strengthen those who have already said they will not neuter marriage, and may change the hearts of others.

So! My friend finished the facebook event. She is asking Christians (though I would say anyone who believes in a higher and creative power) to pray and fast for marriage.

New York can use all the prayers possible, so please participate (and invite your facebook friends). The outcome in New York will likely effect many other decisions state and federal. Including the DOMA. 

Join Here: Fast and Pray New York


<>pomegranate apple

photo: creative commons licensed, feel free to re-post, but do not modify.

Proposition 8 Hearings LIVE

Prop 8 Hearings—Watch the future of your vote live!

Watch the proposition 8 hearing live here! http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=455

CalChannel is having difficulty, try the new link.

For live reactions, follow protectmarriage beetlebabee and nomtweets on twitter.




Also check hashtags #prop8 #prop8arg

Opposition arguments went weakly.  The justices asked questions dominated by Justice Kennard who seems to be leaning toward preserving the right of the people to decide how they will be ruled.  The opposition took two hours, the hearing will be extended until 1pm.

Ken Starr up now!  “If the court disregards the power of the people to choose their laws, it would be a revolution!”  Our argument comes down to power of people, if people are fully informed in their vote, vote should be upheld, even if the government thinks it’s unwise.

On the validity of the 18000 marriages performed in the 4 months:

Judges: We said they could get married, they believed us and acted in good faith, wouldn’t it be unfair to then yank that away?

Starr: Prop 8 was a check on the power of the judiciary.  The prop 8 draftsmen intended the law to continue the definition of marriage unbroken from the beginning.  Everyone knew that the 18000 marriages could be invalid, including the people entering into the marriages.

Opening Statements are now concluded, Starr hit home runs!  Earned respect of the court.

Rebuttals Begin… I just can’t say enough how the opposition shot themselves in the foot with their choice of lawyers.  It’s an emotional argument they have, but they were tripping all over themselves.  Jerry Brown’s arguments were particularly poor.

For a recap of Ken Starr’s points see this post at Opine: http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2009/03/here-is-link-to-kenneth-starrs-brief-to.html

My Take:

Our side did a great job!  Jerry Brown should never show his face in public again, his counsel was the biggest logic fail I’ve ever experienced in a courtroom.  The opposition’s position was best characterized and delivered by Stewart, who although articulate seemed very emotionally involved in the subject, her anger during the hearing was only thinly veiled.  I don’t think that came across well.

Now, the wait.  It could take weeks for the judges to review the arguments and come to a decision.  My gut says we won hands down.  Justice Kennard voted to overturn prop 22 but she seems to have flipped.  Very good.

—Beetle Blogger

See my full write-up here

Prop 8 Oral Arguments: Reactions

Prop 8 Oral Arguments Tomorrow


Prop 8 Oral Arguments

The California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Proposition 8 tomorrow morning, Thursday, March 5.

The justices will hear arguments on three law suits regarding marriage.

Shannon Minter, Legal Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco, will first argue against Prop 8. Minter is a transsexual who changed to self-identifying as a man over a decade ago. Ken Starr, former U.S. Solicitor General, will then argue in favor of Prop 8.

“We will not mince words,” Starr wrote in his court papers. “The attorney general is inviting this court to declare a constitutional revolution.”

You can watch the oral arguments online, for free, at http://www.calchannel.com/.

Arguments begin at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.

Sto Pro Verum: Making a Stand in Style

March 5th Hearing in San Francisco

Gay Marriage

The Assembly opposes Proposition 8 because it is an improper revision, not an amendment, of the California Constitution.” California House Resolution 8

See how the Oral Arguments went:

Prop 8 Oral Arguments: Reactions

Dear California Supporters of the Family,

State Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Constitutionality of Prop 8!!!

On March 5th, 2009 the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of Prop 8. The court will be hearing oral arguments in response to three cases challenging Prop 8.

Additionally, the passage of HR5 by the State Assembly, which states that, “The Assembly opposes Proposition 8 because it is an improper revision, not an amendment, of the California Constitution” is designed to undermine the will of the voters.   In addition to stating the Assembly’s opposition to the amendment, which was passed by the majority of voters, the resolution publicly encourages the Court to strike down Prop 8!  Don’t let the court erase your vote! Let you voice be heard by joining us in our support of the constitutionality of Prop 8 and protecting the family.

What You Can Do

Attend the Court hearing. It takes place on Thursday, March 5th, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Supreme Court Courtroom, Earl Warren Center, Fourth Floor, 350 McAllister Street, San Francisco. By attending you will send a visible signal to the committee members in support of the family.  Due to extremely limited seating oral arguments also will be broadcast in an overflow viewing auditorium in the Milton Marks Conference Center, Hiram J. Smith State Office Building, Lower Level, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco.

