It was just last May that the state Supreme Court -- in a four-to-three decision -- overturned California’s ban on gay marriage.…The celebration on the steps of the courthouse in San Francisco hit the national airwaves… Ellen Pontac of Davis was there to take part…
“I had a feeling of joy that started at my toes and ran right up to the top! This is so good it’s so right…”
Even at that time a movement was well underway to place what has now become Prop 8 on the ballot. The measure would change the state Constitution to specify that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized. Meredith Turney is with the group Capitol Resource Family Impact that supports Prop 8. She says the gay marriage issue would be settled once and for all by placing a ban in California’s constitution.
“We see it as our obligation, our duty to our supporters to speak out on this issue and lead the fight to protect our values and really our rights as voters to say this is what we believe, we believe it our right to define marriage and not have four activist judges define it for us.”
More than 40-million dollars has been poured in to the debate over prop 8. And it’s brought together celebrities, churches even people from out of state. The Mormon and Catholic Churches are top donors on the “yes” side… And other churches are rallying with Get out the Vote efforts. Pastor Rick Cole heads the Capital Christian Center in Sacramento.
“This isn’t an effort to attack the homosexual community. Not at all. It’s just to protect the core family unit. That’s the stabilizing force of communities and societies.”
Hollywood has been weighing in on the “no” side. There are high profile donors like actor Brad Pitt and director Steven Spielberg. Comedienne Ellen Degeneres even made an ad.
“I got to do something this year that I thought I’d never be able to do. I got married. It was the happiest day of my life. There are people out there spending millions of dollars trying to take that right away from me.”
Different faiths are also banding together to oppose the measure…
A recent letter writing campaign brought them together one night at Sacramento’s Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
Barbara and Terry Allen-Brecher took part. The two have been together for 18 years. They married in June— after the court ruling allowed it. Barbara says it’s about fairness and equality.
“Marriage the word is very significant we feel—well I can speak for myself—that there is a community acknowledgement of our relationship that there wasn’t before. It really allows us to bring our commitment to another level.”
Many couples aren’t waiting for the outcome of the ballot measure. It’s estimated by the U.C.L.A based Williams Institute that some 11-thousand same sex marriages have taken place in California in the last few months. But what happens to those marriages if Prop 8 is approved by voters is unclear. Some say they would remain valid—but it’s likely their status would be challenged in court.