Naomi Bar-Lev on the Race for the 76th Assembly District
by Naomi Bar-Lev
Recently, the San Diego Union Tribune posed four questions to the 76th assembly district Republican candidates (view them here).
One of the questions that was asked, Should Proposition 8 be overturned to again allow gays and lesbians in California to marry? My answer: I am for civil unions. The rights of adults to choose with whom they want to live happily ever after is very important to me.
Prop 8 was a necessary step to protect religious institutions from discrimination and from costly litigation by groups such as the ACLU. The costly and damaging assaults on the Boy Scouts could have come to a church or synagogue near you. This was more a preventative measure against the potential of religious persecution.
Most importantly Prop 8 was a vote by the people. Judges should be real careful in writing law from the bench to support their own personal views and overturning the will of the people. We have all seen the cost and damage of overturning Proposition 187. The cost to our state due to overturning this proposition rivals the deficit. One can’t predict the damage overturning Proposition 8 would do to our places of worship and the new burdens on our courts.
Ralph Denney, a Log Cabin Republican and the group’s president, whose stated agenda is to overturn Prop 8, answers the following:
“Actually, I would prefer that Government get out of the marriage business entirely. But until then…
“Certainly we must protect the rights of the various religious institutions to define traditional marriage according to their respective tenets and beliefs. On the other hand, it’s in the best interest of society to encourage two people to accept responsibility for each other, to care for one another. Together to build a secure future for each other so that neither will become dependent on society for their welfare and care. Currently that can best be done under a Civil Marriage Contract.
“Most people don’t understand that without such a contract, a person cannot even deduct from his or her Federal taxes the medical expenses of their partner. If they obtain health insurance through their employer for their spouse without a civil marriage contract, the value of that insurance becomes taxable income to them, in too many cases, depriving them the ability to save or accept responsibility for their loved one. For these and many more reasons, I opposed Prop 8.
“Traditional marriage needs to be protected, but I would also hope the people of California will soon understand the difference between that and civil marriage, and by a vote of the people, allow all responsible couples the same responsibilities and limited benefits of Civil Marriage Equality.”
Now to Thomas Warschauer’s answer:
“I was personally not in favor of Proposition Eight. I would work to see it overturned at the polls. However, I have great respect for the ballot of the people. I am opposed to judicial or legislative interference. Personally, I would prefer full rights for marital partners without the term “marriage.” However it is clear that is impossible under federal law. So the only way to gain equal rights for the gay and lesbian community is to permit actual marriage. I believe there was much misinformation about Proposition Eight during the election. (Promoting homosexuality in public schools, for example). I believe Californians will overturn Proposition Eight within a few years.”
In light of the answers to the questionnaire put out by the Union Tribune I am more conservative than my opponents. People tell me I am straight-talking, and soft-spoken in a way that will appeal to Democrats and Independents. The Republican party should support someone who can sustain being unabashedly conservative while appealing to all voters. I believe I am that person. I will speak about the economy in the general election and especially how to bring back business which will appeal to all voters. I have experience running a business in this state for 20 years. Denney, a perennial candidate, is listed as a business owner this election cycle, but listed himself as a manager in the previous cycle. Warschauer’s experience is in the academic world. As such he is a candidate who benefits from one of the state’s biggest looming problems, the state pension plan.
Please vote for me, Naomi Bar-Lev, on Tuesday.