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California: Frontline of the Marriage Culture War

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Frank Pastore from KKLA in Los Angeles interviews Gary Bauer, president of American Values about the effort to redefine the marriage protection amendment on the fall ballot.


Pastore: The Attorney General of California, Jerry Brown, has decided that he wants to weigh with his opinion of the protection of marriage attempt that we have in California—that is going to be on the ballot in November. And he has chosen to redefine the measure on the ballot so that it will appear on the ballot not as we had signed it and passed it around—that, you know, “the State of California recognizes that marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” That is what we had basically signed. He now has weighed in and said, “You know, with the fact that the courts have passed it, we got all these gay marriages that have happened, we now are going to reword it to the following: Proposition 8 changes the California constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.” Gary Bauer, you are a political operative. Is that going to have and impact on the turn out and perhaps the vote?

Bauer: It could very well have an impact and I suspect that is why the attorney general did what he did. He is trying to stack the deck. People get very confused when they go in to vote on these referenda, and now this referendum has been worded in a way that makes it sound like a right is being taken away from people. Of course, there is no such right. And certainly the Supreme Court of California can’t create a right over and above what the people and the elected officials of California are willing to do. Courts are not supposed to be making law. They are supposed to be interpreting the law that has already been made. I’ll guarantee you that—the people who drafted the California constitution—it never crossed their mind that they were writing a Constitution that would redefine marriage so that men could marry men.


Pastore: Now Attorney General Jerry Brown in California has basically on his own, and of course he wants to run for governor again, he’s weighed in and instead of “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” he’s changed that to Proposition 8 “changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.” Then it goes on … over the next few years potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling tens of millions of dollars to state and local governments, etc.—meaning it is going to cost us tens of millions of dollars and we are eliminating a right.

It is so bad and thank goodness the Protect Marriage group is filing a quick lawsuit to try to block this from going in…. This is indicative of the culture war that you have been fighting nearly all your life.

Bauer: It really is. I’ll tell you something. I know Jerry Brown. I’ve been in debates with him, even one in which he was on my side in the question of our trade with China. But Brown is the kind of guy that always likes to think of himself as a progressive. He’s for clean government. He’s for fairness for everybody. He’s for making sure the system doesn’t discriminate, etc. Yet when we get into an issue this basic where the voters of California have already voted once on this question he is not above changing the rules, trying to stack the deck in order to confuse the electorate and make sure his side wins the battle on Election Day.


I think it’s outrageous. I think the attorney general out to be ashamed of himself.

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