I don't understand how anyone could believe that writing discrimination into our constitution could be a good idea?
And I really, really don't understand why these protect-the-sanctity-of-marriage types even give a crap about gay people getting married. I mean really, how can they justify wasting the time, energy, and expense of waging war against gay people when there is so much suffering in the world - so many serious problems that demand our attention and action?
This story, which ran in October in the Sacramento Bee, makes me sick. (This is just an excerpt; you can find the entire story here if you want to feel even more ill.)
Pam and Rick Patterson have always followed teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and tried to live within their means.
He drives a 10-year-old Honda Civic to his job at Intel. She is a stay-at home mom who makes most of the family meals and bakes her own bread. The couple, who have five sons between the ages of 3 and 12, live in a comfortable but modest three-bedroom home in Folsom.
It's a traditional lifestyle they believe is now at risk. That's why the Pattersons recently made a huge financial sacrifice – they withdrew $50,000 from their savings and donated it to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign, the ballot measure that seeks to ban same-sex marriage.
"It was a decision we made very prayerfully and carefully," said Pam Patterson, 48. "Was it an easy decision? No. But it was a clear decision, one that had so much potential to benefit our children and their children."
The Pattersons, who have been married 14 years, say there were thinking about their children's future when they decided to tap into their savings to contribute. And they also said no one pressured them into giving.
They were reluctant to talk about their donation – not even their families knew how much they contributed – and agreed to do so only because it is listed on public campaign documents.
"The amount may surprise people," said Rick Patterson. "But people who know us, know how much the family means to us."
Um, hello? Can we step back for a moment and think about what that $50,000 could have accomplished had the Pattersons not opted to spend it promoting hatred and bigotry?
- $50,000 would purchase and deliver insecticide-treated bed nets to 5,000 families in the poorest parts of the world, protecting them from malaria, a preventable disease that infects more than 500 million people a year and kills more than a million— one person dies about every 30 seconds.
- $50,000 would cover the feeding, shelter, and medical needs for 21 cows, 21 goats, 21 sheep, 21 pigs, 21 turkeys, 21 ducks, 21 geese, 21 rabbits, and 21 chickens (that's 189 animals total) at Farm Sanctuary for one year.
- $50,000 would buy laptop computers for 50 college freshmen through the Harlem Children Zone's program to improve the lives of underserved African American children.