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November 12th, 2008
03:04 PM ET

Equal protection

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/12/gaymarriage-laprotest.jpg caption="Prop 8 protesters on the streets of Los Angeles"]

Editor's Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on In Session”

Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

I am going to go out on a limb here and say this about gay marriage: California got it wrong and Connecticut has it right. And I say this to you as a Christian – one who reads the Bible and goes to church and prays with my children. Because to me Proposition 8, well it just doesn’t seem like the Christian thing to do.

The courts in California gave gay people the right to marry. And now, voters have taken that right away. And that’s downright mean-spirited. Now, my Christian brothers and sisters are quick to tell me that they are okay with civil unions. But that marriage is between a man and a women. My friends say they are tolerant. But is tolerant the best we can do in this country? Doesn’t the Constitution require something more? Isn’t this country about equal protection for all Americans? Not just some of us.

And I know, there have always been those who resist change. They opposed the abolition of slavery. They opposed civil rights. They opposed inter-marriage and now they oppose gay marriage too. But time and time again we do the right thing and time and time again the Constitution prevails. Because the greatness of America is not rooted in intolerance.

This country is great precisely because we recognize the fundamental rights of all Americans — black and white, male and female and yes, gay and straight.


Filed under: Jami Floyd • Proposition 8 • Raw Politics
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Romancandle

    The institution of marriage between one man and one woman and the family created as a result of that union has long been viewed as the very core and foundation of human society as we have always known it.

    If we tamper with this powerful truth, in an attempt to redefine marriage, there may be irreparable devaluation, deterioration, and devastation thrusted upon society. The very purpose of marriage is to promote life. If, we the people abandon this truth, the effects may lead to abandonment of life itself.

    We as a people must do everything possible to preserve the very core and foundation of our society.

    CIVIL UNIONS = YES

    TARNISH or REDEFINE MARRIAGE = NO

    Respect and dignity to gay and lesbian couples = YES

    Offer understanding and tolerance to same sex civil unions = YES

    Equal rights???
    Has anyone reading this blog ever seen or heard of incidents where the population of this issue have not been allowed the right to 1) Vote in an election? 2) Attend our public schools? 3) The right to marry? All have the right to marry, just like everyone else, as long as one chooses to marry a person of the opposite sex, which I might add balances perfectly with the natural order of life! 4) Receive equal wages? 5) Has the community at issue been denied privileges to visit hotels, motels, resaurants, parks, beaches, swimming pools, theatres or other public places? Is the community at issue force to use separate public rest rooms, or separate public drinking fountains? NO??? Is your answer 'no' to all of the ablove??? Then where is the violation of civil rights??? I feel you are offending a beautiful race of people who just so happen to be born black, by comparing the cruelty, hatred, oppression they did receive to the public opinion gays and lesbians generate. Blacks, who were discriminated against, did not choose their race, but homosexuals do choose their partners.

    Finally, the people who oppose what you are doing are NOT the hate mongers they are proclaimed to be by gays and lesbians. It is the gays and lesbians, I feel that HATE their brothers and sisters who oppose their behavior. The people who oppose it opposes the influence that behavior has on our society and our children.

    Please do not compare same sex couples with the oppression that occurred against Black America. How on earth can advocates for gay marriage compare the widespread abominable discrimination experienced by our Black American people to issues that involve the CONDUCT of a particular group, and the behaviors the group CHOOSES to exercise.

    Advocates for gay marriage claim it is discrimination because individuals within the group were born with homosexual tendencies. It is common knowledge that science has not conclusively concluded that the homosexual condition is caused by genetics. Therefore, at this time, one may view homosexuality as a behavioral condition.

