Prop. 8 passage means sorrow for many Alamedans

I interviewed Alamedan Amy Gorman just after the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in a May decision. Below is a letter from her about her reaction to Tuesday’s passage of Proposition 8 which will, unless it is overturned by legal challenges, amend the state’s constitution to ban marriage between same gender couples (For the record, it looks like the “No On Eight” campaign has not yet conceded.):

Dear Friends,

Last Sunday night Sue and I celebrated our 17th anniversary. I paused to think about all we had been through together…birth and death….sickness and health, youth and middle age, joy and sorrow. I was confident that all Californians would acknowledge our life and we would move forward to plan our wedding once all this nonsense about equality was finalized at last. I am in a fog of both shock and outrage that so many would choose discrimination over equality. I feel foolish in waiting…as we should have gone to City Hall at the last minute as our friends did…”just in case”. It may take years, and many more notarized documents to cover our family so we may have some of the same rights as others. I thought for sure that society was past all this nonsense, that people were educated and respectful.

I want to sincerely thank all of you for your support of NO on Prop. 8 and your words of kindness today. Many of you did phone banking, wore buttons, and talked to neighbors. I appreciate your efforts and hope someday to live in a world where this issue is thought of as trivial and outdated (as segregation and bi-racial marriage are now). Last night was a wonderful moment in our history as we move forward in a hopeful new direction for our country. We made a point to take both our kids to the voting booth with us, in hopes that they may remember this day. I hope someday that Californians will correct this horrible error in judgment and acknowledge our 17 years.

Sincerest Thanks,


  • Whitney

    Thank you for this post Eve. And thank you Amy for allowing Eve to share your letter.

  • james paul

    it is very simple—-all people have the right to marriage. What some people dont want to get is that marriage is between a man and a woman. Once again the hateful attempt to have marriage redefined has failed. this issue has nothing to do with discrimination and the deception of the no on 8 campaign was exposed for what it is. I am glad to see that eve pearlman is now off the front page as her liberal bias doesnt allow for a truely informative column

  • Concerned Citizen

    Questions for Amy:

    (1) What about those who respect your right to live your life as you desire but do not agree with your choice in your way of life? Do we make laws to discriminate against their principles and perspectives? Do we revoke their tax exemption, because you want to get married in their church? Do we fine them or even imprison them, because they don’t agree with? Where do we draw the line?

    (2) The Superintendent claimed that marriage is not taught in public schools. Yet, there is ample evidence of indoctrination of students from gay library books in schools, discussions of Proposition 8, professional-formatted youtube videos and a field trips. If your side isn’t militant, why are you trying to brainwash our children?

    (3) You have the same civil rights as anyone else. Why is that not enough for you? Why must other Americans validate your life choices?

    (4) There is ample evidence in the sciences that men and women are hugely different. Our genes and the hormones they control establish this difference in how we handle everyday situations. I pity your children who will have a tough time understanding their manhood or men, because they do not have a father figure. One of you can wear our clothes and cut your hair short, but you don’t have that Y-chromosome.

    (5) If we start defining marriage as some union between two entities, where does it stop? Can brothers and sisters marry? Can kids marry? Can people marry their dogs or cats? It’s a slippery slope to chaos, and I’m glad I voted YES on 8!

    “A society does not crumble from with out but from with in.” Fortunately, we stopped some bleeding on Tuesday.

  • Jeff R. Thomason

    I would like to personally thank everyone who voted for Prop 8 and helped to prevent the hateful Prop 8 opposers from forcing their twisted sense of family values upon upon our school children. We still have a long way to go to keep that crap out of our elementary schools … but this is a nice start :-)

  • Jan Greene

    I honestly don’t understand the argument about marriage being only one man and one woman, and have no idea why challenging that is “hateful.” Sure, it’s been that way for a long time, but lots of things change as societies evolve. Not clear on why this one can’t too.

    And this stuff about a newspaper columnist being “biased.” That’s what they’re paid to be. They are different from newspaper reporters, who strive to present all sides. A columnist comments on the news, in part to generate conversation within a community.
    I’m happy to read the comments of Pro-8 people because it helps me understand why it passed. Though I still find it sad and mystifying.

