Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Protecting Civil Rights This Election

This is the email I sent to my friends and family.
To my Californian and non-Californian friends:

Everyone's aware of the Presidential Election this year. Most are also aware of the fight in California over same-sex marriage: California Proposition 8.

Earlier in the year the California State Supreme Court declared that California's Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry. Prop 8 is an effort to amend the state constitution. The Proposition doesn't mince words. It's titled: "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. Initiative Constitution Amendment." The polls show this is a close fight, and in many people's eyes, THIS IS THE SECOND BIGGEST ISSUE OF THIS ELECTION.

It's clear that the outcome of this proposition will frame the debate of civil rights in the United States for the next several years. TO PROTECT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IN CALIFORNIA, WE MUST DEFEAT PROPOSITION 8. Losing is not an option, and this is understood by people on both sides of the issue. It's understood so well, in fact, that the supporters of Prop 8 are out-spending us.

And here's the part where I'm really dissatisfied. The ‘Yes On Prop 8’ campaign is receiving tens of millions of dollars from out-of-state. ‘No on Prop 8’ needs our donations, even those from out-of-state. [Link:]

Does it really come down to money? Does a defining civil rights victory really come down to collecting dollars? Maybe that's the way it is. Donations turn into air time, and air time turns into influence.

This is the defining civil rights cause of our generation. We cannot afford to lose it simply because the radical right has deeper pockets, and so I'm asking you to make a donation. Any amount is appreciated! And to make it more appealing, I will donate five thousand dollars to the campaign. It is my hope that all of you will collectively match, and then exceed, that amount.

I think about some of the past civil rights accomplishments: the right for women to vote, the right for black people to vote, the right for interracial couples to marry. My default perspective is that these things were bound to happen due to the progressive thinking of the day. I truly believe that progressive thinking will eventually win out, and same-sex marriage will become commonplace throughout the entire United States. Then I think about losing this fight: I think about how 'Separate But Equal' really isn't equal. How then, is the notion of civil union just as good as marriage? I don't want to waste another day with that distinction. I want that distinction to end on Tuesday.

If you live in California, please vote NO ON PROP 8. And please donate money to the ‘No On 8 campaign’
If you cannot vote in California, please donate money.
No matter what you do, please remember to vote on November 4th! (Direct Donation Link:

 Note, my $5,000 donation has been made