Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mormons and Prop 8

Gay rights activists are furious in California over the passing of Proposition 8, an amendment to the state constitution that overrules a state supreme court decision that legalized gay marriage. Gay civil unions are still legal in California, giving gay couples every legal right afforded heterosexual couples. Prop 8 passed largely because 70% of blacks voted for in favor. Predictably, the left is instead focusing their rage on a different group: Mormons.

The Catholic church and scores of other Christian churches also opposed Prop 8, but perhaps Mormons are an easier target. Gay rights activists are angry that Mormon individuals (not any churches, mind you, but individual people) gave $20 million to promote Prop 8, as if no liberals spent any money opposing it. They even ran this campaign ad, showing two Mormons storm into a lesbian couple's home to steal their wedding rings. As Jonah Goldberg points out, you can imagine the outrage had any other group been similarly targeted. The reaction from the LA Times? Too little, too late.

Barack Obama weighed in decisively: he is against gay marriage, but also against Prop 8. Huh? Gay marriage isn't a real hot button issue for me, but it does alarm me that in New Mexico a wedding photographer was fined $7,000 for refusing to shoot a gay marriage ceremony and the state of New Jersey is forcing eHarmony to create a new website for gays.

As Thomas Sowell argues, this is not a civil rights issue. Marriage laws don't discriminate against people, they discriminate against behavior, as laws should do. Gay marriage advocates are really seeking to force everyone else to approve of their behavior. If the marriage laws should be rewritten for them, why not for polygamists (speaking of Mormons)?

The success of Prop 8 in California, and similar measures that passed with overwhelming support in Arizona and Florida should send the message to the GOP that this country has not taken a hard left turn. Social conservatism is still a winner at the ballot box.

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