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I do think that this is where 'interfaith/interbelief' work can play a part. In a case like this, atheist and humanist organisations could ask the progressive faith groups to stand with them and combine forces. Sadly, it seems that people still don't connect lgbt rights with human rights and we need the big mainstream groups like the big atheist and humanist organisations to motivate people to notice the issues, think about them and take action. Maybe with the shock of prop 8 passing, people will realise what is happening and start taking action. Considering the religious motivations and organisations behind this legislation it's time for atheist and humanist organisations to get behind this issue and start campaigning loudly as we should have been from the start.


WB Yeats, not Eliot.... But yes, indeed.

Rob J

Great post. Some of this backlash has made me question my support of "No on 8", I feel ashamed to be associated. But I remind myself that there are bigots and idiots in every community, and I can't let them represent the whole. The point isn't that gays and lesbians are better than anyone else, that the community is without flaw and they'll always take the high road, the point is that they are people, equal people, which also means equally flawed.

Mary O

I do believe that some who opposed Prop 8 didn't realize that those who have been the victims of discrimination are often fine with discrimination against others.
They act in a self-interested manner, not looking for equality for everyone (especially when they have a "trusted" leader telling them that god opposes this type of equality).

Jonathan Lubin

My church is Neighborhood UU of Pasadena. Our minister asked everybody in the congregation to do Five Things against Prop. 8, like talk to neighbors, put up a sign, do phonebanking, etc. Five Things.

Some of the queers in our church—let’s face it, all lesbians plus me—got together in early Sept. to see about organizing phonebanking, under the umbrella of the LA No On 8 organization. We had a table up every Sunday getting people to sign up for phonebanking. And lots did: the database of phone-bankables got to 180 people, in a congregation of about 700. Not even a fourth of these were queer. At the height of the action, we had 40 people every Monday night, calling up to drum up support against Prop. 8.

At both services yesterday, the minister asked those same-sex couples who had gotten married at our church to stand up. There were about five to eight couples at each service. As we stood there with tears rolling down our faces, the congregation burst into applause, and then rose to their feet.

It’s not just us, there’s a huge Anglican church a mile away, All Saints, that is even more activist than we are. We phone-banked one day a week, they did it three days a week.

That’s where the friendly churches were in this fight.


You're absolutely correct. I don't know if you heard about it, but there was a huge protest (thousands of people) in downtown Salt Lake City on Friday night. In response, of course, the Mormon church has the gall to spin themselves as the victims of bigotry. True to form, always the martyr!

It pisses me off to no end that the Mormon "prophet" can speak on this issue and instantly have an army of volunteers and millions of dollars in donations to the cause. And most of them do it because they believe without question that when the prophet speaks, the thinking has been done. This is truly a dangerous phenomenon.

The African-American question is a red herring. Religion is the real culprit here.

Greta Christina
WB Yeats, not Eliot.

D'oh! I hate making mistakes like that. Thanks for the correction -- I've now corrected it in the piece.


I just don't understand how any state is able to take away any groups basic civil rights?

Why is equality not a binding right for the entire nation?


I just don't understand how any state is able to take away any groups basic civil rights?

Not to mention, do so by a simple majority vote. Allowing this really opens the doors for a tyranny of the majority, where 52% of the population can take away whatever right it pleases of the remainder. There really should be some legal ground there to challenge this on.


I'm not gay. I'm not black. I don't live in California. So I'm not exactly the most informed person in the world when it comes to this topic.

I keep hearing people say the No on 8 campaign didn't do enough outreach.

The implication is that African Americans needed someone to spell out for them why Prop 8 was discriminatory and unfair and—yes—unamerican.

Why is that?


I was somewhat concerned that own rant about Prop 8 had bought into the racism aspect, but I rechecked, and I cited the generally religious influences on the African American, Hispanic, and elderly voters who turned out in historic numbers and then proceeded to get mad at the religious participation in the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, so I feel a little better. As you said, the race and age is incidental - it's the religious side that really influenced the vote. And it's why I'm pissed at the Religious Right and Mormon church at the moment. I'm not at the violent protest level of pissed. But at least you helped me realize that I was angry at the right people, white, black, Hispanic, old, young... religiously ignorant.

Alyson Miers

About the 10% in California: it probably wasn't even that much. shanikka over at Daily Kos shows us that it's very, very unlikely that black Californians had enough numbers to make the difference.

Trey Patch

Before read my comment and write it off as some theistic defense of religion, know that I am a strong agnostic and believe that the existence or nonexistence of a higher power is completely unprovable as well as irrelevant to everyday life.

I don't blame religion itself. Blaming religion is like blaming a gun for a crime. The gun doesn't commit the crime. It is just the implement used.

Religion like any man made creation has both good sides and bad sides. Yes, religion has been used repress various peoples at various times, but it has also elevated and inspired many good acts. The inquisition violently suppressed many minorities. On the flip side the civil rights movement had strong religious roots. Just as science gave us means to communicate across the global instantly and spread thoughts and ideas. It has also given us thousands of was to efficiently kill our fellow man en masse. The thing that is wrong is not the thing itself, but the people using it.

Most of the religious voters probably have not read more than a few passages from the Bible. Instead they trust in their leaders to distill the bible in an easy to digest format. Had they actually read the book of Leviticus, the main text used to justify the discrimination of same sex couples, they would come to understand that it is in reality a book of archaic Jewish laws which hold no relevance in modern life. because they eat shell fish, women were pants and nobody keeps slaves maybe the man laying with man thing is pointless too. Or how in the book of Samuel, David, the chosen of Jehovah, loved a man, Jonathan, with a love that surpassed his love for any woman. They might think that if the chosen one can love another guy why not everyone else.


I agree with you GC (like always) but one thing that really really really pisses me off about this whole thing are the number of protesters and supporters of the No campaign... who didn't actually vote!

"I was too busy, but here i am with my sign..." What the f---?

And yes, I do see this vote as being all sorts of landmark... and agree with the earlier poster who pointed out the slippery slope of allowing 52% of the vote (not even 52% of the population, but the vote) to take away rights of others. What's next?

Grrr, ok, deep breaths, going to get a mocha now....


Yes religious freedom is all fine and good - if only religions would grant the same freedoms to others and stop poking their collective nose into other people's lives.

The short answer is probably not to encourage atheism (nice idea, but still a dirty word to many), but to encourage the progressive believers.

Greta Christina
Religion like any man made creation has both good sides and bad sides. Yes, religion has been used repress various peoples at various times, but it has also elevated and inspired many good acts.

With all due respect, Trey, I think you may have missed the point. I wasn't trying to argue that religion is always on the wrong side of politics. It clearly isn't.

I was trying to argue that, because religion is based on tradition and authority and personal feeling instead of evidence and reason, it makes for a frustrating force in politics that's difficult to engage with... regardless of whether it's on the right or wrong side.

Leigh Shryock

Keith Olbermann's tear-jerking take on this.

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