When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change. - Thich Nhat Hahn
...You never blame the lettuce
Here's my advice to righteously furious gay-marriage supporters: Stop the focus on the Mormon Church. Stop it now. We just lost a ballot fight in which we were falsely but effectively portrayed as attacking religion. So now some of us attack a religion? People were warned that churches would lose their tax-exempt status, which was untrue. So now we have (frivolous) calls for the Mormon Church to lose its tax-exempt status? It's rather selective indignation, anyway, since lots of demographic groups gave us Prop 8 in different ways — some with money and others with votes. I understand the frustration, but this particular expression of it is wrong and counter-productive.
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.
“I worked for both the No on 8 campaign and the Obama campaign this year and cannot tell you how far apart those two were in style and substance. One was top down, the other bottom up. Ironically, it was the presidential campaign that was the grassroots model, not the state-level proposition campaign. As soon as I started working for the No on 8 campaign I was amazed at the level of scripting: ‘don't say 'civil rights,' don't say 'constitution,' don't say 'gay.'‘ I couldn't believe it.
… One of the most brilliant things about the Obama campaign was that they didn't expect callers and canvassers to be policy wonks. They just said ‘tell your story, let people know why you're voting for him. Connect with people.’ I can't help but feel at this point that if the gloves were taken off we could've helped people get a grip on the real issues at stake here, which I happen to think is a matter of soiling the state constitution.
What was even more confounding was the No on 8 campaign's decision to stay away form polling places at churches and schools. First of all, most polling places are at churches and schools, and second, that mentality buys right into the Yes on 8 brainwashing campaign that same sex marriage is going to corrupt our morals and our children. This idiocy was obvious to everyone that I worked with on the campaign. What was going on with the leadership upstairs?!!!”
“Amid the soaring oratory about the presidential election, it was Barack Obama who put it best late Tuesday night. ‘That’s the genius of America, that America can change,’ he said. ‘Our union can be perfected.’
But as Mr. Obama’s victory showed, the path to change is arduous. Even as the nation shattered one barrier of intolerance, we were disappointed that voters in four states chose to reinforce another. Ballot measures were approved in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida and California that discriminate against couples of the same sex.
We do not view these results as reason for despair. Struggles over civil rights never follow a straight trajectory, and the ugly outcome of these ballot fights should not obscure the building momentum for full equality for gay people, including acceptance of marriage between gay men and women. But the votes remind us of how much remains to be done before this bigotry is finally erased.” [continued…]
Fiction: Prop 8 doesn’t discriminate against gay people.
Fact: Prop 8 is simple: it eliminates the rights for same-sex couples to marry. Prop 8 would deny equal protections and write discrimination against one group of people—lesbian and gay people—into our state constitution.
Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.
Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education. And no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it. California’s top educators including Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Connell and California Teachers all agree: Prop 8 has nothing to do with education.
Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.
Fact: The court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”
Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.
Fact: California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don’t agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won’t affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.
Fiction: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…
Fact: Prop 8 is about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn’t grant the right, the constitution guarantees the right. Proponents of Prop 8 use an outdated and stale argument that judges aren’t supposed to protect rights and freedoms. Prop 8 is about whether Californians are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.
Fiction: If Prop 8 isn’t passed, people can be sued over personal beliefs.
Fact: California’s laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This has nothing to do with marriage.
Fiction: Pepperdine University supports the Yes on 8 campaign.
Fact: The University has publicly disassociated itself from Professor Richard Peterson of Pepperdine University, who is featured in the ad, and has asked to not be identified in the Yes on 8 advertisements.
Fiction: Unless Prop 8 passes, California parents won’t have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.
Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.
"Marriage is a civil contract. You might as well make a law to say how many children a man shall have, as to make a law to say how many wives he shall have."
-- Mormon Prophet Brigham Young | Journal of Discourses, 11:268-9
Section 501(c)(3) describes corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literacy, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in section (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
Substantial Lobbying Activity
In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). An IRC section 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.
"Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
Creating a 'family partnership' under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.
Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse -- that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse’s behalf.
Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
Receiving public assistance benefits.
Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse’s close relatives dies.
Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.
Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
Making burial or other final arrangements.
Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
Applying for joint foster care rights.
Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.
Living in neighborhoods zoned for 'families only.'
Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.
Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can’t force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family."*
"I think that the people of California just again have spoken on this issue and they went against it. Just like in the year 2000 when they voted against it with Proposition 22. They had a very, very strong campaign the pro- Prop 8 people, and I think that the people that tried to defeat it did not have maybe as good a campaign or as much money behind it. Whatever. I think it is unfortunate obviously but it's not the end because I think this will go back into the courts, this will go back to the Supreme Court because the Supreme Court very clearly in California has declared this unconstitutional. It's the same as in the 1948 case when blacks and whites were not allowed to marry. So I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."
"Whenever opponents of Proposition 8, the ballot measure that eliminates the right of gays and lesbians to legally marry in California, protest outside a Mormon temple, they effectively stop church members from getting married, according Levi Jackman Foster, an ex-Mormon who lives in West Hollywood. Foster, a 22-year-old, openly gay man, should know. As the great-great-grandson of Nathaniel Tanner, one of the founders of the Mormon Church, Foster has an intimate knowledge of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The ex-Mormon is also related to Levi Jackman, who surveyed the land where the church created its national headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. 'A temple is the only place (Mormons) can get married,' Foster says, 'if they want to get sealed to God.' A Mormon temple, in other words, plays a vital role in a religion that strongly promotes marriage among its members. 'Whenever protesters show up,' Foster explains further, 'they close the gates (at the temple) so no one can get in. It becomes a convent where no one can get married.'"
...leaders of the rights group here, Equality Utah, said statements made by Mormon leaders in defense of their actions in California — that the church was not antigay and had no problem with legal protections for gay men and lesbians already on the books in California — were going to be taken as an endorsement to expand legal rights that gay and lesbian couples have never remotely had in Utah, where the church is based.
“We are taking the L.D.S. Church at its word,” said Stephanie Pappas, Equality Utah’s chairwoman.
"At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won't be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black."
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