Proposition 13: Eliminates Rights of Same-Sex Couples to Have and Raise Children
This measure amends the California Constitution to specify that only individuals in opposite sex marriages, and any other type of coupling, legal or otherwise, between opposite sex individuals, or even single individuals who are straight, have the right to have, adopt, or otherwise have custodial rights to children. As a result, raising children would be limited to couples of the opposite sex or inviduals who are considered straight, and couples of the same sex - by marriage, domestic partnerships, or otherwise - or homosexuals in general, would not have the right to have, adopt, and/or raise children in any fashion.
This proposal is specifically intended to be retroactive.
...and the Top Story tonight, this November Californians will again be deciding on a controversial ballot iniative, similar to Proposition 8 back in 2008, only this time the issue is not gay marriage, but the rights of gay couples in the state to have or raise children. One other key way this one is different is causing the most controversy. Newschannel 7's Ray Whitlock has more on this story...
Yes, Dan, a firestorm is brewing out here the Golden State, as a ballot initiative has gotten enough signatures to be well on its way to actually being on the ballot this November. This proposal, if passed, would not only make it illegal for all gay couples - of any form - to have children from that point forward, but it would also be retroactive. This means that it is actually possible, if passed, for the children of existing gay couples to be taken away from their parents. Of course, this has already been challenged by numerous lawsuits...
...and with me here to discuss Proposition 13 is chairman of the group "Straight Families Only," Allan Richardson, one of Proposal's sponsors. Good evening and thanks for being on, Allan.
Thanks for having me, Sean.
OK so, obviously, this is causing a lot of controversy... worldwide controversy... I for one am totally for keeping the raising of children the domain of straight couples because I feel that's the best environment for them, but my question to you is, by trying to push that it be retroactive, wouldn't that be making it less palatable for the average voter? Are you trying to do to much with this thing?
No, I don't feel that way. Anybody who would vote "Yes" on it I would think would be for making it retroactive. We at SFO feel that the situation is so dangerous for children, being raised in a gay family, that the best thing for them already in such situations would be to be actually removed from that environment and placed with better parents--
In other words, "straight parents?"
...the newest news on "Prop 13" is the revelation that it is not only being financially backed by the Latter-Day Saints - more commonly known as the Mormons - who also sponsored Prop 8 eight years ago - but the Vatican is also funding the effort with a multi-billion dollar - that's right, billion, with a "b" - ad campaign. The so-far two billion dollar campaign is lopsided compared to the 400 million dollars raised by the Proposal's opposition...
But how is this possible? How is this legally possible, in America, in this day and age? Help me understand this.
Well, Rachel, don't forget the legal precedent that Prop. 8 set eight years ago, allowing the California state constitution to be amended by a simple ballot initiative, whereas previously that was only possible with a 2/3 majority vote of the state House. You might recall the attempted ban on cigarettes four years ago. Proposition 10 actually got 33% of the vote, which is significant, only about 20% away from making cigarettes illegal anywhere in the state.
But that's cigarettes, we're talking about children here.
Yes, but I'm telling you... here, let me give you another example of something a little frightening that most people don't know about. Four years ago there was a failed initiative, it didn't even get on the ballot, it didn't get nearly enough signatures, but that attempted to put some aspects of Sharia Law into the state's constitution.
That's right. That one, like I said, didn't even come close to happening, but it illustrates how religious groups have found a way to try to push their social agendas through. And now that precedent has paved the way for this initiative now, a perfectly legal one, to actually remove children from their families with absolutely no evidence of abuse or neglect, with the full backing of the state government.
But, I still don't understand how this could actually happen. You'd think it'd be bogged down with so many lawsuits that it'd never get passed, and if it somehow did, lawsuits would prevent it actually being carried out.
Well, look at what happened with Prop 8, Rachel...
... well, I, for one, would be for the bill, Allan, if it didn't have the retroactive language in it.
Well, why not?
Because now I don't think there's any way that it is passed. I think it will fail because of that. I think that having it retroactive was a mistake,
Well, Bill, we don't think so, obviously...
