Proposition 8 has been an emotional and an expensive journey. After the appeal process, we will hopefully be right back where we were before the proposition, with gay and lesbian couples enjoying the freedom to marry in California (and beyond). So it makes you think what it would have been like if the proposition never happened.
It almost didn’t.
In 2008, the California Supreme Court had an opportunity to stop Proposition 8 from even making it onto the ballot in the first place. Unfortunately, they unanimously allowed it to continue. Imagine how much heartbreak and money they could have saved by ruling it unconstitutional before it was on the ballot.
Any money spent on anti-gay causes is infuriating. We are in an economy that needs to value each and every dollar. It is astonishing to me that people can still look at their hard-earned personal finances and decide that even one cent is best used by fighting LGBT equality. Think about if Focus on the Family or the Family Research Council actually spent the donated dollar on worthwhile causes. With their monstrous operating budgets they could do some real good in this world.
Lots of money has been spent on the many anti-gay ballot initiatives throughout the years, but they all dwarf in comparison to Proposition 8. Over $73 million was spent between the two sides on the proposition and I can’t help but look at how that money could have been better spent. In my utopian world, the Mormon Church and all of the anti-gay organizations would have teamed up with LGBT equality advocates to try and eradicate a problem in the world. My problem of choice is the California education system.
Education in California (and in many other states) has become a bad reality competition show. Just like having to make an evening look out of grocery store materials on Project Runway or having to compose a gourmet dish from vending machine contents on Top Chef, the California education system is filled with evil twists. Picture Heidi or Padma standing in front of California teachers and telling them they have to teach students how to read, but their salaries will be lowered, their class sizes will be doubled, and they will have no money for supplies or support. Your time starts… Now!
Now $73 million won’t completely solve the funding woes – over $17 billion has been cut from the public education system in California in the past two years, but this money could still save some teacher jobs and help reduce class size back to a somewhat manageable level.
If the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Judge Vaughn Walker’s brilliant ruling that calls Proposition 8 unconstitutional, super lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies are reportedly going to try and recover legal fees from the anti-gay ProtectMarriage.com folks who defended Prop 8. Perhaps they should take it a step further and demand that those who funded the proposition donate an equal amount to an actual worthwhile cause.
If you were in charge of the $73 million spent on Proposition 8, how would you use the money?
Photo credit: John Stavely