    November 16, 2008 at 11:34 am |
  2. Roy

    Jami,
    First, you read the Bible and say Prop 8 was not a Christian thing to do. The Bible is very clear about homosexuality. The Bible does not support it. So, how can Christians support Prop 8?
    Blaming Christians and minorities for the outcome of Prop 8 is unfair. Californians voted, more than once, on this issue. The ballot and the vote were fair. What the courts have done is unfair. The courts have overruled the right of the people of California in the interest of a specific group. The Constitution was not framed such that the courts would overrule the will of the people. Yet, our courts bend over backwards, not because of law, to support those denying marriage is between one man and one woman.
    No rights, civil or otherwise, have been denied those opposing Prop 8. No civil rights (freedom of speech, religion, the press or due process of law) have been denied those opposing Prop 8. Neither does the Equal Protection argument hold water. There is no true equal protection argument to support those opposing Prop 8. If so, what "equal protection" are homosexuals being denied. Saying homosexuals cannot get married does not indicated a lack of equal protection. What it actually does is indicate adherence to the law; law passed under the will of the people.
    Jami, what " . . . fundamental right . . ." is being denied. RS

    November 14, 2008 at 12:27 am |
  3. Melissa, Los Angeles

    @ Cindy both cases are the same – it's pure discrimination against a minority group. How are they discriminated against? They are not allowed to marry unlike you and I!

    So if the majority ruled that we can own slaves again does that make it right? If the majority ruled that women can no longer work and must stay home is that right? You can't say they're not the same because they are – it's all pure discrimination to take away rights from certain groups and giving them to others.

    November 12, 2008 at 7:35 pm |
  4. Jim, Bishop,Ca

    Jami- how can you call your self ' Christian' & not agree with God?
    How can you call him Lord & ignore what He & his Father say?
    If " Anything Goes" & is ok why will Gods wrath be poured out on the world in the "great tribulation?
    The Majority of those in California who voted NO to gay marraige chose to side with God & not with man God Calls several things ABOMINATION- & says " Woe unto those who call evil good & good evil"
    God is NOT going to change even if all 6,000,000,000 people on earth disagree with Him. He says what is right & wrong. He will let those who choose to disobey his law harden their hearts & fill up the cup of iniquity & when his judgement falls just like when it did on Sodom & Gomorah All will learn the hard way- God is right & everyone who disagrees with him is wrong.You have Moses, the Prophets, Jesus, & the disiples Woe unto those who refuse to hear them.

    November 12, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  5. Manuela

    The decision to ban gay marriages was obvously based on religious believes, ad this is wrong by principle and almost unexpected in the amazing times that we are living. The rigths of our citizens should be determined by the Constitution. As I do not interfere with the Mormon religion, on spite of how much I desagree with their fundamentalist wing, or with the Catholic Church doctrines or with any other religions, I expect to be respected and protected in my rightfull pursuit of happiness. As an American Citizen that I am (and not gay) I will defend with all my heart the FREEDOM of all the people of this Country, as I swore when I became one.

    November 12, 2008 at 7:16 pm |
  6. Joy, Fort Gordon, Georgia

    Cindy, we do not have a true Democracy, read the Federalist Papers, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence, WE HAVE A REPUBLIC a unique form of government that is meant to protect against the trappings of a pure and true democracy, one of those trappings as named by our founding fathers was the concept of majority rule which they specifically laid out as dangerous, Hamilton and Madison argued perfectly that a Republic would prevent majority rule and protect the minorites from having their rights usurped. Hello we have the electoral college as a way of protecting the nation from majority rule, because the majority is not always right, majorities can lead to fanaticism, and they can override the rights protected and guaranteed in the Constitution. If you want a pure and true Democracy where the majority rules then move to Russia where the majority rules and the minorites rights are usurped daily.

    November 12, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  7. Hello

    I just want to know when it all stops.

    Who keeps pushing the envelope until they get their way or do not until we say enough is enough.

    The vote was taken and the gays were turned down in Cali. (52% is still a majority where I come from) Now, they move onto another state. They just do not get it. A majority of U.S. citizens do not agree with the lifestyle.

    Get a grip on it for those who want it.

