NCIS Star Pauley
Perrette Takes On Prop. 8 

NCIS Star Pauley
            Perrette Takes On Prop. 8 

TV audiences know
her as Abby, the kooky goth chick that works in the
forensics lab and helps solve murders on the top-rated
CBS procedural NCIS. But in real life the only
thing that Pauley Perrette shares with her television alter
ego is a tendency toward hyperactivity...and right now
Perrette is pretty hyper over Proposition 8, the
proposed constitutional amendment that would eliminate
the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state of

Long a fan of the
gays -- Perrette has said in interviews that she was
virtually “raised” by the drag queens that
worked in the bars she would sneak off to as a
teenager growing up near Atlanta -- Perrette recently
began a grassroots online effort to convince people to vote
no on Prop. 8. She
composed a heartfelt and passionate letter

challenging the religious right’s allegations that
legal same-sex marriage would negatively affect church
rights and would be taught in schools, then sent it
out to everybody in her address book.

Perrette, who
recently got engaged to longtime boyfriend Michael Bosman,
sat down with to talk about why the issue is so important to
her, and how the outcome of the next election may
influence her own decision to get married. compelled you to write this essay?Pauley Perrette: I’ve recognized for a long
time that the discrimination of the gay community in so many
ways mirrors that of the women's suffrage movement and
the racial civil rights movement of the '60s. It's the
same thing -- one group wanting to keep rights away
from another group in the land of equality. When the
government has the power to take away the rights of any
group, all are vulnerable. We have given the
government the power to strip anyone of their rights.
I believe the civil rights challenge of the gay community
is our generation's issue to fight and make right, just as
brave Americans before us have changed the plights of
women and people of color, and it’s important
for evolved, intelligent, and passionate straight
people to speak out strongly against the iniquities forced
upon out gay brothers and sisters.

Who were you looking to speak to or reach with it? Well, I would love for women, people of color,
and churchgoers to read what I wrote. Women and people
of color should relate completely to being
discriminated against and should continue to always fight
for the civil rights of all. The religious
community...well, they try to accuse supporters of gay
rights of being heathens, et cetera. Nope, I've read
the same book, and I am in church on Sunday. I speak their
language, and they are using the beauty of God and
love to promote hate. For all those "Christians" out
there who think they are doing the Lord's work with
their campaign of hate and intolerance, I'm a Christian,
churchgoing, Bible-quoting, praying, thinking civil rights
activist, and I support gay rights and civil rights
for all. Bring it on; I'm ready.


You come from an area that is typically thought of
as being very old-fashioned in its beliefs. Do you think
that makes you more prepared to address bigotry
and intolerance?
I grew up in the Deep South, where sexism,
racism, and homophobia were and still are alive and
well. I have early, early memories of words and
actions of this type being very painful. I tried to befriend
people that were different than me and learn and love
them…to send the message that you are OK, and
loved and perfect, even though they were surrounded by
bigotry. I remember being on the bus with the only black
girl. I would go to the library and check out books
that had people of color on the cover and then sit
next to her. I was only, like, 6 years old. But I had gone
through my own struggles. I was a female and was also born
with a few childhood problems that required leg casts
and the dreadful patch over my eye in school. I knew
what it was like to be discriminated against and for
people to be mean. It hurts. I do not want to be a part of
hurting people.

How might the passing or failure of Prop. 8 affect
your plans to get married?
In his proposal speech, which happened soon
after California made same-sex marriage legal, Michael
said, “The laws have changed now.” We’d
been waiting until everyone could marry before we did it
ourselves, because all of our friends are gay and it
was very important to us to wait until they could do
it too. The Yes on Prop. 8 people say that equal
rights threaten their marriage, I can honestly say that
bigotry threatens ours. It is not the same if some
people, for no real or valid reason, cannot get
married and we can. It would cheapen our own marriage and
make it tainted.

What do you think is the root of people's
resistance to same-sex marriage?
I believe completely that the church is the
source of all racism, sexism, and homophobia, and I
think it is an insult to God. [Like the
antimiscegenation and sexist laws of the past] all of
homophobia was invented by the church. This is why it
is the church’s responsibility to fix this.
Churches that promote fear and bigotry are not doing God's
work, as far as I see it. It is a hierarchal agenda of
keeping several groups down in order to feel superior.
White, straight males have been the leaders of the
clergy for a long time and have tried to keep down
people of color, women, and the gay community. Some real
people who really love God and want to be good
Christians are listening to too much hate-filled
speech of misguided, power-hungry pastors when they really
should be praying. Like, really praying to find out what is
loving and true and fair. Question your pastor, pray
for answers more, examine your heart. The right answer
is there.


But most people have been taught that whatever is
said by religious figures is gospel.
God gave us the ability to think for ourselves.
I left the church for a long time because it smilingly
promoted elitism and bigotry against groups who were
just as worthy as the pastor and the self-righteous
people who blindly listened and voted based on his words.
Eventually I found out that there are plenty of
churches that teach love and equality for all.
Considering where I came from, I was shocked that there were
God-people that were actively promoting love and equality
for all. I am proud to go to a church that is a
rainbow of races and orientations. All of us are there
because we want to go to a church that welcomes everyone,
and we want to serve and do the right thing. No one is
judged at my church, because that is opposite of what
we believe. It is opposite of what Jesus said. It is
opposite of what God is about and opposite of what we
as humans are when we are at our very best.

If Prop. 8 passes, what then? [Sighs] I, unfortunately, have gotten so
used to the government being wrong and corrupt. The
last eight years have been horrifying, so if Prop. 8
passes I would not be surprised. My heart has been
broken repeatedly by the lying and the greed and the
selfishness of late. I will be embarrassed as a
Christian, knowing that others that label themselves
as such are responsible for this catastrophe. If Prop. 8
passes it will break my heart. Literally; you will hear it.
Not only for the injustice, the unconstitutional
nature of it, but also on the personal level. How so
many beautiful people will yet again be told, in this
"nation of equality," that they are, in fact, not equal at
all? That’s why I wrote this letter, and
that’s why everyone -- no matter what their
religious beliefs might be -- should vote no on Prop. 8.

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