Prop 8 Debate Heads to New Level

May 22, 2009 11:14:08 PM PDT
Tension is mounting between same-sex marriage supporters and opponents especially in Fresno. Tuesday the California Supreme Court will announce it decision whether marriage will remain between man and woman or allow same-sex couples to wed.Both sides say hundreds if not thousands plan to visit Fresno City Hall the weekend after Tuesday's decision. Both sides are also confident the court will rule in their favor ... but our Action News poll reveals what people think the court will really do.

According to an Exclusive Action News poll conducted by SurveyUSA. 51% of California residents believe the State Supreme Court should uphold Proposition 8 denying same-sex couples the right to legally marry. 39% believe the court should overturn it. 10% are not sure.

"I mean how in the world can the courts thumb their nose at the will of the people," said Fresno Pastor Jim Franklin.

For over one year now Pastor Franklin has defended Proposition 8 and its passage in November.

"The question is really not about gay marriage that the court is deciding. The question is was Prop 8 a true amendment to the constitution or was it a revision to the constitution, "said Franklin.

Pastor Franklin believes people opposed to his church's stance against same-sex marriage have resorted to vandalism. He said the proof is on the back of his office building. Red and yellow paint. But same-sex supporters say not so fast ... where's the evidence?

"To immediately jump to the conclusion that it is simply someone from the other side," said same-sex marriage supporter and activist Jon Carroll.

Carroll was disappointed to read Franklin's email headline: 'Church Vandalized over stance on Marriage.' Franklin admitted there is no actual evidence.

"I don't think it's a far stretch knowing what happened last time the vandalism that came out against us," said Franklin.

Still Carroll maintained the finger pointing is just another distraction tactic employed to confuse residents about the issue. "I think the understanding is slowly starting to turn to people. This is something that is the next frontier in civil rights and how we treat people equally," he said.

The Saturday following the ruling same-sex marriage supporters will march from Selma to Fresno then host a rally here. On Sunday Pastor Franklin will follow up that rally with one of his own.

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