SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–A California ballot initiative that would define marriage has gained an unexpected group of supporters — a group of homosexual men and women.
“Gays for 22” announced their support of Proposition 22, the initiative to define valid marriages in California as being between a man and a woman. Tom Beddingfield, a homosexual political consultant and “Gays for 22” coalition chairman, said the issue is about state’s rights.
“It’s not an anti-gay initiative,” Beddingfield told the San Jose Mercury News. “California needs to be protected from other state judges redefining our law for us.”
Proposition 22, if passed, would block the state from recognizing gay marriages performed in states that have legalized same-sex marriages.
No state permits same-sex unions, but the Vermont legislature is considering it after its state supreme court ruled that same-sex couples are entitled to the same benefits as married people.
“California isn’t ready for gay marriage,” Beddingfield said. “And we shouldn’t let some other state legislature or judge tell us we should have it.”
In other developments:
–Several mainline Protestant leaders in Southern California have called for the defeat of Proposition 22 including leaders of the Episcopal Church, United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ.
The church leaders also detailed their support for both gay civil rights and possible homosexual marriages.
–The Field Poll released a poll that showed voters supporting Proposition 22 by a 52 percent to 39 percent margin. The poll showed Proposition 22 leading in all geographic regions except the San Francisco Bay Area and was favored by both men and women and by all ethnic groups.
Democrats opposed the measure by a ratio of about 3-to-2 but Republicans favored it by more than 3-to-1. The poll was based on responses from 7,775 likely voters.
–The La Mesa City Council recently clashed with Mayor Art Madrid when they voted to collectively endorse Proposition 22. The mayor refused to vote, citing a council policy of not taking action on issues that don’t directly impact the city.
In Pasadena, citizens turned out in force to hear their city council debate the Proposition 22 issue. “I’m amazed to see how many of our citizens are immoral,” said Pasadena resident Jeffrey Horn.
Still, the council voted to take a stand against the proposition.
In Chino Hills, the city council tabled a proposal that would have supported Proposition 22. “I don’t consider myself a social policeman,” said Mayor Mike Wickman. “I don’t believe that the city council has the responsibility to decide social issues in our city.”
Proposition 22 will be on the March 7 ballot.