We are deeply disappointed with the passage of Proposition 8 and what it says about Californians’ apparent inability to sort through fearmongering and prejudice to get at civil equality. The success of the “Yes on 8” forces in diverting attention away from the basic humanity of allowing equal access to civil marriage and toward ominous and unreal scenarios of doom is outright discouraging.
Civil rights for minority groups ought never to be put to a popular vote. Example: Voters in Florida were just asked whether or not to repeal an illegal and unenforceable clause in their state Constitution that allowed a ban on land ownership by immigrants from Asia. Rather than an overwhelming rejection of the discriminatory—and patently illegal—clause, 52 percent of the voters elected to retain it! “Majority rule” can never be counted on as an appropriate means to determine how minorities ought to be treated.
We know it won’t make the citizens who are being denied their rights feel much better, but advances in civil liberties have always come from court decisions and from legislation often unpopular at the time of its passage. We at SN&R stand firmly on the side of full equality under the law for gay community members, no matter what the majority might think.
History shows this side will prevail.