Our first Yes on Prop 8 Robocall

lgbt, politics Add comments (13)

Frankly, we’ve been feeling a little left out. We’d read about these insidious “robocalls” on the internet but haven’t had the pleasure of receiving one yet. Until tonight.

We live in a very middle-class neighborhood just outside of San Francisco. The homes and some of it’s residents date back to the 1950’s and there’s a certain Edward Scissorhands/Tim Burton quality to the place. It’s an ethnically-diverse community, families with children playing in their yards and seniors out walking their dogs. We have our own schools and shopping centers. We moved here because it was affordable, close to San Francisco and seemed welcoming.

But not so much over the past few weeks. Yes on 8 signs began springing up like weeds recently. Some homes have plastered their windows with the ProtectMarriage logo. Just this evening we learned that a Yes on 8 rally took place in our neighborhood today, and the No on 8 sign we planted last night is now gone.

Perhaps it has something to do with the No on 8 fliers we have been putting in people’s mailboxes over the past few weekends. Or that there seems to be a church on every third block unsympathetic to our equal rights.

And tonight we come home to this:

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The quote is from the Saddleback Forum that Barack Obama and John McCain attended back in August, moderated by Pastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. Allow me to provide the full quote, as the robocall edits out the “but” that follows Barack’s answer.

WARREN: There’s a lot more I’d like to ask on that. We have 15 other questions here. Define marriage.

OBAMA: I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix. But –

WARREN: Would you support a Constitutional Amendment with that definition?

OBAMA: No, I would not.

WARREN: Why not?

OBAMA: Because historically — because historically, we have not defined marriage in our constitution. It’s been a matter of state law. That has been our tradition. I mean, let’s break it down. The reason that people think there needs to be a constitutional amendment, some people believe, is because of the concern that — about same-sex marriage. I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions. I do believe that we should not — that for gay partners to want to visit each other in the hospital for the state to say, you know what, that’s all right, I don’t think in any way inhibits my core beliefs about what marriage are. I think my faith is strong enough and my marriage is strong enough that I can afford those civil rights to others, even if I have a different perspective or different view.

Another misleading ad from the Yes on 8 crowd. Recently Obama and Biden have come out more strongly against Prop 8 calling it unnecessary and wrong. While I obviously don’t share my candidates’ views on same-sex marriage, with an Obama-Biden administration I can at least see us moving in the right direction.

And Yes on 8? Thanks for the extra bit of motivation. I’ll be planting more signs in our neighborhood tonight. I will take a day off from work tomorrow and spend my early morning voting No on Proposition 8 and then casting my ballot for Barack Obama as our next president. I will then stand with my partner and my best friends outside my polling location distributing fliers and asking them to vote No on Prop 8. I will do my part.

Now you do yours. Vote No on 8.

Post by ILO on 11/03/08 at 10:43 pm
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13 Responses to “Our first Yes on Prop 8 Robocall”

  1. shilps Says:

    Ugh, I just got this robo call and I am MORTIFIED. Hearing about them and getting one are two entirely different things. Thanks so much for blogging and getting the word out!! NO ON H8TE!

  2. Avonelle Says:

    And that my dear, is the best way to respond to those people! I’m proud of you both for being proactive!

  3. Chad Says:

    I am SO angry that I don’t know where to begin. I mean, it’s not as if I wasn’t angry before this. But this time, I feel as if I could spit fire. Here’s what I don’t understand, why are these folks out there fighting Prop 8 with such vehemence? Our country is in a huge financial jeopardy and these Prop 8 folks are spending their money and energy to make sure that two people in love can’t make that bond a legal one? Huh??
    On one end, the NO on 8 group are spending money to keep a fundamental right while Yes on 8 are voting for and donating for hate. H-A-T-E. Hate. They are speaking out and protesting for hate.
    So, as it draws closer I hope that all fair-minded californians will vote out discrimination from the constitution. Go out and vote NO on 8, NO on HATE!

  4. melissa Says:

    I got this call too. I hope they spent all their money calling people like us… NO ON 8.

  5. Shaun Dakin Says:

    Great stuff.

    Thanks for posting.

    We will add to our robo call tracking map:



    Shaun Dakin
    CEO and Founder

  6. Liz from Sac Says:

    I just came home and found the horrible “Obama” robocall in favor of Prop 8 on my phone. In addition, there was no caller ID- it just said “caller unknown.” Unethical cowards!

