Ver la versión completa : Bishop of Los Angeles says California voters 'ignorant' about homosexuality

José Benito
12/11/2008, 02:34
Bishop of Los Angeles says California voters 'ignorant' about homosexuality (http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=3241)
Thursday, 6th November 2008. 6:29am

By: George Conger.

The Bishop of Los Angeles has challenged California voters who backed the successful ballot initiative to ban gay marriage to examine their consciences and banish their ignorance on homosexuality.


In a statement released on Nov 5, the Rt Rev J Jon Bruno (pictured) called upon Californians who supported Proposition 8 “to make an honest and dedicated effort to learn more about the lives and experiences of lesbian and gay humanity whose constitutional rights are unfairly targeted by this measure. Look carefully at scriptural interpretations, and remember that the Bible was once used to justify slavery, among other forms of oppression.”

With 99 per cent of precincts reporting, voters backed Proposition 8 by 5,376,424 to 4,870,010 votes, or 52 per cent to 48 per cent. Proposition 8 amends the state constitution to specify that only marriages between one man and one woman would be recognized as valid in California --- overturning a May 2008 state Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

Bishop Bruno and the bishops of San Diego, California, Northern California, El Camino Real, and the bishop of the provisional diocese of San Joaquin lent their support in September to the “no” campaign.

Support for the ballot initiative was tantamount to “religious oppression,” Bishop Bruno charged as Proposition 8 was “a lamentable expression of fear-based discrimination that attempts to deny the constitutional rights of some Californians on the basis of sexual orientation.”

However, Bishop Bruno stated he was placing his trust in the courts to nullify the will of the people. “It is only a matter of time” he said, before the “narrow constraints” of Proposition 8 “are ultimately nullified by the courts and our citizens’ own increasing knowledge about the diversity of God’s creation.”

On Nov 5 three activist groups, the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a writ petition before the California Supreme Court asking the court to invalidate Proposition 8.

They argued the ballot initiative violated the right of equal protection under law as it sought to eliminate a “fundamental right” to marry from homosexuals. It also undermined the prerogatives of the courts, they charged, by preventing the judiciary “from exercising their essential constitutional role of protecting the equal protection rights of minorities.”

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Equality California and six same-sex couples who did not marry before Tuesday’s election. The plaintiffs had filed a similar petition before the Nov 4 vote asking the court to strike the initiative from the ballot, but the court dismissed the petition.

“If the voters approved an initiative that took the right to free speech away from women, but not from men, everyone would agree that such a measure conflicts with the basic ideals of equality enshrined in our constitution, said Jenny Pizer, an attorney for the Lambda Legal.

“Proposition 8 suffers from the same flaw – it removes a protected constitutional right – here, the right to marry – not from all Californians, but just from one group of us,” she said.

Elizabeth Gaff, an attorney with the ACLU of Northern California, said the question of gay marriage should not be settled by the people but by the legislature. “A major purpose of the constitution is to protect minorities from majorities. Because changing that principle is a fundamental change to the organizing principles of the constitution itself, only the legislature can initiate such revisions to the constitution,” she said.

Bishop Bruno commented that “too often the road to justice is made deeply painful by setbacks such as Proposition 8, which nearly half of California voters rejected.”

Citing President-elect Barack Obama’s election night speech to the nation, Bishop Bruno called upon Californians to support gay marriage and “summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.”