Prop. 8 would ban marriage for Alamedans who are gay

In addition to local races—City Council, Measure P, School Board—Alamedans, along with the rest of California, will be voting on Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative. It’s a serious civil rights issue (I don’t see how we can, in good conscience, deny people who are gay all the rights that come with marriage). I’ve posted below a clip from a very funny woman, Ellen DeGeneres. She’s not talking specifically about Prop. 8, but she says, among other things, “Maybe it’s because I’m gay that I feel that I think we should all be equal but I feel that we’re all equal.” And, “People are going to be who they are going to be and we need to love them for who they are and let them love who they want to love.”


  • Catie Hembrow


    My family and I thank you for your support. The “yes on 8″ crowd has thrown up so many spurious arguments for 8, and just ignore that we all loose when one group is marginalized.

    My all time favorite anti gay marriage argument is the “you should have the same rights….just call it something else” On the surface it almost sounds supportive, but we have been down the separate but equal path before. Another one is that my wife and I dilute the value of other’s marriage, huh? is it a finite pie that we share?

    I was amazed and heartened by the Ca Supreme Court ruling in the spring, because it showed great sensitivity and insight into the issue. It recognizes that the real people that benefit by letting my wife and I have a legal marriage is our now 11 month old son. By not recognizing our commitment to raise him together, it marginalizes him and his self worth, not to mention what our stable family unit contributes to our extended families and community.

    In my opinion a yes vote on 8 degrades us all, regardless of who we choose to share our lives with and call our family. Thanks again for your support, and please remember to vote on election day!

  • Bruce Williams

    In my opinion, changing the rules about marriage is not so much a human rights issue but a re-writing of civilization as we know it. Granted, some changes are good, healthy and necessary for the success of a civilization, and we have to ask ourselves, is permitting same sex marriage necessary? Or is it simply about permitting same-sex partners the same economic rights as married couples?

    As humans, we desire love in our lives. Personally, I have worked and lived in San Francisco since 1970 and worked with and hired many gay people who I’ve grown to respect. I have two gay couples who are close friends of mine, one couple being together and loving each other more than 30 years, and one couple together more than 35 years. These types of people I admire and sometimes envy the closeness of their relationships.

    But we disagree on the idea of gay marriage. If we allow this radical change to family values and gay marriage becomes commonplace, it’s just one step away from other changes to the marriage process. Wouldn’t it make sense to carry it one step further and allow people to marry their pets?

    People love their pets, provide medical insurance for them and include them in their wills. They sometimes care for them better than they do their human partners. Like it or not, some people even have sex with their pets. So if we’re making radical changes, why wouldn’t we put inter-species marriage on the ballot in another 10 years?

    I don’t think a yes vote on 8 would degrade us at all. It would show the rest of the world that not all of California has lost its marbles!

  • Catie Hembrow

    Bruce, you and I are going to have to agree that we are coming from different paradigms, and just leave it there.

    For anyone that wants to take an informed view of the issues posed by Prop 8 reading the first 30 or so pages of the Supreme court decision does a wonderful job of framing the question in a social and historical sense. The text can be found by using Google, or your favorite search engine. It discusses in great detail that the California domestic partnership laws confer the same ECONOMIC RIGHTS as marriage. I should know my wife and I had to file a joint Ca tax return for 2007.

    In California we are the bellweather for the rest of the country. By voting no on Prop 8 we have a chance to join other progressive nations such as the Netherlands, Belgum, Canada and South Africa in recognizing same-sex couples loving relationships and families.


  • Catie Hembrow

    One other thing about Prop 8. It )Proposition 8) was in the wings pending the ruling of the Ca Supreme Court last June. Given that the court is Conservative by Ca standards, the ruling was somewhat shocking. Very insightful too, one of the best arguments that I’ve heard for same-sex marriage is from page 11 of the ruling.

    “First, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage clearly is not necessary in order to afford full protection to all of the rights and benefits that currently are enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples; permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive opposite-sex couples of any rights and will not alter the legal framework of the institution of marriage, because same-sex couples who choose to marry will be subject to the same obligations and duties that currently are imposed on married opposite-sex couples. Second, retaining the traditional definition of marriage and affording same-sex couples only a separate and differently named family relationship will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples”.

    Sorry for the series of long posts; however this is an important issue for this election and our society. Thanks to everyone for your time.


  • Mark Vis

    Bruce, I’m sorry, but your argument that allowing same-sex (same-species) partners to marry might lead to inter-species marriage (or, even worse, God forbid, same-sex inter-species!!) is a complete non-sequitur, entirely absurd, and 100% in keeping with the “Yes on 8″ campaign’s scare tactics.

    More importantly, I can’t even BEGIN to describe to you how offended I am by your comparison of gay partners to pets. It vividly reminds me of the guy in Ohio who was caught on camera holding a stuffed toy monkey with an Obama sticker. I’m finding it hard to believe you enjoy such a close relationship with any self-respecting gays, because no one with an ounce of self-respect or respect for their own partner would put up with that level of disrespect. Perhaps they just put up with you. We all have people like that in our lives.

    Rest assured, my husband and I, who married just last night to avoid missing a possibly fleeting opportunity, are not attempting to change family values. Rather, we want to form a solid, loving, stable family. And, yes, that may include children if we are able to make that happen.

    Bruce, please explain to me how having one more happy family in California would degrade your own marriage … if you’re even married–something I doubt. Because if you WERE married, you’d recognize that marriage is FAR more than an economic relationship. You’d recognize that it is core to our being, that it is essential to the proper functioning of society, and that it IS an essential civil right of all free adult Americans.