With us here is Ann Coulter, conservative author, political commentator, good morning, Ann.
Good morning, Matt, thanks for having me. I just want to say that finally California is finally coming to its senses, realizing that gay families are wrong, the studies show that children raised by one man, one woman come out healthier, happier, and there are no studies that conflict with that, and I am so glad that something like Prop 13 is finally here.
OK. Now with a, uh, different opinion, with us here is Nanette Gartrell, a professor of psychiatry at UC – San Francisco. Good morning, Professor Gartrell.
Good morning, Matt. First of all, Ms. Coulter could not be more wrong. In fact, there are studies that conflict with that notion, studies from all over the world, including the one I am involved in, we’ve been working on it for thirty years -
Oh and what study is THAT, “Professor?”
Why, the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, where we have followed kids raised by lesbian couples from conception to adulthood, and we have found that kids raised by gay couples are no more likely to become gay than in so-called “traditional families” and nothing negative...
… and finally, New Rule: The Mormon Church AND the Catholic Church BOTH have their tax exempt statuses REVOKED if they think that they can use THEIR money to, and there is a LOT of it, folks, to amend constitutions, state OR otherwise, to violate your constitutional rights and take away your children!
*loud cheers, applause!*
Welcome back to BBC News at One, this is Sophie Raworth. Out in the United States, in the state of California, we have recently confirmed that Proposition 13, the ballot initiative actually banning gay couples from having children, has won its final legal challenge and will indeed be on the ballot to be voted on by Californians in the elections next week. Numerous last-minute lawsuits filed today have all been dismissed, given the close proximity to the elections. The Pope has already released a statement, obtained by the BBC, through his publicist expressing how God's will is finally...
...and of course the biggest story out here tonight in California, even bigger than the Presidential election if you can believe it, is Proposition 13! There are literally thousands of protesters out here tonight! We're only two hours away from the polls closing yet they are still here, you can hear them chanting behind me! They... they're braving this... this unusually cold weather here in Orange County! I don't think I have ever seen anything like this, not at a polling place during an election, in all my years of doing this..!
... what a turn of events for Proposition 13! Everybody predicted that it would lose for sure, early polls had it losing by five percent, and indeed early election returns had it indeed losing by a few percentage points, now it has jumped ahead. It is gaining, 52 to 48 percent...!
Hi, uh, this is Rachel Maddow, welcome back to our... our, um, election coverage 2016 on CNBC... this just in, something we've, uh, been following for you all night. Proposition 13, the ballot initiative aimed at eliminating the right of gay couples to have and raise children, it is projected as winning... that's right, winning, after being close all night, it currently it has 52% of the vote, with 90% of the precincts reporting. This is... well, I, like most people I know, didn't think this was possible...
Welcome back to NBC's election night coverage, I'm Brian Williams, the biggest story right now is Prop 13, it has been declared a winner. Nearly all the precincts have reported in and it is ahead by just over 10,000 votes. California has now voted to actually ban gay couples from having and/or raising children, but not only that, they've voted to actually remove children currently being raised by gay couples from their homes...
...and now, even though it was close all night, she's just conceded the election. But, as you know, most people right now are actually talking more about Proposition 13. Millions of protesters across the state are absolutely livid. There is talk of the National Guard being readied for possible riots...
...now let's turn to Carrie Upshaw, our election correspondent out in California, on this latest controversy over Prop 13. Good morning, Carrie.
Good morning, Matt. It is less than 8 hours since its passing and already there are accusations of voter fraud and ballot stuffing. The Vatican is being accused of - and we're delving into conspiracy theories here - they are being accused of using their power to affect the ballots and voting.
That's quite an accusation. What's the evidence?
It's not very solid. There were a few minor glitches found so far in a few of the precincts but at this point it appears to be mostly speculation, people just cannot believe that this thing passed, they are thinking there MUST have been tampering...
I gotta tell ya, Katie, protests have REALLY ratcheted up out here, as you can see behind me, there have been protesters out here at the state capitol consistently since the election three weeks ago, I've never seen anything like this, and now we have this breaking news that all lawsuits have been summarily dismissed, and enforcement of Prop 13 is said to begin immediately. Resources are already being gathered for this endeavor...
