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Religion in the Proposition 8 Trial



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Perhaps one must be a partner in a law firm to understand these things, but the religion strategy of the Proposition 8 opponents is somewhat mystifying to me. The question of religious support for the amendment seems to come up often in the testimony, but to what purpose?

Surely the plaintiffs must be aware of the vociferous opposition to Proposition 8, premised on explicitly religious grounds by some churches. Statements were issued by, among many others, a Conference of the United Church of Christ (“We believe that the Bible affirms and celebrates human expressions of love and partnership, calling us to live out fully that gift of God in responsible, faithful, committed relationships that recognize and respect the image of God in all people.”) and the Episcopal Diocesan Bishops of California (“We believe that continued access to civil marriage for all, regardless of sexual orientation, is consistent with the best principles of our constitutional rights. We believe that this continued access promotes Jesus’ ethic of love, giving, and hope.”).

Yet, the plaintiffs seem to think they are presenting important information when they “reveal” what everyone has known — that some churches and religious groups supported Proposition 8. A vaguely unsettling possibility is that the plaintiffs and their attorneys believe that they are tarring the amendment just by showing that churches favored it. That would be, of course, rank religious bigotry. As unseemly as that explanation seems, it is the only one that now seems plausible. That is yet one more reason for concern.



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