Contact those committee members who voted in opposition to the will of the voters: Voted in opposition of Prop 8:
Dave Jones
Paul Krekorian Assemblymember.Krekorian@assembly.ca.gov
Ted W. Lieu Assemblymember.Lieu@assembly.ca.gov
William Monning Assemblymember.Monning@assembly.ca.gov
Mike Feuer (Chair) Assemblymember.Feuer@assembly.ca.go
Julia Brownley Assemblymember.Brownley@assembly.ca.gov
Noreen Evans Assemblymember.Evans@assembly.ca.gov

Contact your legislators asking them to vote no on HR 5 and SR 7!
Click her to find your assembly member
Click here to find your State senator

Click here for helpful talking points to use in your correspondence.

Please forward this to your friends and family members. We believe that through a grassroots movement, we can secure a safe future for families in our state.

—United Families California

Mormons Caught in $188,000 Lie?


Critics’ Jubilant Cries of “Scandal!” Backfire as Facts Come Out

Still grousing over their campaign losses, prop 8 critics gushed with glee as they rushed to color facts and pass sweeping judgments over campaign contribution filings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, posted this week:

Mormons Caught in $188,000 Lie!

“It took six weeks for the California’s Fair Political Practices Commission to uncover that the Mormon Church spent nearly $188,000 more on the Yes on Prop 8 campaign than it initially stated.

The church faces $5,000 fines for each omission. This discovery may help prove to church leaders that a separation between church and state serves both entities.”   (from JustOut blog)

Picked up, reshuffled and repeated, here it is again:  Mormon Church Admits It Spent 100 Times More Than Reported! –365 Gay.com

It’s really too bad because if a church that large had truly lied, it would have really made a good story.  Unfortunately, it’s no more exciting than all this paperwork piling on my desk for annual tax return filings.

Today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints clarified erroneous news reports following the filing of its final report on donations to the ProtectMarriage.com coalition.

On Friday, 30 January, the Church filed the final report of its contributions (all of which were non-monetary) to the ProtectMarriage.com coalition. The report, submitted in advance of the 31 January deadline, details in-kind donations totaling $189,903.58.

The value of the Church’s in-kind (non-monetary) contribution is less than one half of one percent of the total funds (approximately $40 million) raised for the “Yes on 8” campaign. The Church did not make any cash contribution.

Because media coverage about this filing ran without a comment from the Church, the following statements of fact from the Church add context to this story and should help correct the record:

Fox13 (Utah): “The documents show the amount spent by the Mormon Church is greater than what was initially stated.”

Fact: The Church, like other organizations on both sides of the ballot issue, was required to publicly file these donations by the 31 January deadline. The Church has been filing required contribution reports throughout the campaign. Those earlier donations “initially stated” were filed for specific time periods prior to this last reporting period, as required by law. Other groups are also filing their final contribution reports to meet the same deadline.

San Francisco Chronicle : “Mormon church officials, facing an ongoing investigation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Friday reported nearly $190,000 in previously unlisted assistance to the successful campaign for Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.”

Sacramento Bee : “The disclosure comes amid an investigation by the state’s campaign watchdog agency into whether the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints violated state laws by not fully disclosing its involvement during the campaign.”

Fact: This filing is in no way prompted by an investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Many organizations are filing this week to meet the deadline required by law. We believe we have complied with California law.

KFMB 760 AM (San Diego) :

“Mormon Church Misstated How Much It Spent in Prop 8 Fight.”
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints previously claimed only about $2,000 was spent in support of the measure.”

365Ga y : “Mormon Church admits it spent 100 times more for Prop 8 than reported”

Fact: Again, the previous disclosure of an in-kind donation was to meet an earlier deadline. In fact, previous filings detailed over $50,000 out of the total non-monetary contribution of $189,903.58.This week’s filing reported donations that fell within a different time period and required reporting by the 31 January deadline. Other groups also made their final contributions reports this week.

Source: LDS Newsroom

Fortunately facts in the case help promote true understanding….if true understanding is what you are interested in.

No amount of mud throwing smear tactics will change what happened in California.  The voters were given an opportunity to vote their conscience, and they exercised it.  The fact that so many gay news outlets picked up the same facts and spun them the same way points to the widespread inner angst still circulating about prop 8’s passage.

The finger pointing is still going strong, but I have a hint for the plethora of  the perplexed.  It’s not some church pocket book that won California, you just can’t buy the kind of grass roots involvement we had for prop 8….it was the people.

California’s Secret Weapon–Plain Good People

The one thing pro-family groups have that can’t be beat are their armies of smiling, happy people who are honestly living their lives, and it shows.  In contrast with what we’ve seen the last few months parading through our streets, that’s where our brilliance is. It’s in our eyes and faces, more than our pocket books.

—Beetle Blogger

it's in their eyes.