  • http://laurendo.wordpress.com Lauren Do

    There is an inherent difference between two consenting adults wanting their relationship to be recognized as valid under the eyes of the law regardless of race, class, creed, or sexual orientation and what “Concerned Citizen” is suggesting in bullet 5.

    Consenting adults would exclude marrying one’s pet or children marrying and to use a rhetorical device that likens the relationship of consenting adults to a relationship (or desire of a relationship) to animals who have no ability to form consent or children who have the ability to be manipulated to form consent is ridiculous.

    Right now is there anything in the definition of “marriage between one man and one woman” that prevents a brother (man) and a sister (woman) from being married?

  • Jill

    I still don’t understand why so many people get hot and bothered about men marrying men or women marrying women. Are people really so insecure about their own sexuality that they feel that knowing they COULD marry a person of the same sex, they might be tempted to do so? Or are they worried that their spouses would divorce them to marry someone of the spouse’s sex? Those are the only ways that allowing gay marriage would negatively impact their own marriages.

    I’ve been married to a person of the opposite sex for 20 years. My brothers-in-law have been married to each other for four months this time (4 years since their first SF City Hall wedding). My marriage is in no way diminished by theirs, and attending each of their weddings was a joyous experience for my family.

    I feel saddened that the majority of Californians still feel compelled to butt into other people’s personal lives in this way when no one is being hurt. (And don’t even bother saying that children are being hurt by the absence of parents of both sexes. There are far more children raised by single parents than by gay couples, and there always will be.)

  • Rebecca Smyth

    To James Paul:

    What exactly about equal rights do you find hateful? From my viewpoint, opposition for Prop 8 promotes equal rights and I can find no reasons in support of Prop 8 that are not based on discrimination.

    To Concerned Citizen:

    (2) What is this “evidence of indoctrination of students” that you claim is brainwashing children? Doesn’t only discussing marriage in terms of the nuclear family of father, mother and child promote feelings of isolation and alienation in children whose families do not fit that mold, such as children of same-sex couples, children who live with relatives, and children living in single-parent households? I do not see the problem in teaching children that there are many different family structures and acknowledging for ourselves that all of them can have a positive impact on a child’s development as long as the family relationships are of high quality.

    (3) This question seems to indicate a lack of understanding of the difference between a civil union and a marriage. The reason people are still fighting for equality for same-sex couples is because a civil union does not grant the same benefits as a marriage, such as portability, because civil unions are not recognized by all states, and the right to federal benefits.

    (4) There is no scientific evidence that growing up with same-sex parents affects a child’s understanding of their own gender or sexual identity differently than growing up with heterosexual parents.

    To Jeff R. Thomason:

    Do you have a child in an Alameda elementary school that has been harassed with the fact that some men like men, and some women like women? I do not remember any of my Alameda school education having a major impact on my understanding of family values.

  • Jeff R. Thomason

    Rebecca Smyth … yes, I have. And, ironically, the message provided was the same that I will likely offer when I feel my child is old enough to discuss such issues.

    I do not have a problem with homosexual marriage until it affects me. I do have a problem with the politically correct homosexual machine trying to force social acceptance of a lifestyle that I believe is wrong. Quit trying to teach homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle to my kids and I will no longer fight so hard to defeat social acceptance.

    I have many gay friends. And, although I believe that they are making a bad lifestyle choice, I do not condemn them as people for making such a choice. I also have many fat friends. And, although I believe that they are making a bad lifestyle choice, I do not condemn them as people for making such a choice.

    A person’s homosexual status is none of my business … until they make it my business. A person’s homosexual status is none of the government’s business … until they make it the government’s business. The homosexual community have made it my business and the government’s business by attempting to force social acceptance. Accordingly, I say no to homosexual marriage …

  • dave

    Jeff R. Thomason in Brooklyn, 1947:

    Look, I like Jackie Robinson as much as the next guy, he’s a helluva ballplayer, but there are dozens of Negro League teams he can play for. If he chooses to make baseball his career, that’s none of my business but by trying to force his way into our National Pastime he’s making it my business. He and all the other uppity Negroes are trying to force acceptance on society, sport, me and worst of all, my children.

