During the last 5 months, California has been in turmoil, with elections, a budget crisis, home foreclosures, bank bailouts – and, in the midst of all this, Prop 8.Through a $74 million campaign, opponents of Prop 8 flocked to voice their opinion on how their rights were being threatened. Roger Davidson, a faculty member at Yuba College, said, “Coming to work and seeing the yellow ‘Yes on 8’ signs makes me worry. Before this came on the ballot, you felt everyone accepted you, now with the elections approaching, it shows that’s not true.”Many of the LGBT community feel that their right to marry is being threatened. They blame it on lack of knowledge. “The media paints a picture of us,” said a Yuba College student who belongs to the LGBT community. “There are no drugs, no orgies, or us swinging from the chandeliers.”The LGBT community felt that Prop 8 also put a spotlight on them but felt they had a chance of showing the community who they were. “If people are more knowledgable, they’ll see they have no lesser existence of ours,” commented Megan Delay, a Yuba College student who is an opponent of Prop 8.As the elections took place on November 4, millions gathered to show their support. “Prop 8 was my driving force to vote,” said Spruce Patalon, a Yuba College student who is also apart of the LGBT community.
With the passing of Proposition 8, angry cries still come from those who passionately campaigned for its prevention. Those who voted “yes,” on the other hand, settle back into their lives-as-usual, comfortable in the knowledge that their sacred institution will remain unchanged.”It’s been a hard fight, but I knew we’d win it in the end,” said a pro-8 Yuba City resident, who asked to remain anonymous. “This is the way it’s supposed to be. I mean, a man and a man getting married? What, did we go through the looking glass or something?” This resident has proudly sported “Yes on 8” signs on his lawn and car since the proposition came into existence, and continues to as a show of support and religious faith. “It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” laughed the resident.
Similar sentiments have echoed out from other pro-8 groups, who breathed a sigh of relief when the final votes had been tallied. For some of them, however, a new fight has just begun.
The Church of Latter-Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon Church, has experienced a surge of negative sentiment from anti-8 activists who carry on the fight. The Mormon Church was considered by many to be instrumental in passing Proposition 8 for having rallied its congregation in its support.
In the aftermath, many opponents of Prop 8 have called for a boycott of Salt Lake City, Utah, which is well-known to be the location of the largest and most revered of the Mormon temples. Though the city is a pilgrimage site for many Mormons, only about half of the city’s residents are practicing Mormons, and the city itself was named one of the nation’s top 51 “gay-friendly places to live,” which makes the boycott seem like the anti-8 activists are shooting themselves in the foot.
The Temple itself has been the subject of several campaigns, including a mailing campaign that sent a postcard to the Temple for every five dollars in donations collected by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. Another Salt Lake temple received an envelope containing white powder, which was later deemed to be non-toxic.
Protestors do not seem, for the most part, to be making great strides in publicity or in progress toward defeating Proposition 8. Their strategies, though mostly made in good faith, are not making any steps toward greater acceptance of gay marriage. With three cases against Prop 8 to be heard by the California Supreme Court, the right to marry may be granted to all. The acceptance of same-sex marriage by the public at large, however, will be much harder won.Throughout California, demonstrations have been held in every major city. Although there have been reports of violence against demonstrators from both sides, the majority have remained peaceful. “It’s not fair for the people to define how we live our lives,” a student commented. His partner added, “But it’s not fair for us to turn around with anger.””Join the Impact” is a campaign that the LGBT community and its allies have put together to try and overturn Prop 8. Its main activities are demonstrations in every major city in California, as well as members putting videos, pictures, and blogs up on their website.It has been a long, difficult journey for both sides of the issue. Millions of dollars have been spent, and tens of thousands of man-hours dedicated to sign-waving and passing out flyers. Neither side has swayed in their determination to see their way of life placed in the laws of our state, and both are expecting to come out the victor. Even with the looming possibility that their right to marry may never be, the LGBT community continues to campaign, and supporters are standing firm. “I applaud them for not giving up,” said Delay.