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Redding Record-Searchlight Opposes Proposition 8

Timothy Kincaid

October 9th, 2008

In one of the most famous American defenses of religious freedom, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “[I]t does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

We must say the same thing about same-sex marriage.

Growing up at the tip of the great Central Valley in Northern California, our local news source was The Redding Record-Searchlight. Much of my awareness of the world outside our community was from their pages.

Redding is a small city on the border of an agricultural valley and the Cascade foothills. With an economy tied to farming, lumber and tourism and a high level of retirees, the culture is a mix of liberals and conservatives with both groups leaning towards a ‘live and let live’ mentality. Highly religious, this is an area where residents are unlikely to favor same-sex marriages, but also often likely to ‘not notice’ that their neighbors are a long term same-sex couple.

There are no gay community services that I’m aware of but the population tends to support about two gay bars at any given time.

There is also a lack of organized anti-gay efforts. Perhaps the best known situation was in 1999 when two white supremacist brothers torched an abortion clinic and synagogues in Sacramento (two hours away) and shot to death a gay couple, neighbors of my father.

The Record Searchlight has now joined the growing list of newspapers, urban and rural, Northern and Southern, conservative and liberal, English and Spanish who agree that Proposition 8 is unnecessary, cruel and intrusive. They just don’t buy that scare tactics and outlandish claims of anti-gay activists.



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