Next Thursday, the California Supreme Court will hear arguments in our legal challenge to Proposition 8. As we seek to overturn Prop 8, we have the broadest array of support ever seen on an LGBT issue before any California Court. This support speaks directly to the relationships and coalition work that many in the LGBT, religious, business, and civil rights communities have been doing for years. However, there is another truth motivating the breadth of voices calling on the court to invalidate Prop 8. Prop 8 is an assault on the California Constitution and the most fundamental principal of any functioning democracy: all people will be treated equally under the law.
As a white lesbian leading a national LGBT legal organization and a straight, African-American Christian leading a national civil rights legal organization, we stand side-by-side in common cause. Racism and homophobia undermine and diminish any dream of a just and fair nation. If allowed to stand, Prop 8 would eviscerate equal protection of the law and leave every minority in California vulnerable to majority sentiment and whim. Today it may be same-sex couples and that is unacceptable under any circumstance, but tomorrow any unpopular minority could be next.
In this fight for justice we are sisters, and we ask that every fair-minded Californian join our family in standing against Prop 8. We ask you to join us and engage in conversations about the harms Prop 8 poses to all Californians. Please, talk to your friends and family, attend rallies and marches, post and comment on blogs, and write letters to the editor. Please visit our GET INVOLVED section of our website for tips on how to have these important conversations.
As you talk about the harms of Prop 8, please remember to acknowledge the essential role of the Court in protecting minority rights and remind your audience of the threat that Prop 8 poses to freedom and equality for all Californians. If a bare majority of voters can change our state Constitution to take away rights from a historically targeted minority group, what is the point of having a California Constitution?
It is crucial that our community and allies stand up against this harmful proposition and be visible. It is our chance to show the world that we will not stand for discrimination and intolerance. So make your voice heard today. Click here for some sample letters and blog posts that you can use to draft your own personalized letter.
Our nation is on a new path. A path that makes us all feel a renewed sense of shared values, hope, and humanity. Prop 8 demeans us all and stains our collective vision of a new day. Such a law should not be permitted to stand.
Post co-authored by Eva Paterson, President of the Equal Justice Society and one of the most esteemed civil rights attorneys in California.