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The grassroots movement on Prop 2

This Chron article gives the best reason why those who oppose the Double Secret Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment, also known as Proposition 2, need to get out and vote on November 7:

“This is unique, historical. Nothing like this has happened in Texas. Most people don’t know it’s going to occur, and that’s the fear,” said Kelley Shackelford, one of [Texans for Marriage Political Action Committee]’s founders.

Similar measures against same-sex marriage were on the ballots of 11 states last November, and all passed. Texas is the only state this year where voters will consider measures defining marriage.

“If you had a huge turnout, there’s no doubt in my mind, Texans are solidly behind keeping marriage between a man and a woman,” Shackelford said. “I can’t tell you whether they will show up or not. Anyone can win.”

Don’t wake up on November 8 with a case of the coulda-shouldas. This is important.

And this is the saddest thing I’ve read about the Prop 2 debate:

Shackelford says support for banning same-sex marriage crosses usual political and philosophical lines. Though socially conservative issues often are associated with Republicans and white evangelicals, this measure appeals to people regardless of their party affiliation, economic status and ethnic background, said Shackelford, who is white.

Willie Davis, the senior pastor at Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church and a supporter of the amendment, agrees. “This is not the normal right, evangelical fight. We are supporting it because of our biblical beliefs,” said Davis, who is black. “That’s not a principle we adopted because it’s on the ballot. That’s something we always believed in. I would hope we do not rewrite history as to what the creator has already defined.”

How many members of your congregation have common law marriages, Reverend Davis? Can you say for certain that the broadly-worded Prop 2 will not affect any of them? What will you say if you find out that it does? Remember, the ballot language includes a reference to “any legal status identical to or similar to marriage”. You tell me what that means.

(Putting aside, of course, the obvious possibility that there might be gay people in his flock. The point I want to make here is that Prop 2 isn’t just about gays, though they will certainly feel the brunt of it.)

Oh, and to respond to Shackleford, opposition to Prop 2 also cuts across various political boundaries.

Besides get-out-the-vote efforts among potential opponents of the measure, Houston’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Political Caucus PAC is trying to get candidates and officeholders on the record about the amendment.

Houston Mayor Bill White took no official stance but suggested the amendment is divisive.

“As mayor, I avoid commenting on state and federal laws and policies I do not influence,” White said. “I intend to vote ‘no’ on the proposed state constitutional amendment to protest its use as a wedge issue.”

Some responses, including at-large Position 5 City Council candidate Michael Stoma’s, were more vague:

“I support everyone’s right to pursue life, love and happiness under the law. I support political involvement to change the laws to reflect increased civil rights and enhance our constitutional rights to pursue a happy, prosperous life, with increased quality of life.”

“There are a lot of answers that are nonanswers,” said Maria Gonzalez, president of the caucus.

Sorry, Michael, that doesn’t cut it. Tell me how your voting and why, or I can’t respect you. If what you’re afraid of is giving a “wrong” answer, then go back and read what Mayor White said. It’s that simple.

Kudos also to DMN colunnist Jacquielynn Floyd for getting to the heart of the issue. If you need to know more or want to get involved, just remember these four words: No Nonsense In November.

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