Californians joined Arizonians and Floridians last week in approving a constitutional amendment affirming that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized." However, the vote in its favor in this state was only 52.3 to 47.7 percent, or a margin of slightly more than a half million votes out of nearly 10.8 million votes cast. That means that a shift of only about 250,000 would have been enough to produce a different outcome. This explains, although of course it does not justify, the rush to the streets by supporters of same-sex marriage. The thousands of men and women who have been married since the outrageous 4-3 ruling by the California Supreme Court that "equal protection of the laws" requires same-sex marriage, have been frustrated in their desires and left in a kind of legal limbo.
This is not the fault of those who oppose the corruption of marriage but of those in the executive and legislative branches, as well as the judicial branch, who have led their fellow citizens down a treacherous path. It came close to working.
Proposition 22, the statute that affirmed marriage in 2000, won a whopping approval of 61 to 39 percent. Yet public opinion appears to moving away from common sense, which doubtless was the whole reason for passing domestic partners laws, that is, to prepare the public mind to approve what it had so recently disapproved.
But politics is full of surprises. According to exit polls, while a majority of white voters opposed Prop. 8, majorities of as much as 70 percent were obtained among voters of African and Hispanic descent. The most obvious explanation is the influence of the church, Evangelical and Roman Catholic respectively, in those communities.
Similarly, a statewide network of religions, including not only Evangelical and Roman Catholic, but Greek and Jewish Orthodox, and the Mormons, worked strenuously for Prop. 8's passage. However, the Mormons were singled out last week for the hatred of the mob.
From Utah, the headquarters of the Latter-day Saints, millions of dollars were spent promoting Prop. 8, and thousands of Mormons in California walked precincts, sent mailers and made telephone calls. Theological differences were put aside as many more thousands of people of different faiths united in an effort to save marriage.
It is not hard to understand why California’s measure attracted out-of-state attention. For if same-sex marriage takes hold here, it will be very difficult to keep it from spreading to other states, notwithstanding that 30 states now have constitutional provisions supporting marriage. We are, after all, the most populous and most influential state in the Union.
Those whose politics are left of center talk and act as if they have a monopoly on the virtue of tolerance. But leftists exhibit precious little tolerance for those who disagree with them. For years, the most respectable form of bigotry among them was anti-Catholicism. But one must add to that anti-mormonism.
Thus, it was no surprise that an anti-Prop. 8 mob chose to demonstrate its outrage in front of an LDS temple in Los Angeles. After all, in the closing week of the campaign, television viewers were treated to a particularly vicious ad in which two Mormon emissaries were shown knocking at the door of what turned out to be a married lesbian couple, demanding to see their marriage license and then ripping it up.
Characteristic of those with a paranoid mind is the belief that people who disagree with them are actually out to harm them, verbally or physically. Once they’ve convinced themselves of this, the next step is to strike out against them pre-emptively in order to avoid harm. In plain words, you demonize your critics in order to justify brutalizing them.
Lest this sound over the top, I have heard such persons call into radio talk shows and accuse those who oppose same-sex marriage of advocating violence, for to them to oppose someone is to hate them and ultimately to attack them directly. Yet, millions of Americans have been worshiping God in different ways in this country for more than 200 years without causing them to attack one another.
By my count, three lawsuits have already been filed in the courts to challenge the passage of Prop. 8, the most prominent one asserting that it was "improperly decided," whatever that means. But between mobs in the streets and bogus lawsuits, we’re in for a rough ride. It’s not time for Californians to put away those "Yes on 8" signs yet.