    I immediately went to their website to find a phone mumber to call and express my feelings. I couldn’t find a number so I submitted a comment. Then I called the Obama headquarters, where really nice humans are answering the phones to let them know. ((866) 675-2008 ) Then I called the No on 8 office in San Francisco. They actually provide a phone number! (415) 252-8132

    They are aware of the calls and the woman I spoke to thought calling the Obama headquarters would be the best thing to do. Any other ideas?

  7. Elvis Says:


    Please try 800-918-9104. It is ProtectMarriage.com. We should all give them a piece of our minds. Elvis

  8. Liz from Sac Says:

    Elvis- Thanks for the number! I called it (I chose option 4) and the lady was actually pretty nice and gave me another number to call: 916-446-2956.

    The lady that answered that number was NOT so nice. Pretty cranky, in fact. She said they have no idea who is sending out those calls and took no responsibility for it. She even said that I should just call the police since it’s illegal to make calls like that without a name or number showing up in called ID! Sheesh. Hopefully HuffingtonPost will get wind of this pretty soon. -Liz

  9. Peter Says:

    I just received a version of this robocall. A little shorter than the text above. Just basically the quote of Obama saying he thought marriage was a union between a man and a woman and telling me to vote with Obama for Prop 8. Disgusting! By the way, I’m in one of the bluest of precincts in North Oakland/South Berkeley.

  10. James A. Swanson Says:

    Jim Swanson, Los Altos, CA
    http://www.bushleagueofnations.com [for FREE downloads of entire book]

    I’m an active progressive Christian who is appalled at the rise of the Christian Reich’s upside-down version of Christ and Christianity—Pro-Rich and Pro-War—and the GOP’s War on Iraq and War on America.

    I received the robocall too, but I can’t say I was surprised by this disgusting tactic. Because the “true believers” in the Christian Reich “know” they are carrying out God’s will, the ends justify any and all means.

    We must not underestimate their long-term commitment and skullduggery. They are not going away.

    Thanks to their rightwing actions and the warmongering of the Bush regime, being “a Christian” has understandably become a negative in the eyes of most of the world, and I can empathize with the rapidly increasing number of Americans—especially our younger citizens—who have no use for Christianity.

    As for me, I have chosen to stay and fight to reclaim my faith from those who use it to support a rightwing imperial power structure.

    Christianity will remain a powerful weapon in American politics for at least another generation, and we abandon this weapon at out peril.

    Engaging and exposing the Religious Reich without using the Bible is like hunting rats at the city dump without using your best ammo.

    This and much more is discussed in, “The Bush League of Nations: The Coalition of the Unwilling, the Bullied and the Bribed – the GOP’s War on Iraq and America,” by James A. Swanson (2008, CreateSpace Publishing, 448 pages).

    As a gift to patriots everywhere, the entire book can be downloaded for FREE at http://www.bushleagueofnations.com. Please pass along the good news.

    I ask for nothing in return, except that you consider using my book to help restore America and advance human rights, including especially GLBT rights.

    Jim Swanson, Los Altos, CA

  11. Shaun Dakin Says:

    RE: Robo calls.

    We are fighting back.

    The National Political Do Not Contact Registry is a non-profit, non-partisan group working to get political calls added to do not call registries.

    Join us for 2010.

    Shaun Dakin
    CEO and Founder

  12. Paula Says:

    Soooooo… Barack Obama, who was born in the U.S. at a time when many states would not recognize his parents’ mixed race marriage, is advocating … “SEPARATE BUT EQUAL”??? Read the rest of this while that irony sets in….


    I think you’re good people, like me. I pay my taxes that support my schools and religious institutions so they can give back to the community. I don’t hurt anyone and only try to help. I oppose people who try to infringe on religious freedoms, and I don’t seek to infringe upon what “marriage” means to you. I appreciate that most of you DO approve of ‘domestic partnerships’ and ‘civil unions’ for gay people, but please listen to why that doesn’t work.

