Recall Divides College Students & Clergy

9:55 PM, Oct 21, 2008   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - Tuesday marked the second day of voting at American River College.  Students were being asked to recall nine of 15 Student Association members who passed a resolution supporting Proposition 8, the measure that would make same-sex marriage illegal.


The Student Association approved the resolution on October 7, prompting a storm of controversy.  Dozens of students complained that the resolution was approved without their input.


Students on both sides of the issues armed themselves with signs and shouted at each other in front of the school libraryTuesday.

"I am very disappointed with this," said Owen Cleveland who supports the recall. He believes student leaders overstepped their boundaries by backing Prop. 8. "They are saying they're representing the students' voices and they never asked the students (about the resolution).  They only asked a select few who shared their religious ideas," Cleveland said.


Brandon Garcia, who is against the recall and president of the Campus Crusade for Christ said, "This is part of the political process so they have a right to ask for a recall.  But where were they before all this?"


Garcia claimed that  there are 37,000 students at ARC and just 1 percent participated in student elections before this controversy erupted.


"Every time there's (an election),  only 300 to 1,000 students voted," said Garcia. "Why all of a sudden do they say (what students leaders did) is not right?  Those people voted according to their moral standards and what they believe is right and wrong.  They're allowed to say what they think marriage is."


If the recall is successful, Cleveland said other students have said they will run for student government. 


All of the students leaders who are facing the recall are members of fundamental Christian groups or the Mormon faith.

Relgious Leaders Also Divided on Same-Sex Marriage Ban

At Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Tuesday, members of the clergy, city leaders and members of the community held a rally against Prop 8. They called the ballot measure a knock at the civil rights of gay and lesbian couples.

Rev. Brian Baker, who serves as Dean at Trinity Cathedral, spoke out against Prop 8. Baker said he has been married almost 25 years and that his marriage has been strengthened by the committed gay and lesbian couples who attended the church.

"It's not ok to allow the religious convictions of some to take the civil rights away from all gay and lesbian members of our community," Baker said.

Other local pastors are voicing their support for Prop 8. The River Church Executive Pastor, Mike Skor said, "I think for us as a nation, this goes back to our roots as far as the traditional view, what we would say would be the moral view of marriage."

Skor said voting yes on Prop 8 is not meant to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples, but it's an affirmation of marriage between a man and a woman.

"We definitely teach a message of love and acceptance, but also about truth and morality," Skor said.

But Baker says he knows many gay and lesbian couples that signify the same kind of love in heterosexual marriages.

"They are asking to be able to pledge themselves, in fidelity, for the rest of their live," Baker said. "That stabilizes our culture and it's silly for us to rob them of that right they currently have."


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