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The Long Count
By Austin Nimocks, ADF Senior Legal Counsel

Proposition 8 – one of the most closely watched initiatives of the 2008 election – proposed amending the California state constitution to define marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman.  When the proposition was enacted, it sparked a firestorm of persecution against those known to have voted in favor of it … a persecution that persists even as the state Supreme Court considers whether to declare the measure unconstitutional.

Activists pressing for the approval of same-sex “marriage” had all the heavy-weights on their side last fall: major corporations, big money, public utilities, the media, the Hollywood elites, influential educators, the governor and the attorney general, and much of the legislature.  Even the state’s high court climbed into the ring, ignoring past election results to fabricate same-sex ceremonies in a controversial decision a year ago.

By November, activists promoting the same-sex agenda were giving defenders of marriage a public pounding that even boxing legend Jack Dempsey might have found impressive.

And yet … the activists lost.  What’s more, they’re still losing – giving up round after round in the ongoing bout for public sympathy – and for the same reason the powerful Dempsey lost his heavyweight title fight in 1927.

Boxing fans had waited a year for the rematch between the legendary, savage Dempsey and the nimble Gene Tunney, who had won an upset victory against the “Manassa Mauler” not by knockout, but on points.  Now, Dempsey wanted his title back – and soon, Tunney was down. That might have been it, except for what became known as “the long count.” 

New rules required boxers to retire to a neutral corner before the referee started his 10-second count.  But Dempsey liked to loom over fallen opponents, waiting to pummel them if they showed signs of life.  That’s what he did now, and long seconds ticked by before Dempsey stormed back to his corner.  By then, Tunney had regained his senses.  Staggering to his feet on the ninth second of the ten-count, he came back to beat Dempsey again. 

There’s a lesson there for activists who are, if anything, less willing than Dempsey to go to a neutral corner and await the judges’ decision.  Stung by the upset victory of Proposition 8, they came out swinging, filing no less than six lawsuits to have the ballot results nullified.  They attacked their foes outside the courtroom, too. 

By doing so, they’ve put themselves and their cause down for the count in the eyes of a growing number of their fellow citizens.  As stories spread of vicious persecution, you can almost hear people counting off reasons to look twice at those who’ve wrapped their cause in the gauze of “tolerance”:


“One!” – Blacklisting.  After obtaining a list of those who donated to Proposition 8’s defense, the activists have used it to intimidate, ostracize, and bully individual citizens and business owners, closing down some establishments while pressuring employers to fire workers who exercised their right to support the proposition.

“Two!” – Denigrating Christians and the Bible.  Editor Jon Meacham defended an error-ridden Newsweek cover story on “The Religious Case for Gay Marriage” by attacking the Bible, saying that “to argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt—it is unserious, and unworthy of the great Judeo-Christian tradition.”  (In other words, taking the Bible seriously is a disgrace to those who take the Bible seriously .) 

“Three!” – Church attacks.  Across the country, congregations and church buildings have been picketed, mobbed, invaded, damaged, and desecrated, while church members have been verbally and physically assaulted.

“Four!” – Mock germ warfare.   Church leaders have received threatening letters in envelopes containing an unidentified powder.

“Five!” – Attacks on the elderly.  In Palm Springs, California, protesters yanked a cross out of the hands of an elderly woman and stomped on it.  In nearby Carlsbad, a man assaulted an elderly couple who put up signs in their yard supporting Proposition 8.

“Six!” – Racist attacks and insinuations.  In Los Angeles, African-Americans (who supported Proposition 8 in large numbers) have been threatened with violence and accosted with racial slurs – from wealthy Brentwood to the inner-city.  Even some who picketed against the proposition verbally assaulted by other same-sex activists.

"Stung by the upset victory of Proposition 8, they came out swinging, filing no less than six lawsuits to have the ballot results nullified."

“Seven!” – Co-opting the Civil Rights movement.  These same activists have tried to paint their campaign as the philosophical parallel to what African-Americans endured half a century ago - as if securing public enthusiasm for their sexual behavior was somehow the moral equivalent of winning voting rights and equal access to public facilities for a minority whose race is immutable.

“Eight!” – Indoctrinating children.  Those pressing the same-sex agenda continue to focus on brainwashing the next generation of children.  They’re using health classes, assemblies, field trips, and other venues away from parents to convince children as young as kindergarteners that same-sex “marriage” is as morally valid and laudable as real marriage.

“Nine!” – Despising democracy.  Unwilling to accept the voters’ verdict on Proposition 8, supporters of same-sex “marriage” are determined to do an end-run on the ballot box, accomplishing their objectives by enlisting activist judges to overrule election results.

“Ten!” – Silence.  The conspicuous lack of criticism these vicious assaults have received from the leaders of the homosexual political movement speaks volumes about their profound contempt for the most basic freedoms of the very citizens whose endorsement they demand.

That’s a full count – but the fight goes on, even as the judges of California’s Supreme Court prepare to announce their ruling any day now.   Awaiting their decision is a growing crowd of Americans who have repeatedly shown that they will go to the mat to protect marriage between one man and one woman – but with ballot in hand, not a fist in the air.

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