Friday, December 19, 2008

Government of the People, By the People, For the People

So the latest news: the state of California's fine Attorney General, Jerry Brown, has publically stated he will not defend prop 8 to the California Supreme Court.


...He and senior lawyers in his office have looked closely at the court's precendents and at the recent marriage ruling and concluded that they couldn't defend prop 8.

Excuse me? Did the people of California not vote twice to protect traditional marriage?

But in a lengthy filing late Friday, he argued that the measure was "inconsistent with the guarantees of individual liberty" in California's governing charter.

"Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification," Brown said.

"Extinguish fundamental constitutional rights"... um, I thought religious freedom and the freedom of speech were "fundamental constitutional rights". We've already seen those rights squashed, and the issue hasn't even been settled.

The court is reviewing lawsuits filed by gay and lesbian couples and by an array of local governments, led by San Francisco, that contend that ballot measure exceeded the legal limits on initiatives by destroying fundamental rights and stripping judges of their authority to protect a historically persecuted minority.

I think there are other minorities out there that have been persecuted a lot longer and a lot worse than same sex couples. And the more I've been researching this issue, the more I find that heterosexual couples and those that do not codone same sex marriage or that lifestyle are the ones being persecuted. Not to mention the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which there are less members of the Church in California than there are gay/lesbian people. So who's really the minority? And who's really being persecuted?

As the "chief law officer of the state," Brown said in his brief, he is "duty bound to uphold the whole of the Constitution" and not merely the power of the people to change the laws by initiative.

It was my understanding that the Attorney General's job description is to represent the wishes of the people. And the people have spoken twice. And what power do the people have if not to change the laws? This is our country. If the majority of the people want to uphold traditional marriage, then that is what should happen, whether the Attorney General (and other public leaders) agree or disagree.

A little FYI on Jerry Brown's position regarding the whole same sex issue, he is the brilliant one who changed the wording on the ballot to state "Eliminates the Rights of Same Sex Couples to Marry." So why is the media acting (emphasis on the word acting) so surprised that he would come out and say he's not going to uphold the will of the people?

Is this not a government of the people, by the people, for the people? Who are the people? Why do we vote if we can't even count on our leaders in the state capitol to uphold our wishes? Jerry Brown's job isn't hard... he walks into the Supreme Court and says, "The people of California have voted twice on this issue. This is what they want. We need to uphold their wishes." (I know it's not that simple, but you get the idea.)

Side note - I know of a governor in California not to long ago who was kicked out of office for doing far less than what Jerry Brown is doing. Hmmmm...

You can read the entire article at the

Friday, December 12, 2008

The First Step

This was forwarded to me via email from a friend. It fits perfectly with the theme of this blog. Please read, especially at the end.

The Daffodil Principle

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead.

"I will come next Tuesday", I promised a little reluctantly on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren.

"Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!" My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother."

"Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her. "But first we're going to see the daffodils. It's just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."

"Carolyn," I said sternly, "Please turn around."

"It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow. Each different coloured variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.
"Who did this?" I asked Carolyn. "Just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept small A-frame house, modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory.

We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking", was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958."

For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, almost fifty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.

That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time, often just one baby step at a time and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

Are you inspired after reading this story? I know I definitely was.

I'm going to make taking your first step VERY easy... click on the link below:

Join the Digital Network Army!

What is DNA? The DNA is an incredible, grassroots political movement made up of normal individuals just like you - throughout the US and beyond - who believe that traditional values are worth fighting for!

Does your email make a difference? Does your comment on a post or news article make a difference? Does your blog make a difference? Think of the daffodils, planted one at a time.

One vote turned into over 6 million in the passing of proposition 8. You do make a difference.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Time to Make YOUR Vote Count

This petition was forwarded to me from friends at United Families California. I've heard differing opinions regarding online petitions. However, I do think the message is important and we do need to write to our state legislators and the governor. The people of California have voted twice now. It is not acceptable that our voices not be heard.

Opponents Try to Overturn Prop 8
Sign the Petition To Help Stop Them!

"...that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." ~Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

What would President Lincoln think if he saw the state of California'spolitics? Do our elected officials represent the people any longer? Consider their record with regard to family law.

In 2000, the people of California petitioned to put Proposition 22 onthe ballot that affirmed that marriage would continue to be defined in traditional terms, as being between one man and one woman. The people voted and by a margin of 61/39% passed this proposition. In political terms that is an overwhelming mandate.

First, our State Supreme Court ignored our voice and by May of 2008 overstepped their governing limits and created a new law - homosexual marriage. (Blog Author side note here... the Supreme Court did not create a new law, they said that prop 22 was not consitutional because it was not presented as a constitutional amendment. Same-sex couples had no more or no less rights than they did before the Supreme Court ruling.)