All right, let's turn back to our legal correspondent Dan Phillips. Didn't the Governor promise yesterday that this would not actually be enforced, that he would see to it that children were not actually taken from their families?
Our legal experts are saying that the Governor’s hands are tied. There's NOTHING he can do.
What about those lawsuits, though? How were they all just so easily dismissed?
That's the biggest question, Katie. Just like with the voting fraud accusations, the conspiracy people, the bloggers, they are just going nuts over this, there are more accusations of the Vatican and the leaders of the LDS throwing their collective weight around, but so far there is no evidence, I repeat, no evidence of bribery or any other kind of illegal influence... I stress the word, illegal...
...the reaction has been mixed out here in Los Angeles...
I think it's disgusting in this day and age, something like this being passed, they won't be able to, uh, to enforce it, I don't think...
Well I'm glad, I'm elated that children will no longer be brought up by deviants in this state...
"Mommy, what's a 'deviant?'" the little girl asked, sitting up on the couch, cross-legged, the remote control in her hand. Five-year-old Bailey, in her pink pajamas, ready for bed, had happened to flip on the evening news while looking for cartoons. The emotions of the grown-ups on the news had compelled her to stop and listen, convincing her that it was really important somehow, even though she didn't understand it all.
"Oh, honey, don't pay any attention to people saying that, they're just being mean," said one of her mothers as she started the dishwasher in the kitchen.
Bailey did not like mean people so she changed the channel.
It was more grown-up stuff, unfortunately.
"...like something out of an Orwell novel out here in San Jose! I mean, it's just unbelievable, the enforcement of Prop 13 is in full swing, police and social workers are actually going to the residences of gay couples and taking their children away..!"
Emma, with deep concern, locked eyes with her partner Gina, who was putting away a few leftovers across the kitchen.
"You don't think...?" Emma said, her voice trembling.
"No, they can't!" Gina said. "I mean, how can they..?"
"They are doing it!" Emma said. "That guy on the news said that they are actually doing it! Right now! Tonight!"
"But the Governor said--!"
"It doesn't matter what the Governor said!" Emma exclaimed. She ran over to the couch where their little girl was sitting. "Honey, can I see the remote?"
"Sure, Mommy," Bailey said, giving it to her. Emma changed the channel to CNN. It was covering the removal of hundreds of children from their homes in Los Angeles. There was footage of a crying little boy being put into a van outside his home with a weeping man in the background, behind held back by some police officers. Happy, colorful Christmas lights adorned on the surrounding houses in that neighborhood seemed to mock their tragedy.
"Oh my god!" Gina said, who was now watching with them.
"This can't be happening!" Emma said. "I mean, how can they... how can they DO this?!"
"I told you we should have moved!" Gina said, looking at Emma with desperate, sad anger in her eyes. Tears began falling from them.
"Calm down, Gina, you know why we couldn't, and they're not taking Bailey--"
"Who's gonna take me?" Bailey asked in a trembling voice. "What's going on?"
"Nothing, sweetie," Gina said, sitting down on the other side of Bailey. "We won't let them."
"Who's 'them?'" Bailey asked.
There was a firm knock at their front door. The blood in each of their bodies suddenly turned ice cold. Emma held her breath until the next knock came. It did, also firm. Gina looked at the door through her wet eyes. The red, green, and white lights around the front windows shimmered through her tears.
"You... you don't think?" Gina was trembling as if the temperature in the room had suddenly dropped below freezing.
"It's probably just Jack, he said he was going to return that blender tonight," Emma said. She was trembling, too, but she slowly got up off the couch.
Emma willed her hand to stop shaking as she gripped the doorknob with her sweaty palm. She looked through the peephole. There was a lady outside, middle-aged, dressed seriously holding a binder. She had a determined look on her face.
"Who are you and what do you want?" Emma asked through the door.
"I'm with Child Protection Services, let me in please," her muffled voice said, "I'm here to protect your child, to help you with that."