    JRT in San Francisco, 1958:

    Hey I love Willie Mays, don’t get me wrong. I even cheer for him with all my black friends. But jeez, there’s a TON of houses he can buy in the Bayview or Oakland. Where he lives between home runs is his business, it’s a free country after all, but by trying to move HERE, to Sherwood Forest, in sight of my children, he’s making it MY business. That is just going too damn far. He’s trying force acceptance of integration down all our throats. Hell he’s probably agitating for that to be taught in our schools. That boy has got to learn his place & that’s center field, not anywhere West of 3rd St. Sheesh, all my black friends know that.



    Little known fact that Mr. Thomasson was the judge in the original Loving case in 1959.

    An excerpt from his ruling:

    Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and He placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with His arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that He separated the races shows that He did not intend for the races to mix.



    Plus ca change, eh?

    You stay classy, Jeff.

  • james paul

    the no on 8 crowd is getting a little rediculous with their arguments. gay marriage is not what californians want and all of the discrimination and inequality arguments make no sense. the people of california have once again stated that anyone in california can marry but marriage is between a man and a woman and all of the no on 8 people should understand this. when i go to the store i dont look at the apples and try to make people believe they are oranges. if the no on 8 people had won at the ballot box they would want everybody to accept the law and that is what they should do now that this immoral acts legitimacy has been defeated. If i were a person of color i would be highly offended if the gay rights movement were being compared to my races plight for equality and the jackie robinson analogy was just plain stupid. in closing i would like to say that tobacco is being labeled taboo because of its health risks and its cost to the american taxpayer in healthcare costs. isnt it time we put aids in this catagory and since it is largely a homosexual disease label gay sex as taboo also—–just a thought

  • Whitney

    #11 — Mrs. Loving, a person of color, felt quite differently than you.

    On June 12, 2007, Mildred Loving issued a rare public statement prepared for delivery on the 40th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision of the US Supreme Court, which commented on same-sex marriage.[9] The concluding paragraphs of her statement read as follows:

    “Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

    I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

  • james paul

    reading whitneys latest reply i would assume that virginia has legalized gay marriage. Oops, my mistake they dont seem to think it is moral there either regardless of what loving had to say. I dont think that when the original case came about it had anything to do with gay marriage and she added her comments about sexual orientation for this speech. if i am wrong please enlighten me with the facts of the case not how she feels 40 years later.her case had absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation and was about inter-racial marriage not immoral behavior. gavin newsome said “as california goes so does the rest of the nation” and over 5,225,000 californians have said no to the redefining of marriage. if i were a no on 8 supporter i wouldnt worry too much as the continuing decline in moral values is perfect for the any-thing goes society that most no on eight supporters want. i didnt write my original opinion to solicit personal attacks by other writers but i understand that they cant get over the fact that marriage is still between a man and a woman and californians have made that clear. keep your chin up maybe the court will again legislate from the bench and impose their personal opinions into their rulings instead of following the law. people should stop the hate against people who are opposed to same sex marriage and reevaluate their moral compasses

  • dave

    Personal attacks??

    I don’t see you personally attacked here. Please direct me to these barbs.

    If it makes you feel better, I’m quite ready to discuss your bigotry and rhetorical ineptitude in very blunt, personal terms. If that validates your feelings, I’m willing to help.

  • james paul

    my feelings have been validated by the people of california and also by the people of arizona and florida as well as approx 25 other states in the union so i need nothing from a morally bankrupt person like you. read your comments to me if you want to read hate that has been injected into an opinion page’ ill be at the bus stop at lincoln and webster at 4:15 if you feel the need to discuss it in “blunt terms” as you put it

  • Whitney

    #13 — You stated, “If i were a person of color i would be highly offended if the gay rights movement were being compared to my races plight for equality . . . .”

    My comment quoting Mrs. Loving was in response to your statement. Sorry if that was not clear to you.

  • dave

    I’ll be in a yellow T-shirt. You?

  • Jeff R. Thomason

    Dave … will your yellow T-shirt have a big fat rainbow on it?


  • Blake

    Well at least we know James Chen’s middle name now….

  • james paul

    you didnt show. if you look in the mirror you will see that t

    you didnt show. you need to go look in the mirror the
    yellow shirt you talked about is really your skin.you have proven to be unable to articulate any
    ideas supporting your cause so i bid adeau to you
    i appreciate your trying to explain your side without the attacks and apologize for my comments to dave but i think my side is right and will stand up for those beliefs when attacked unfairly i can understand your side too and only want a logical discussion something dave seems unable to do
    sorry i think it is an injustice to readers to have a biased column where only the writers opinions are put forward. state the facts and let the people decide. after you have presented the facts both pro and con then you can add your opinion. this is something eve pearlman does not do’ check it out. the journal should not be an opinion page for its columnists unless both sides are given equal time something the journal does not do

  • dave

    Was right on time, walked each cross walk, no one approached me. Not surprising.

