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Less Than Honest

The spokespeople and commercials are very careful not to offend.

The one commercial I have seen shows an "every day guy" with an obvious wife and child in the background. His message is along these lines:

I don't care that Pete Knight's son is gay. I do care that he's using the California voters in a family argument with his sponsorship of Proposition 22. We don't need Proposition 22. Sure, most people are against gay marriage. But gay marriage is already banned. All Proposition 22 will do is give people a change to discriminate against gays and lesbians. And that is wrong. Also, I don't believe that the government has any business looking into the private lives of people. Those are the values that I'm teaching my son, and why I'm voting against Proposition 22.

I heard the same type of statements made on the Michael Jackson radio show a week or two ago, that "gay marriage" is already not allowed so Proposition 22 is unnecessary; that Pete Knight is merely airing his family laundry in front of the California electorate; That to vote no against this proposition doesn't mean that gay marriage will be allowed.

The California Field poll continues to show that Proposition 22 is winning handily. Although it has a 51% "yes" vote, only 36% is planning on voting "no" and the balance is "undecided." Amongst those who are decided it was reported that they were familiar with the Proposition and were unlikely to change their intended vote.

I know that this wasn't even a "push poll" because amazingly enough my mother was polled for the Field Poll for the week of February 7th.

The polling went something like this:

Pollster: Are you familiar with Proposition 22?

Mom: Yes.

Pollster: How are you voting?

Mom: I'm voting "No"

Pollster: What, if any, connection do you have with the gay and lesbian community?

Mom answered that question as well.

As I'm typing this I just saw a second "No on 22" commercial. This one showed a playground with kids, with a voiceover and bullet points onscreen that a vote for 22 would lead to additional discrimination; an increase in violence against gays and lesbians, including gay and lesbian youth; that gay marriage is not allowed and would not be allowed by a no vote on the proposition. "Gay marriage stays banned."

Unless something dramatic happens in the next few weeks Proposition 22 is going to win.

So, why are we playing games? Why are we pretending that our ultimate goal isn't to have the state recognize what already exists, thousands, tens of thousands, of happy and healthy gay and lesbian marriages, performed across the state by religious clergy or in the form of non-religious commitment vows.

Why do we have to validate the notion that there is something inherently wrong with same-gender marriage?

Why do we have to downplay our fundamental rights in order to fight a mean-spirited proposition?

What happened to the trench battles, like the one in the 70s where Californians rejected the "Briggs Amendment" - a proposition (numbered "6") which would have forbidden teachers to "promote or otherwise teach" homosexuality.

The public is more accepting, knowledgeable and (I hate the word) tolerant of gays and lesbians than they were those twenty-plus years ago.

Why on earth are we treating them as if they've regressed?

Why on earth have we regressed to, "If it doesn't upset you too much I'd like you not to restrict my rights any further. Don't worry. I won't do anything to upset you."

Well you know what? - I am upset, and I would be willing to bet that I am not the only one.

Do let me know what you think!

In pride,


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Drop a note to Deborah at gaylesissues@rslevinson.com

copyright 1986-2010 Deborah Levinson