Thinking About California

After the California Supreme Court’s brilliant, inspiring decision in May, Tuesday's loss at the polls is a bitter pill. That it follows all the wonderful stories of people getting married, and the Connecticut decision that seemed to put us on a roll, makes it all the more difficult to accept.

But indulge me for a look back in history. In 1982, we passed a domestic partnership law in San Francisco, the country’s first. Despite having carefully laid the groundwork, it was vetoed without warning, and a vote essential to an override defected the next day. It took us seven years to get it passed again. And when we did, our opponents got enough signatures to put it on the ballot in 30 days. We ran one of the most expensive local initiative elections in California history. And we lost, 50.5 to 49.5. In 1990, we put it back on the ballot again and won. But the next year, we had to defend it again against an attempted repeal initiative.

Even in famously liberal San Francisco, we had to go through the process of trying to pass a simple domestic partnership law five times, and we lost twice. If you run up an unbroken string of victories in any battle for civil rights, that simply means you waited too long to get to work. Change that matters is never smooth or easy.

It will be important to go over the campaign carefully and learn from our mistakes. But we need to resist the temptation to blame ourselves for the loss. The perfect campaign hasn’t been run anywhere yet. Thousands of very good people worked their hearts out on this, and they deserve our thanks. The victims of an injustice should never be blamed for failing to end it unless they don’t try. And you can’t say that we didn't try, and try damn hard.

We didn’t lose by much. Eight years ago, on virtually the same question, we could only get 39 percent. On Tuesday, we got over 48. While our opponents may be celebrating now, the handwriting is on the wall. They won’t be able to hold on much longer. There are other states where we’ll be able to get marriage in the next few years, and others where we’ll get domestic partnerships and civil unions.

We’ll be back in California. And we’ll win. You can depend on it. To learn what you can do to work for marriage for lesbian and gay couples, visit

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Liberal hater

Yes attitudes towards same sex marriage are changing thanks to the ACLU's 70 years of tearing down America's Christian heritage by judicial fiat. And thanks to liberal propaganda and the stupid cries of intolerance people have been brainwashed into accepting something that no civilization has accepted.

The handwriting is on the wall. IT says this--While opinions are becoming more "tolerant" it want matter because all of these state amendments like Prop 8 will be enshrined into the state constitutions and there is nothing that far left extremist groups like ACLU and PFAW can do.

So let peoples opinions change. The state constitutions are here to stay and over 30 of them say NO to gay marriage.


Go figure, the ACLU is supporting a cause the people don't and is disregarding the rights of the people who voted. Gay marriage has lost, its wrong and the people have the right to decide and they did. The ACLU can't change that and any attempt they make to change it shows their disregard to the people and our Constitution! Go home ACLU. We the People are getting tired of you trying to run over our rights!

Steve O. In Dia...

You missed your chance in CA.

Now that everyone sees the true bigoted nature of the No on 8 folks, trying to vilify a minority religion in which it's members were exercising their Constitutional Rights, acting uncivilly (destroying police equipment), unlawfully assembly without a permit and denying the democratic process, you (along with the 4 CA Supreme Court Justices) will just have to accept the will of the people "whether you like it or not!"

Jay Taber

The psychosis of people who think their rights are under attack because they are opposed for seeking to treat others as less than human might be of interest to psychiatrists, but for those who work for equality, it's the behavior of bigots that matters. America's Christian heritage promoted witch-burning, indulged genocide, and prolonged slavery. Legalizing discrimination is hardly something to be proud of.

joseph tanner

It's amazing the ACLU is so woriied about gay marriage but we have a guy in Ohio who is investiagted for asking Obama a question.

Wher is the ACLU on this??? His civil rights were violated and they try to politically quite him.

joseph tanner

Lets look at the states that are in the biggest financial trouble.

California, New York, Rhode Island,Michigan, etc.

I wonder why that is, must be Bush!!!
Or is it the liberal policies of give aways, non- productive citizens, liberal drug laws????

In Mass. now you can carry upto 12 joints and just get a fine because it's medicinal now??? For every action there is an equal and oppsite reaction.
I assume these people aren't going to work because most employers drug test. Oh what about driving under the influence guess that will be ok too.Then how many plants are you allowed to grow at home and I'm sure nobody will be selling it
, unless it's for medicinal purposes of course. Man give me a break!
We don't need more drugs , we have enough already then you liberals complain about

joseph tanner

Awaiting moderation , I'm sure Obama and staff will have to moderate any comment. Welcome to The United States Peoples Republic.

One radio station maybe we can call it TASS , remeber the old USSR station and The New York Times ( which is going to bk) will be saved by the government and be their newspaper!


Your vitriol only poisons you, Liberal hater.


Dan Says: "We the People are getting tired of you trying to run over our rights!"

Oh the irony, it burns. Since when is it a right to take away others' rights?


If you cant get is passed in California, good luck on the rest of America. Im glad to see that some people in California still have their heads on straight. Stop crying ACLU and side with the majority of America.

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