    November 12, 2008 at 6:59 pm |
  8. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Jami
    I have a lot of gay and bi-sexual friends. I am so tired of others trying to shove their ideas down another's throat, or attempting to make someone something they are not!
    isn't it difficult enough to be gay or bi-sexual in our society? When will we learn to live and let live in peace?
    Gay pride or = or ^ (straight) everyone deserves the right to be themselves and be loved. XO
    Peace and Love from Texas

    November 12, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  9. Cindy

    Melissa, Los Angeles....When there are 35 states who have bans on gay marriage then I would call that more than half of the country not wanting them to occur. Just because a rouge one or two states allows it means nothing. Majority rules in a democracy.

    And interracial marriage is a totally different subject than gay marriage. It was held off because of racism. That is why the courts stepped in and made it legal. Gays don't have that problem. They have as many rights as anyone else. They are not banned to the back of a bus or made to eat in a different location than those not gay. They can have a civil union that is recognized by states letting them share in their insurances and what not. So how are they discriminated against when they have these rights?

    Cindy...Ga.

    November 12, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  10. Mike in NYC

    It's odd that all the venom of the frustrated Prop 8 opponents is directed toward white Christians, even though 70% of black voters supported it.

    It looks like they might have to change their demonology to include some of their former "Yes We Can" teammates.

    It was also interesting how much corporate support Prop 8 opponents got, not to mention Arnold's blessing. They were clearly the "establishment" side of this issue. No doubt they still fancy themselves persecuted outsiders.

    November 12, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  11. Greg Miller

    What does it mean to protect the word marriage. I used to work in a restaurant where we "married" ketchup bottle contents together. lets say that every state had some kind of civil unions for everyone. A unique way to fight this would be to apply for a civil union for a heterosexual couple. Then Same-sex marriage proponents can try to take away the rights heterosexuals. What is the difference of the word.

    If California can not step up to the plate I guess Washington will have to.

    Reverend Greg

    November 12, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  12. Jessica Gottlieb

    I wonder if the people who advocated for prop 8 would have the temerity to look at a child and explain to them that Gawd doesn't think they should have health insurance.

    I wonder if any of these horrible hateful (probably fearful) people would have the courage to talk to a child of gays. There are 70,000 of them in California, the backlash (I hope and pray) will be relentless.

    November 12, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  13. Scott NYC

    I would ask those that are against same sex marriage where in the bible is it prohibited by God or Jesus that same sex's should not love and honor each other. The fact is there are only 3 related stories and one refers to rape; one to incest and one to every sin known to man including heterosexual sex. But none a direct instruction from the divine.

    PS
    Please end the Palin coverage my eyes are starting to glaze over every time she is mentioned yet again.

    November 12, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  14. Jack Riaden

    On a personal note, they should be ashamed altering the flag of this nation in such a way. that speaks not only to other americans, but to other nations as well. im sure the world would take a rainbow american flag as a mockery a joke, and personally I take offence to that flag.

    November 12, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  15. Mia, FL

    I must agree with Jami and Evette. And I, too, say this as a Christian, believing in equal rights for all. Whether the married couple living next to me are gay or straight, does not affect my life in any way.
    The reason gay couples would want to call their union a marriage rather than a "civil union" has all to do with equal rights.

    I think the people in this country need to open their minds and understand that we are all human beings with the right to pursue happiness on equal terms.
    Isn't that what our country is built on in the first place?

    November 12, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  16. Larry

    Why is it a problem with the Mormon community using their wealth to get people to vote yes on Prop 8? Were there no wealthier groups that could have organized a no vote? What are the Church of Scientology's views on Prop 8?

    November 12, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  17. Will

    Rockford

    I was watching AC360 last week and happened to catch the segment were Prop. 8 was being discussed. One of the commentators brought up a good point, she mention that the writers of both constitutions, CA one and US, knew that the majority would try to oppress the minority. It took the courts to give bi-racial marriages a go and it will take the courts to give gay marriages.

