For the second time this decade, California voters said no to legalizing same-sex marriage. And for the second time this decade, gays and lesbians have taken to protesting.
After four judges overturned the will of the majority back in May, opponents of same-sex marriage managed to get enough signatures to get the issue back on the ballot last Tuesday, where voters by some 500,000 votes said no to anything other than identifying marriage as between a man and a woman.
While most backers of same-sex marriage have been peaceful in their protests, some have gone too far. Now, proponents of same-sex marriage are calling for boycotts of businesses in both California and Utah, who backed Prop 8. Is this the way you get the justice you feel you deserve?
Utah's growing tourism industry and the star-studded Sundance Film Festival are now targeted for a boycott by bloggers, gay rights activists and others seeking to punish the Mormon church for its aggressive promotion of California's ban on gay marriage. Officials report that tourism brings some $6 billion a year to Utah alone.
One proponent of same-sex marriage was quoted as saying, "They just took marriage away from 20,000 couples and made their children bastards. You don't do that and get away with it."
A supporter of same-sex marriage was also quoted as saying, "At this point, the Californians are the victims and the Mormons are the persecutors. We had won this until they swept in ... We need to send a message to Utah that they need to stop trying to inflict their way of life on every other state."
Well, those of us who backed Prop 8 also have a message.
While we want the same access to medical care, insurance, hospital visitations of a loved one, etc. for gays and lesbians that heterosexuals have, stop trying to inflict your way of life on those of us who believe marriage is definied as between a man and a woman.
And please note that boycotting businesses that supported Prop 8 can be counterproductive. Do you now want heterosexual people boycotting businesses in large gay communities like Hillcrest in San Diego, shops and restaurants run by gays in San Francisco?
Peaceful demonstrations are one thing. Trying to hurt businesses because they don't share your beliefs is another. Both sides are capable of turning this issue ugly, especially for those who are simply practicing their right to freedom of speech.
To the folks in Utah, California and elsewhere who supported Prop 8, let me assure you that you are not alone.