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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Truth and the Lies about Prop 8

Lie #1: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen in California unless we pass Prop 8.

Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are lying. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has already ruled that this claim by Prop 8 proponents is “false and misleading.”

Lie #2: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.

Fact: Unlike Massachusetts, California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don’t agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won’t affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.

Lie #3: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…

Fact: Prop 8 is not about courts and judges, it’s about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn’t grant the right, the constitution guarantees the right. Proponents of Prop 8 use an outdated and stale argument that judges aren’t supposed to protect rights and freedoms. This campaign is about whether Californians, right now, in 2008 are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.

Lie #4: If Prop 8 doesn't pass, people may be sued over personal beliefs.

Fact: California’s laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This has nothing to do with marriage.

Lie #5: Pepperdine University supports the Yes on 8 campaign.

Fact: The university has publicly disassociated itself from Professor Richard Peterson of Pepperdine University, who is featured in the ad, and has asked to not be identified in the Yes on 8 advertisements.

Lie #6: Unless Prop 8 passes, CA parents won’t have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.

Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Lie #7: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.

Fact: Nothing in Prop 8 would force churches to do anything. In fact, the court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

Lie #8: Prop 8 doesn’t discriminate against gays.

Fact: Prop 8 is simple: it eliminates the rights for same-sex couples to marry. Prop 8 would deny equal protections and write discrimination against one group of people—lesbian and gay people—into our state constitution.

Now that you know the facts and lies about the "Yes on 8" ads, you may be asking yourself, "Hey, what can I do to help?"

Well of course you can always donate to the "no on 8" campaign, it is a great cause and they are using the money to get the truth out to the public.  But you can do other things as well, such as sending an email to your local TV and radio stations that are airing these negative ads (like KZST is Santa Rosa), and let them know you are not "OK" with the political lies being portrayed in the "Yes on 8" ads.  

For a TV or radio station, the biggest liability issue is for libel or slander if the alleged inaccuracies relate to identifiable people or groups. If the station continues to run a third party ad that is not truthful, and that libels or slanders an identifiable person or group, they could be liable. Normally, someone suing a media outlet for libel about an election related issue has to prove that the outlet had "malice" in running it - which means that they either knew it was false, or broadcast it with reckless disregard of the truth. If someone tells the station that it is false, and provides something to back up that claim, and they continue to run it - that could be construed as reckless disregard, and could then be dealt with by the FCC.

So, you can also use this complaint form to let the FCC know that your tired of the lies and that based on the information above, you want them to pull the ads from both the radio and TV.

Your voices, your emails and your votes can make a difference, so don't give up!


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