Calif. Senator Dianne Feinstein first
raised her voice against Proposition 8 – the ballot initiative that
seeks to forbid gay marriage in California – in September, when she
said “I believe we should uphold the ability of our friends,
neighbors, and co-workers who are gay and lesbian to enter into the
contract of marriage,” in a press release. Tuesday, she committed
herself fully to the cause by participating in a major pro-gay
marriage ad by NO on Prop 8.
In the commercial, the senator speaks
directly to voters.
“In my lifetime, I've seen
discrimination. And I see it again in Proposition 8. Proposition 8
would be a terrible mistake for California. It changes our
Constitution. Eliminates fundamental rights. And treats people
differently under the law.”
“Proposition 8 is not about schools
or our kids. It's about discrimination and we must always say NO to
“No matter how you feel about
marriage, vote against discrimination.”
“And vote NO on 8.”
A clearly elated No-On-8 campaign said
they were planning a major state-wide buy for the spot.
“We are so moved to have the strong,
trusted and independent voice of Senator Feinstein joining the chorus
of those voting NO on 8,” said Patrick Guerriero, campaign director
for No on Prop 8. “California voters know that Senator Feinstein
speaks from the heart and it matters when she urges voters to reject
this unfair initiative.”
The new ad is a political coup of sorts
for gay marriage backers who have managed to achieve an impressive
come-from-behind lead over gay marriage foes in the state.
A new poll released last Wednesday by
the Public Policy Institute of California reports that 52% of likely
voters surveyed opposed Proposition 8 while 44% supported it – a
previous poll had showed the gay marriage ban winning, if only by the
slight margin of 3 points.
And a new wave of last-minute donations
have evened out – and possibly even pulled ahead – the pro-gay
campaign's finances over supporters of the gay marriage ban. The
No-On-8 campaign said it had raised $11 million in the first 21/2
weeks of October, while ProtectMarriage.com, the primary backer of
the gay marriage ban, said it had raised only $2.4 million in
October. Gay marriage in California has attracted a combined
record-breaking $60 million to decide the issue.
Opponents of gay marriage say they will
stop at nothing to enact the marriage prohibition in California,
calling the issue a “must win” more important than the
Feinstein is the senior U.S. Senator
from California. It's been 30 years since she took over as San
Francisco mayor after the murder of George Moscone and the city's
first openly gay city supervisor, Harvey Milk. After serving two
terms, she became the first woman from California to be elected to
the United States Senate. The Democratic senator has reportedly
shown interest in running for Governor of the Golden State in 2010.