    The federal government gives married people about 1000 rights. The state gives them about 400 additional rights. The reason the government is involved in marriage at all is to promote and protect stable, happy families as basic units of society. Obviously marriage is not solely for procreation, as we do not remove that right from you if you are infertile, elderly, or choose not to have children. When you marry, you are automatically entitled to those 1400 rights, including the right to visit a spouse in the hospital, be added to your spouse’s insurance policies, acquire property with your spouse and automatically inherit it if your spouse dies, and many more. These 1400 rights are not simply and easily written up in a single civil document, nor always enforceable; for instance, a person under a state’s domestic partnership can’t force the IRS to give him the tax breaks afforded to married couples. It is extremely complex and doesn’t always work; I am aware of gay people whose partners died and the deceased’s hostile family successfully asserted their ownership of everything in spite of the contract, leaving the survivor destitute. Imagine children being involved, and a deceased partner’s hostile family takes your children from you because your civil contract didn’t stand up in court proving you were next of kin! In Arkansas, the majority just voted to prohibit unmarried people from adopting, meaning a gay person can’t even adopt their partner’s children to ensure that if their partner dies the children will remain with the surviving parent they love!

    ‘Civil unions’ and ‘domestic partnerships’ permit OSTENSIBLY most of the 400 state-afforded rights of married couples, but NONE of the 1000 federal ones, and I can tell you from personal experience that the state ones are NOT equal. Just one example is that to get on my partner’s insurance policy, we had to provide our certificate of domestic partnership, copies of financial records proving we had co-mingled finances and lived in the same home for at least two years, and more. If I died, my partner would have to wait at least two years to add her new partner to the policy to prove the relationship was ‘real’. Married people don’t even need to provide a copy of a marriage license, and if their spouse died today, they could add a new spouse tomorrow. This is only one example out of MANY.

    Other rights are specific to helping children of married people, including ensuring automatic inheritance rights, the right of a non-blood related parent to pick up a sick child from school, alimony and child support to help with their care in the event of divorce, and many more. No matter the makeup of the family or how it comes to be — be it traditional nuclear, or grandparents raising their grandchild, or a blended family resulting from divorced people remarrying, or single parents, or adoptive parents, or childless couples, or gay couples — ALL of these people deserve the same rights so they have the best chances of happiness and contribution to society.

    What I would like to see the FEDERAL government do is create one proto-marriage type of relationship (‘civil union’?) that applies equally to all people who want it, including granting them all 1400 of the rights and responsibilities that “married” people currently enjoy, and then simply leave the word “marriage” for religiously-inclined people who want to further consecrate their relationship according to their religions. I think that is what the MAJORITY of us all want. Unfortunately, the federal government is currently leaving the issue to states to decide, so we are stuck wrestling for the one word that currently encompasses all 1400 of those rights, and that word is “marriage”. Granting the existing rights encompassed by one word to a minority is a lot easier than changing 1400 laws to encompass them. That’s really all there is to it, see?

    I understand many of you are afraid that legalizing gay marriage will lead to your children being forced to learn in school that homosexuality is “normal”. I will be the first to agree with you that homosexuality is NOT “normal” – the parts don’t fit and we can’t make babies. But consider that in one out of every 100 live births, a child is born with ambiguous genitalia (intersexed). If God creates 1% of babies that way, why do we then do surgery to “correct” them to one sex or the other and make them “normal”? God made me abnormal too – I’m among the small percentage of people whose wiring is crossed so I’m attracted to my own sex. My abnormality doesn’t lead me to hurt anyone. The worst law I’ve ever broken is the speed limit. Learning that homosexuals exist isn’t going to turn any child homosexual, but it will help the small percentage born with this abnormality to feel less alone. That’s really the worst that could happen. All the same, currently in California no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about homosexuality at school.

    As for the slippery slope arguments that legalizing gay marriage will automatically lead to legalizing polygamy or incestuous marriages, those forms of marriage existed throughout most of recorded history but are too impractical or undesirable for the vast majority of Americans to even consider. As for legalizing gay marriage leading to legalizing people marrying pets or children, these can’t even give informed consent. Please stay off the slippery slope; the ONLY topic we’re asking you to agree on is legalizing gay marriage.

    We gay people and our families are being hurt by laws as they stand, and all we are asking for is the concession that the word “marriage” include us so we may enjoy its rights – and responsibilities. I will leave you with the words of Mildred Loving, who wrote this forty years after her 1967 legal case struck down laws barring interracial marriage:

    “Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the ‘wrong kind of person’ for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry.”


  13. Linda C Says:

    Why are you all blaming the republican right religous wing nuts for this tactic? It was from Obama supporters trying to get out the vote for the One at our expense.

    As for Obama’s religious conviction? Don’t buy it. The United Church of Christ passed marriage equality a few years ago.

    My lack of surprise over this stunt coming from a segment of Obama supporters just reinforced my cynicism and distrust of him.

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