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Friday, November 7, 2008

California, what were you thinking???

Prior to the election, I really didn't think there was much chance of Prop 8 (the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage) passing. California seems like such a liberal place, and everyone I know seemed to be planning to vote 'no'. But apparently I was living in a little bubble of liberal naiveté, because it did pass after all, and that makes me sad to be a Californian right now.

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.
Okay, your turn. What would you do if you had $50,000 to donate to charity?


Anonymous said...

Wow, that is pretty disgusting.

Skye & Edie said...

I think the whole nation is pretty shocked this passed. I was positive this measure would be laughed down. Up here in Oregon I always think of California as pretty liberal. Guess there are more scary people hiding down there than I thought. :(

shayoa said...

Guh. I've been feeling so sad since I finally gave up hope that the absentee ballots weren't going to matter, and it was honestly, truly, actually going to pass. :o(

I too thought there was no way it would pass. We only started donating money and protesting on street corners with our No On H8 signs towards the end when I started to panic from the poll numbers, and seeing the gazillions of Yes on H8 people everywhere.


I wish I had done more.

lauren bacchus said...

I don't know what CA was thinking, but it makes me sick. I had hoped more for CA, but we have more work to do to stop discrimination and promote equality for all.

Sadly, in southern CA, everyone had a hateful Yes on 8 sticker on their car and sign in their lawn. It was like being assaulted on a daily basis. :(

The Myers Family said...

I don't see how throwing your savings away improves the future of your children.

Vegan Girl said...

Hey Tam, Tag your it. You (optionaly) need to give 7 facts about your self. You can see my blog on how it's done.

I was a little surprised that they took $50k out of their childrens future for this prop. Crazy

Emma's K9 Kitchen said...

People can be so infuriating. I was so sad & disappointed to hear that it didn't pass. :(

Five O'Clock Somewhere said...

I agree I thought everyone would vote no on 8, it was a disappointing surprise to me. I guess everyone I spoke with were not in the majority.

If I had $50k to donate it would go to rescue horses from abuse. Especially now with the bad economy I am hearing of an increased number of horses being abandoned and neglected.

Anonymous said...

If I had 50k in spare change it would go to the local animal shelters.

I hope in 10 years they can't afford their childrens college educations and regret this decision.

Becci said...

You aren't kidding when you describe that article as something that would make you sick.

Disgusting. What hateful, evil people. And not one part of their precious "traditional lifestyle" would be put at risk by homosexuals getting married. What, gay people can't drive 10 year old cars and bake their own bread and live in a "modest three-bedroom home"?

I'll admit that I'm not gay, but this is news to me.