  • james paul

    i guess lying is part of your immature and immoral behavior. hate to be you looking in the mirror as you probably dont see much

  • Jeff R. Thomason


    If you could curb your emotions for a second and quit hurling the standard “bigot” moniker or countering with the tired “what if we were an interracial couple” argument, you might actually learn why many Californians who are not necessarily against gay marriage voted for Prop 8 anyway.

    Knowing California and Californians the way that I do, I would estimate that approximately 1 million of the Californians who voted for Prop 8 do not have an issue with gay marriage itself, but do object to all of the politically correct thought control that your militant advocates are attempting to force upon the public. In short, Californians don’t want LGBT issues and acceptance forced upon our children in school simply because one freak-of-a-mother wants to dress her little boy like a girl. No matter how many times homosexuals and militant feminists try to call something like that normal … IT IS NOT NORMAL.

    If you want to legalize gay marriage in California, cut the fat from your agenda and make the issue solely about gay marriage … not about forced acceptance of a lifestyle that most people still find queer … not about family values … and assure the public that the early indoctrination programs in public schools will cease. I have to assume that most homosexuals truly do not even care about the forced social acceptance issues. However, the militant left advocates have tied those issues to your right to marry and, until you separate the two, California will never grant you the right to marry.

  • Jan Greene

    So if you’re against “forced social acceptance” of children who have personalities and interests and families not in the mainstream (not NORMAL), then what is the alternative? Continuing to let them get beat up and humiliated at school? Nice. I’ll be sure to check in with you the next time I make a lifestyle choice to be sure I have your approval. I assume you won’t mind if I make the same harsh judgments about you and your family? (also please note there’s a difference between gender identity and sexual preference…two different issues affecting kids in different ways and at different times of their lives…I’m not sure how it hurts anyone to encourage young kids not to harass other young kids who don’t fit into your particular definition of NORMAL)

  • Jeff R. Thomason

    “So if you’re against “forced social acceptance” of children who have personalities and interests and families not in the mainstream (not NORMAL), then what is the alternative?”

    – I don’t know, they are your kids, you figure out a solution. Just don’t attack mainstream family values to do it.

    “Continuing to let them get beat up and humiliated at school?”

    – Nope, not a solution. However, if you let your little boy go to school dressed like a girl, you better expect it. And, when and if it happens, THEN it is the responsibility of the school to step in. Not because the kid is gay or a transvestite, but because NO violence should be tolerated in our schools.

    “I’ll be sure to check in with you the next time I make a lifestyle choice to be sure I have your approval.”

    – Why? It is none of my business what you do and it is none of your business whether I approve or not.

    “I assume you won’t mind if I make the same harsh judgments about you and your family?”

    – Go ahead, it is still a free country … barely. I am sure not going to try to make your homosexual cross-dressing children agree with our way of life. So stop trying to make my normal kids agree with your way of life …


  • Theo

    Who are these people who decides what “normal” is? Slavery has been “normal” for thousands of years but Americans have only decided in the past 150 or so years to make it not the norm. Women having equal rights-not the norm for thousands of years. Democracy wasn’t the norm for thousands of years as well and today, that’s the preferred form of government. Religious beliefs have changed as well. Monotheism has been around for maybe four thousand years and still isn’t the primary belief system in large areas of the world. The definition of “normal” changes from generation to generation. Interracial marriage was illegal in about 16 states roughly 40 years ago. It wasn’t until the US Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that overturned the ban.

    I’m saddened that Prop 8 passed but not surprised. People are still bigoted and hide behind any reason they can find to support their bigotry. I hate to think about the gay and lesbian kids of those who supported the measure but maybe they’ll help their parents and relatives realize that being gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender are normal for some.

  • http://romegaroofer.com Monnie Weiker

    So i’m pleased that Prop 8 has been overturned. So i am not homosexual. Although I’m good friends with people who are. I simply do not see just what the big deal is all about gay people getting the identical legal rights we have now.