There was an article in the Times this week about the marriage debate in California, which quoted a Presbyterian minister on the concern that equal marriage rights will affect churches' ability to act on their differing articles of faith about gays and lesbians:
The idea that we would be forced as clergy to perform a marriage that was against our conscience, or that a church would lose its tax-exempt status, is ridiculous,” said the Rev. Karen Sapio, the minister of Claremont Presbyterian Church in Southern California. “If you look dispassionately at the record, there are a lot of churches with policies that are at odds with civil law.”
She continued, “I have not heard of a single Catholic church forced to marry someone who has been divorced, or a rabbi forced to perform an interfaith marriage or an evangelical church forced to marry a couple who has been living together.”
Civil marriage laws don't affect churches. They just don't.New polling data in California suggests that it's pretty much a dead heat on Proposition 8, which means the race will come down to which side gets more of its backers to the polls on Election Day.
Around the country, polls have consistently overreported support for equal marriage rights (in the privacy of the voting booth, people vote in ways they won't admit to pollsters).
If you're in California, make sure to vote. Encourage your friends and colleagues to vote. Vote, and vote no on 8.
If you're not in California, you can help by financially
supporting the No on 8 efforts-- see the fundraising thermometer in the right navigation bar up top or the blue graphic at right to join the Lesbian Dad Love Train for No on 8, or click the red graphic at the top of this post to get straight to Equality California's pitch (both sites contribute to the same effort). Remember, the other side has outpaced us in fundraising over the last few months, and we're seeking to raise $3 million dollars by the end of this week (my previous post details some of what our side is up against).
In the abstract, there's a lot better uses in the world for all the money that has been spent on this election--but in the real world, I can't think of a better political fight to support right now. The future of equal marriage rights in America for the course of my lifetime is bound up in this election. I am just waiting for the day I can marry Politica, legally, and if Prop 8 passes, that day may never come.