Prop. 8, Mao, Lenin & Newsom

Public Affairs Consultant specializing in Issue Advocacy and Strategic Communications

Folks on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate should consider the words of Gavin Newsome and John Lennon.

For Prop. 8 supporters: "It’s gonna happen…Whether you like it or not."

For Prop. 8 opponents: "If you go around carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow."

More and more Americans, and therefore more and more states, are going to recognize the marriages between adults of the same gender. Whether you like it or not, same-sex marriages are now legal in Connecticut, and surely more states are going to legalize it either through the courts or through ballot initiatives.

Here in Los Angeles, I have been watching the Prop. 8 protests with interest. Passionate rallies have been held in front of the Mormon Church, L.A.’s Cathedral, and even our city’s worst Mexican restaurant (but great margaritas) because its manager contributed $100 to Prop. 8.

The overwhelming majority of anti-Prop. 8 protestors appear to be thoughtful and articulate spokespeople for their cause.

Unfortunately, (and the reason why I don’t participate in mass protests) a handful of them spew out the same venom we’d hear during Sarah Palin rallies against "people who don’t see the world the way [Republicans or "real" Americans] do.

Prop. 8 opponents certainly have a right to be angry, but let’s channel that energy into helping more people accept gay couples as part of our communities. Yelling at folks usually doesn’t get anyone to change their minds. Gay couples need to keep driving carpools, dog-sitting the neighbor’s pet, and hosting the neighborhood watch meeting. More and more people will realize that they don’t care what their sexual orientation is.

Speaking for myself, I am optimistic that if a ballot initiative to allow gay couples to marry qualifies for the 2010 ballot, it will pass.

But legalizing gay marriage is only part of the battle. The bigger goal should be to increase the acceptance of gay couples as part of California’s culture.

Let’s stop attacking people for their religious beliefs and instead show them that, in this country, individual freedoms complement religious freedoms.

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