Religious leaders oppose Prop. 8
Yesterday at the No on Prop. 8 headquarters in Hillcrest, 35 leaders from various religious denominations spent the afternoon dialing up potential voters as part of an organized statewide effort to inform the public that you can be religious and support the right of gays and lesbians to marry.
“I think it’s really important for the community at large to see that there is a large and strong Christian voice that stands in opposition to this,” said Pastor Scott Landis of the Mission Hills United Church of Christ. “And it’s standing on the side of fairness.”
Fairness and civil rights were the theme of the calls; clergy members’ message to voters was that the ballot measure isn’t about religion at all.
“I think that people are afraid that the freedom would somehow impact their religious beliefs or their family,” said state Sen. Christine Kehoe, who stopped by the phone bank. “It won’t. It’s a civil rights issue.”
Clergy members also tried to dispel claims made by Prop. 8 advocates—for example, that churches will lose their tax-exempt status or be sued if they refuse to perform same-sex marriages. Those arguments seem to be having an impact: in August, Prop. 8 looked like it would be easily defeated, but more recent polls show that voters are pretty evenly split on the issue.
“It’s just false,” Rev. Arvid Straube from the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego said about the tax-exempt-status claim. “It’s ironic to me that these religious groups who support Prop. 8 are using false witness—which is a sin—to support their position, and it’s like, when is it OK to state falsehoods?”