Was Prop 8 Harmless? This Week in Prop 8 for Feb 22

Uploaded by stop8org on 21.02.2011

Will a new law force California to defend Prop Eight? Marriage is coming to Maryland,
but politics may drag it out for nine more months. Plus in New Hampshire, the anti-gay
industry claims that gay marriage prevents straight couples from caring for their kids.
I'm Matt Baume with Stop Eight dot org, and welcome to this Week in Prop Eight for February
Twenty First, Twenty Eleven.
How was your Valentine's Day? Did you get a chance to go down to city hall and remand
for a marriage license? If you missed the nationwide rallies on Monday, don't worry
-- we've produced a recap, gathering footage from around the country, from LA, Houston,
Chicago, New York and a ton of other cities around the country and the world. Check out
our Valentine's Day video to see LGBTQ couples standing together for what's right and promising
to come back year after year, despite facing rejection, arrests, and even a few assaults.
Here in California, Attorney General Kamala Harris, like her predecessor now-Governor
Jerry Brown, has so far refused to defend Prop Eight. But Republican Senator Tom Harman
has introduced a bill that would force her to do so. Senate Bill 5 is currently in the
Judiciary Committee, so if you're looking for an Action Item in California, contact
your state representatives and tell them to oppose Senate Bill 5. You can find their contact
info by going to bit dot ly slash C A reps.
If this bill passes, its impact would be seen most prominently in September. That's when
the California Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments regarding Perry versus Schwarzenegger,
the case for overturning Prop Eight.
Now, the California Supreme Court won't be deciding whether or not Prop Eight is constitutional.
The only thing they're be deciding is whether the Proponents of Prop 8 have a right to defend
it in court. Or in other words, if a private religious organization has the right to step
into the role of California's Attorney General.
We'll have their decision sometime around November, which is a long time to wait. But
in the mean time, there's lots happening in other states.
In Hawaii, Governor Neil Abercrombie will finally sign a civil unions bill into law
on Wednesday. That's more than twenty years after gay couples first filed suit against
the state's unfair marriage ban, and fifteen years after the Mormon church first petitioned
the court to stop them.
Next step in Hawaii: marriage. That's happening now in Washington state, where Representative
Jim Moeller introduced a bill on Valentine's Day to legalize marriage equality.
But Indiana's headed in the other direction, with the House voting this week to pass a
bill that would ban not just marriage, but civil unions as well. In response, Bil Browning
at the Bilerico Project has asked tipsters to help him unmask hypocritical lawmakers
-- that's leaders who vote to deny people their rights, despite hiding unsavory skeletons
in their closet.
So if you've photographed Republican Representative Eric Turner having sex in a park men's room,
or sold you high school wrestling singlet to Representative Ralph Foley, or got high
on bath salts with Representative David Cheatham -- hypothetically -- contact Bil Browning
at editor at bilerico dot com.
Things are going to get complicated in Maryland, where Democratic Senator James Rosapepe announced
that he supports the marriage equality bill currently in the Senate. That puts us over
the line for passing the bill, and it's likely to have even smoother sailing once it reaches
the House.
From there, Governor Martin O'Malley has pledged to sign the bill. Then anti-gay groups would
have until June to collect signatures to halt marriages until Maryland can vote. And that
brings us, again, to November.
If we go that route, it'll be close. A survey last month showed that Maryland supports marriage
equality, but by a margin of just fifty-one to forty-four percent.
In response to that survey, the National Organization for Marriage put out their own survey showing
those numbers flipped. That survey was conducted by Gary Lawrence. He was on the payroll of
the Prop Eight campaign and a Mormon grassroots director. He got over half a million dollars
from the campaign in two thousand eight.
He also wrote the thoroughly debunked memo "Six Consequences if Proposition Eight Fails."
So what does this mean? Get ready now for dirty tricks in Maryland.
Things are more stable in New Hampshire, where Representatives heard testimony this week
on bills that would end marriage equality. Those bills probably won't go anywhere. But
that didn't stop the National Organization for Marriage from sending Maggie Gallagher
to testify. Gallagher said that if gay couples are allowed to marry, then straight couples'
children will be, quote, produced in circumstances in which their mother and father are not pre-committed
to caring for them.
What? Not even one word of that makes sense.
If I get married, straight couples stop loving their kids? That is a compelling argument.
Another leader in the anti-gay industry, Kevin Smith, suggested that banning gay marriage
has no consequences. He said, quote, The sky didn’t fall in 2008 when the voters repealed
same-sex marriage. The sky didn’t fall in Maine either the next year in 2009.
Sorry, but that's just wrong. This is a report put out by Marriage Equality U S A, documenting
specific cases of Prop Eight's harm.
Anti-gay harassment. A surge in hate crimes. One boy asked his parents if they were still
a family.
When you prevent gay couples from getting married, you get partners turned away from
hospitals, deported, denied adoption, refused medical insurance, losing their homes when
one of them dies. The basic dignity of being allowed to live the lives of our choosing.
So Kevin Smith, I dare you to turn to the families whose children committed suicide
because of the rejection they faced, and tell them the sky didn't fall.