Next, the people answered that insult and petitioned to vote on the issue of marriage law. This November after an expensive and tiring campaign the majority of the people of California again voted and passed Prop 8, a State Constitutional Amendment that reaffirms traditional marriage. The voice of the people has clearly stated, twice, that we want marriage to be defined as the union of a man and awoman.

However, this has not stopped our governing officials from speakingout and trying to impose their own will on the people. Since the passage of Prop 8 our Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has gone on record calling for the State Supreme Court to overturn that vote.

And now, our state senate and assembly have drafted resolutions blatantly fighting against Prop 8. "On Tuesday, the second day of the2009-10 legislative session, Sen. Mark Leno and Assemblyman TomAmmiano (both D-San Francisco) launched senate resolution 7 and HR 5 in the Assembly. If approved, the bills would place both houses of the California Legislature on record as opposing the controversial initiative and declaring it an illegal revision to the state constitution." Politicker CA, December 2, 2008

Opponents of Proposition 8 are working hard to overturn Proposition 8 in our legislature before the case is heard in the Supreme Court. This weekend picketers were on street corners asking for support for SR 7 and HR 5. Petitions are being circulated in hopes of gaining 1,000,000 signatures to show support of this attempt to overrule ourvote.

We must answer this attempt to silence our vote.
Please quickly do the following things:
  1. Sign the petition to let our legislators know that they representyour vote and that they must uphold the law.
  2. Write to your State Senator and State Assemblymen and let them know that they areaccountable to the people who voted for them.
  3. Alert your friends. The opposition is trying to collect 1,000,000 signatures to show their support. We must continue to show that the majority of Californians stand by their recent vote. Please forward this email to all your friends and to those who worked with you on the Prop 8 campaign.
Though many of us are tired after a long battle to initially pass Proposition 8, it is apparent that it will take more energy and effortto continue to defend the laws that protect our families. May we remind our elected officials of Abraham Lincoln's desire "that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth" that includes California.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Where Did the Money Really Come From?

So there have been a lot of attacks on the "Mormon" church with respect to their involvement in the passage of prop 8. There has also been allegations of more money coming from out-of-state than in state. The analytical part of my brain doesn't take what people say as fact... I want to see the numbers/evidence. Here are the hard numbers:

The amounts contributed to both sides were very high. It is reasonable for critics to question why their greater contributions to defeat Proposition 8 didn't carry the vote as they expected, but to imply that the participation of Latter-day Saint citizens—most of whom were California residents—was improper is inappropriate. Such an accusation is an exercise in empowering a straw man of their own creation.

For Proposition 8
In-State Donations $25,388,955
Out-of-State Donations $10,733,582
Total Donations $36,122,538

Against Proposition 8
In-State Donations $26,464,589
Out-of-State Donations $11,968,285
Total Donations $38,432,873

In-State Donations $51,853,544
Out-of-State Donations $22,701,867
Total Donations $74,555,411
Tracking the money, Los Angeles Times

Note that out-of-state contributions to the "No" side were over $1.2 million higher than the out-of-state contributions to the "Yes" side and that out-of-state contributions to the "No" side constituted a higher percentage of the overall "No" funding than out-of-state contributions did for the "Yes" side.

There have been various estimates of monies donated to the "Yes on 8" campaign by LDS Church members, ranging from $14 to $20 million. No firm figures are available because the State of California does not request or record the religion of donors.

You can read the entire article here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Need to Keep Our Voices Heard

This afternoon I received the agenda for my local town council meeting to be held tonight and on it was a speaker against proposition 8. Okay, two thoughts popped into my head: 1) Prop 8 has already been voted on; 2) How is this an issue that the town council needs to address?

I could not attend due to prior commitments, but my mom did attend. Two people spoke, one was a lesbian who voiced her troubles in getting child support after separating from her partner 10 years ago; the second was a bisexual lawyer who felt that if you love someone, you should be able to marry him/her.

The woman said that all of the ads in favor of prop 8 were lies and it made her sick to her stomach to see all of the signs in favor of prop 8.

When it was time for questions, someone asked if domestic partnerships don't allow the same rights as marriages. The woman said a domestic partnership is for second-class citizens. The lawyer said that domestic partnerships provide for the same benefits as marriage but domestic partnerships are only recognized in California and not in other states.

A side note, this was the lowest attended town council meeting in a very long time, with only 20-25 people in the audience.

I felt this is important to post because I think it is important that we are aware of what is going on in our local communities. The question was raised, "How did we let it get this far." By not knowing what is being said at our town council meetings, by not telling our city council people our thoughts, by not voting because we think our vote doesn't matter.

Here is what we need to do NOW:
Voice our opinions in our local communities.
Reach out to our neighbors.
Write letters/make phone calls to our political leaders.

Now is not the time to sit back just because one issue was voted in our favor. Now is the time to stand up with the other 6 million Californians and reach out across the nation. Our grassroots effort is not over... it has just begun!