No on Prop. 8 Campaign Reaches Out to Black Voters

As marriage equality opponents galvanized in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles to target African-American voters, clergy members and other activists gathered just miles away to fight against California's upcoming ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage.

BY Anne Stockwell

October 23 2008 12:00 AM ET

 Doug Spearman, actor, Equality California board member, cochair of the No on 8 finance committee X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

Doug Spearman, actor, Equality California board
member, cochair of the No on 8 finance committee

We have already
won the right in California for same-sex couples to be
married. What this ballot measure wants to do is to take
away that civil right that we have fought and spent
money and raised voices and changed hearts and minds
in order to win. My friends made those arguments in
front of the state supreme court. My coworkers, my
neighbors, my churchgoing family raised money and
awareness to make this a reality.

What we have to
do is be vigilant and protect that right. We have to be
constantly awake and aware and fight for something that the
state constitution is built to protect -- and they
want to dismantle it in order to take something away
from us. When the supreme court authored their
opinion, they effectively wiped away not just
discrimination for gays and lesbians but they wiped
away discrimination in the state of California in a
way that it’s never been addressed before. They did a
brave and beautiful thing, making our lives safe,
accountable, worthy, important in the state. We held
up a light in California that shines for the entire
nation: of truth, honor, dignity, and self-respect that
every other state has a responsibility to turn toward
or turn away from.

There are people
here in the state that want to take away the right for
Californians to marry. This is a civil right, and
it’s the beginning: What other right are they
going to take away? Is there a woman in this room who
wants to give up the right to vote? If we let them pass
Prop. 8, it’s the beginning -- it’s not
the end. Slowly but surely you will see your lives
constrict. This is where the battle is. This is where we
stand and fight. This is where we say, “We have
won the right to be here. We pay our taxes. We send
our children to school. We are good neighbors, good
Californians. We're union members, truck drivers, doctors,
and lawyers. We are the people that serve your food.
We take care of your children, we take care of your
elderly. And you want to deny us the right to be who
we are while we do all of that.”

The lines are
very clearly drawn. If you let them take this, they will
take more.

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