On June 17, 2008 I married my partner of 12 years Elizabeth Kristen. Before the signature on our marriage license was dry, the religious right had put Proposition 8 on this year’s ballot. Our closest friends, coworkers and family members bore witness when we announced that we would be together for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part — not till the voters do us part.
It is the job of the California Supreme Court to interpret the California Constitution, which they did in their May 17, 2008 ruling. Seven California Supreme Court Justices, (six Republican Justices and one Democratic appointed Justice) ruled that all Californians, regardless of their sexual orientation were protected by the state’s constitution.
It is right and fair that all Californians are protected under the Constitution. If we vote to take rights away from one minority group, it will not be too long before another group is targeted to be stripped of their constitutional rights. Iranian-Americans are familiar with discrimination and how wrong it is. I remember during the Iranian revolution, the religious right targeted communists, women, and other minority groups until eventually they had their foot on the neck of every group in the country. By that time, they were so powerful that we were not able to stop them. Don’t allow the religious fundamentalists in this country to do the same.
On the official ballot, Proposition 8 reads, “ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” It continues to describe the negative fiscal impact if Prop. 8 passes.
I am asking the voters not to undo my “I do.” I am also asking voters to use their own judgment. Don’t take my word for it, please go on www.noonprop8.com. Prominent Democrats and some Republicans have asked voters to reject Prop. 8, including President Bill Clinton, Senator Barack Obama, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Dolores Huerta. Literally hundreds of other civil rights leaders have asked the voters to reject discrimination by rejecting the constitutional amendment and voting No on Prop. 8. Because Prop. 8 is unfair and wrong, I urge you to vote no on Tuesday.