Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama on Prop. 8

From www.noonprop8.com:

In a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, Sen. Barack Obama said:

“As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law…And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.”

As a strict constitutionalist, I normally oppose constitutional amendments. I opposed efforts to put a traditional marriage constitutional amendment referendum on the ballot in Illinois in 2006 because I thought it was a waste of taxpayers' time and money. Gay marriage was and is not legal here. In California's case, however, the Supreme Court overruled a previous referendum of the people, Prop. 22 from 2000, which passed 61% - 39%. So the people are entitled to take action. The Obama-Biden ticket is ostensibly opposed to gay marriage. Yet Sen. Obama opposes efforts to protect traditional marriage in the California constitution. Prop. 8 says, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California." Which is it? It's not just that the senator (president-elect?) and I disagree on gay marriage (maybe) and gun ownership rights (definitely). It's that he won't take a definitive stance on the issue. If he opposes gay marriage, then he should favor efforts to ban it in California, where it is currently legal. If he believes it's an issue best left to the states, then he should say so. If he thinks gay marriage is a fine idea, then he should say so and stop lying to us.

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