"Oh, Gina, there's a lady here to help with Bailey, maybe she'll stop them from taking her," Emma said.
"Please don't open the door," Gina said, hugging Bailey tight.
"She's here to help!" Emma said. She opened the door. The woman came halfway through the door. She opened her binder and looked in it.
"You three are Emma Hatch and Gina and Bailey Pellerin?" she asked.
"Yes," Emma answered.
As soon as she did the woman entered fully, then two police officers came in through the door behind her. One was fairly tall and severe-looking and the other was shorter - about Emma's height - and had a young, boyish face.
"What?!" Emma squeaked.
"The girl is over on the couch," the woman said, pointing at Gina and Bailey.
"NO!" yelled Gina.
"You can't do this!" said Emma, scurrying around the cops and over to the couch.
"We have to, ma'am," said the tall one, "it's the law now. We have a warrant here to take the child into protective custody."
"We protect her just fine!" yelled Gina.
"Are those policemen here to take me away?!" Bailey said, starting to cry.
The officers approached the couch. The tall one bent down to be more level with Bailey: "Yes, we're going to take real good care of you. We're going to take you to a really fun place for a while, lots of other kids to play with."
"No you WON'T!" yelled Gina, pulling Bailey away from him. Emma turned to see the other officer was on the other side of the couch.
"Please, Ms. Hatch, Ms. Pellerin, don't make this difficult," the woman said, "we don't want anybody to get hurt."
"You can't take our daughter," Emma said, "we love her. We've raised her since she was a baby! We're the only family she's ever had!"
"We're sorry, it's the LAW now," the older officer by Gina said with a much firmer and scarier voice, "lesbians such as yourselves are not allowed to have children anymore. Now I must take her."
As soon as he grabbed Bailey's arm, the little girl screamed. Gina yelled. Emma's heart briefly stopped.
"NO!" Gina yelled. It happened in a blur. One second, Emma saw the officer pulling Bailey away from Gina, giving her to the woman, the next Gina was off the couch and grabbing for the officer's gun.
Then there was chaos. There was yelling. Crying.
Blood - and bits of something else - was suddenly all over Emma, the tall officer, Bailey, the woman, and Gina, who was slumping to the floor, a big, bloody hole in her head. Bailey began an ear-splitting scream. Emma looked at the other, younger officer, who was holding out his smoking gun, both hands gripping it tightly. He looked terrified. The smells of the powder from the officer’s Colt, the blood, and the Christmas cookies they had baked earlier combined into a sweet, metallic, acrid odor that stung their noses.
Emma ran over to Gina. "GINA! NOOOO! YOU BASTARDS!!!" Memories began firing in Emma's mind, flashes of events from her and Gina's life together, including the day they brought Bailey home.
"Damn it, Foley, she never got my gun!" the tall officer barked.
"Oh shit, oh shit," the young officer said over and over. But both of them were drowned out by the shrill crying and yelling of the little girl as she struggled with the firm grip of the woman.
...yes, that's correct, Charles, there have been numerous reports of violence and resistance as the children have been taken from their same-sex parents the past few nights, the worst was an incident in Pacific Grove, which is about seventy miles south of San Jose, where one of the mothers was shot and killed in their home after she apparently tried to grab the gun of one of the officers at the scene, their names have not been released yet...
I have to tell you, Pat, seeing these kids going to loving, traditional families, it just makes me so happy, some of these couples could not have children, they, uh, had been trying for years, and it just, it just makes me so happy to see them now being raised by people of good family values. But I gotta tell ya, I was a little surprised that Prop 13 passed, I didn’t think it’d get that much support.
Well, I think we both know how.
Do you really believe those conspiracy theories about the Vatican and--?
No, no, it is pretty obvious to me that it was the will of God. It was the will of God that those children be taken away from all of that evil, it was the will of God that those people were killed, even, those two gay men, that lesbian out in, uh, Pacific, uhhh… Pacific Grove…
For Pickman's Nodegel: The 2009 Halloween Horrorquest