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General election, general intolerance

Posted: December 1, 2008 7:43 p.m.
Updated: December 2, 2008 4:55 a.m.
The nation spoke on Nov. 4. The 2008 election cycle will be forever marked in history for the incredible voter turnout and the election of the nation's first African-American president.

We are all privileged to have witnessed this enormous milestone in our history.

Since that time, Republicans and Democrats have chanted a mantra of "getting behind our president" and honoring the highest seat in the country.

I was quoted in The Signal newspaper the day after the election saying, "The important thing to remember: This is America. ... We want to get behind the new president and new government and wish them luck because we don't want them to fail."

The act of voting is the cornerstone of America's freedoms and liberties, and respecting the voice of the democratic majority is a large part of that.

I have been particularly struck, however, by the double standard I have witnessed in some critical areas.

Since Nov. 4, spirited, calculated attacks have been aggressively launched against Proposition 8 supporters despite the majority vote in favor of defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

When President-elect Barack Obama was confirmed the winner of the General Election for president of the United States, there were no rallies decrying the results.

There were no angry protests or attacks on his campaign or person.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the reaction to Proposition 8.

Last week, Bishop William Weigand, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, had this to say in response to the attacks on Proposition 8 supporters:

"The Protect Marriage coalition, which led the successful campaign to pass Proposition 8, was an historic alliance of people from every faith and ethnicity."

The coalition included Catholics, Jews, Latter-day Saints, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Anglos.

Many reports indicate it was the African-American demographic that pushed Proposition 8 into healthy passage.

In fact, one exit poll of California voters indicated that black voters supported the measure by margins of more than two to one.

The nation was right to rally together in support of our new commander-in-chief.

No matter what our preferences on Election Day, we are bound by the will of the people and by our national commitment to tolerance and respect for differing political views.

Today, I want to echo the call for greater tolerance and respect on all matters that were decided on Election Day.

Americans are free to speak and free to continue fighting for their beliefs, but it is incumbent upon us to also respect the will of the majority.

Proposition 8 passed by a democratic majority with a vote of 52.8 percent to 47.7 percent.

Intolerance for differing opinions, beliefs and religions is a form of discrimination and is a destructive precedent to set for the future of America.

Howard P. "Buck" McKeon is a Santa Clarita Valley resident and Republican member of Congress representing the 25th District of California. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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