    November 12, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  18. Melissa, Los Angeles

    @ Cindy first of all only 52% of California voted to ban gay marriage so not everybody (including me) voted for it. Second of all in 1948 90% of Americans were against interracial marriage. By 1967 when the Supreme Court ruled that interracial marriage should be legal and that 17 states had to overturn their ban 72% of Americans were still against interracial marriage. Just because you don't approve does not mean you have the right to dictate how others live or who they should marry. Thank goodness for our court system because blacks would still be enslaved and I would not be married to my white husband right now if they only ruled based on "the majority" instead of what is right and fair to ALL.

    November 12, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  19. Virginia

    People forget that marriage in this country is NOT a religious thing and most people no longer get married by religious figures. If you went and got married at a church, you are not married until you file paperwork at the courthouse to make it legally binding. Last I checked, courthouses are not churches.

    So that right there negates the Biblical/religious argument.

    I, for one, believe that we should change the word to something else- like call all "marriages" civil unions with the same rights given to all who file a certificate at the court house. If you want a religious marriage that's up to you to do on your own, and up to your church to decide if they permit it.

    November 12, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  20. linda

    What about equal protection for pedaphiles, polygamists, and on and on it goes... ;where is the line drawn? My point is that we have to define marriage legally, and then enforce those laws. That being said, the people have voted to ban gay marriage, and it is the job of the courts to INTERPRET the law, not MAKE law.

    Vote these judges out who disobey laws and seek to overturn the will of the majority of the people. They are the threat to democracy.

    VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE

    November 12, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  21. Jack Riaden

    Cindy nailed it head on, and I agree with exactly what she said. Right on Cindy from GA.

    November 12, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  22. suki

    Jami

    I have to agree with you – this is an issue of equality – I cannot believe how many small minded, hyprocritical people exist in this country – what are they so afraid of that they are willing to deny gay people the right to marry

    November 12, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  23. Laura

    I'm a married straight woman. Plus... I'm an atheist married to a man of a different nationality and we refuse to procreate. While, yes, we're hetero, our marriage is obviously unconventional. When the rights of gays are threatened, I know I'm next. And if I'm next, I bet any of you are, too.

    November 12, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  24. Fay, CA

    The religious bigots who have chosen to spend their time and money working to prevent gay couples from marrying should be ashamed of themselves–there is never any excuse for discrimination and it diminishes all of us as Americans if one group of people are being denied their rights. I don't know if Prop 8 can be overturned, but it has galvanized the gay community into taking action against the churches and other organizations who voted Yes on 8 and the issue is not going away anytime soon.

    November 12, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  25. Rockford

    Jami

    The Constitution was based off the will of the people... not the court.
    Like it or not (I have no opinion really) the people of California spoke... a State mind you that is heavily Democrat voting heavily in favor for Obama. I don't think this can be attributed to only Christians or Republicans being over a million Democrats voted in favor.

    November 12, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  26. Evette

    I think California was wrong for putting the issue up for a vote. Voters should not have the right to take any rights from any citizen of the United States of America. A man having the right to marry another man or vise versa doesn't affect me or any other American.

    November 12, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  27. Cindy

    Jami,
    I think you've got it wrong. First of all Cali voted against gay marriage to begin with. Then the ruling was taken to a higher court and overturned which it shouldn't have been since the people made their statement with their votes on what they wanted for their state. So prop 8 passing was once again Cali's citizens making their true voice known.

    As far as the constitution goes it was talking about racism and giving all creeds and colors the same rights. They had no clue about gays or lesbians when it was written. To be honest most of them were Christians and I'm sure if they did know about it back then they'd have the same reaction as is given now.

    You can't always bend the rules just because one bunch of people feel they are being dissed. Gays do have rights and civil unions, yet they aren't happy with that. They just want to force others to go along with their lifestyles. It's obvious most of the country doesn't want to. So using the discrimination tactic isn't working.

    Cindy...Ga.

    November 12, 2008 at 3:21 pm |