Why Gays Target Mormons

by cliff1066

by cliff1066

NRO Explains Why Gays Target Mormons

National Review Online editors explain that it’s really quite simple:

“Mormons are an easy, vulnerable target.”

To date, 30 states have voted on initiatives addressing same-sex marriage, and in every state traditional marriage has come out on top. But somehow the fact that Mormons got involved during the latest statewide referendum constitutes a bridge too far?

In truth, Mormons are a target of convenience in the opening salvo of what is sure to be a full-scale assault on much of America’s religious infrastructure, which gay activists perceive as a barrier to their aspirations. Among religious groups, Mormons are not the biggest obstacle to same-sex marriage — not by a long shot. But they are an easy target.

Anti-Mormon bigotry is unfortunately common, and gay-rights activists are cynically exploiting that fact.

As NRO says, today the Mormons, tomorrow everyone else because Prop. 8 opponents understand their “enemy” to be America’s entire religious infrastructure.

Related Articles:

We Are All Mormons –by Rabbi Nachum Shifren

Arsonist Hate Spreads to Colorado

LDS Temple Anthrax Scare

Boycott Utah for California’s Choice

On Prop 8–Who Owns the Hate?

Gay Pride and Religious Prejudice–Prop 8 Rage

Unions Shortchange Teachers


Unions shortchange teachers

Dues are simply taxation without representation for many.
By Larry Sand
Just a few weeks into the new school year, and in the midst of an important political season at the state and national level, it is an appropriate time to reflect on the relationship that the teachers unions have with their members. Much has been written about these unions, and the case has been frequently and justly made that they are anti-student because of their adamant positions on school choice, charter schools and teacher tenure. And although these unions of course claim to champion teachers, this support is conditional and often comes at the expense of teachers.
In 28 states, a teacher is essentially forced to join a costly union. A typical teacher in Southern California, where I teach, pays $922 every year to his or her local, which then sends $611 of that amount to the state affiliate, the California Teachers Assn., or CTA, and $140 to the national affiliate, the National Education Assn., or NEA. (One has to wonder, if the unions are so beneficial, why do teachers need to be forced to join and to fork over such hefty dues in most states?)

And just what are all of these forced dues spent on? Untold millions go to political causes, whether a teacher agrees with the cause or not. According to Reg Weaver, the recently retired NEA president, his union’s rank-and-file teachers are about one-third Democrat, one-third Republican and one-third independent. Yet more than 90% of NEA political spending goes to Democratic causes, according to OpenSecrets.org. Thus, if you are a Republican and have conservative values, your dues are being used to support causes and candidates you oppose.

In August, just before relinquishing his position, Weaver spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Although it was not surprising that he expressed support for Barack Obama, he made an egregious statement at the end of his speech. After extolling the virtues of his candidate, Weaver said, “That, my friends, is why the 3.2 million members of the National Education Assn. are organized, energized and mobilized to help elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States of America.”

What? All 3.2 million? This coming from the man who has said that the NEA is only one-third Democrat. Who then speaks for the 1-million-plus Republican teachers and for the 1 million or more who are independents and may not have decided whom to vote for?

Another example is Proposition 8, a controversial measure on the November ballot in California that would seek to preserve the traditional definition of marriage. The CTA, which represents more than 300,000 teachers, just this week contributed $1 million — on top of a previous $250,000 donation — to help defeat Proposition 8.

As usual, the CTA did not seek input from its rank-and-file members on this issue. Although certainly some teachers are in favor of same-sex marriage, others are not. And just what, exactly, does Proposition 8 have to do with education? Why is the CTA pushing a “values” agenda that many parents, and many of its own members, may find offensive?

Aside from political choice, there are other areas in which teachers don’t fare well under the auspices of their unions. Carol Katter, a veteran teacher and lifelong Catholic, objected to the fact that her union supports abortion on demand. When she sought a religious exemption from paying her dues, a union official suggested that she change her religion! In her state, Ohio, the law allowed only Seventh-day Adventists and Mennonites to claim such an exemption. Only after much legal wrangling was Katter able to do so.

One of the great bêtes noires of teachers unions is merit pay. They insist that all teachers at a similar point in their careers make the same amount of money, regardless of workload, classroom size, job performance or other measure. Good teachers earning more than bad teachers? Not on their agenda.

Clearly, this old-style industrial model of paying people based on seniority can kill incentive. Good teachers are less likely to have the incentive to excel when peers who have lower aspirations, are less talented or less effective make the same amount of money.

All of us who object to what amounts to taxation without representation must speak up. Teachers who are happy with their union should have the right to continue that affiliation. However, the rest of us — especially those who live in states where we are forced to join a union — would be well served to take a hard look at the organization that claims to represent our best interests and start demanding change.

Larry Sand, a classroom teacher in Los Angeles for more than 27 years, is the president of the California Teachers Empowerment Network.   www.ctenhome.org

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