Are you a tenner or a twelver?

The big question in certain California circles right now is whether you are a tenner or a twelver; that is, do you think we should try to pass a ballot measure reversing Prop 8 (and restoring the right to same-sex marriage) in 2010, or in 2012?

The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry (UULM) recently released a “pastoral letter” outlining their position as twelvers. While certainly UULM’s position will annoy some people who are tenners, if you read the actual letter you’ll find it to be carefully considered. UULM points out that one factor they took into consideration is the changed economic climate, which “has ripped holes in the fabric of essential human services.” I would state this more bluntly: in the middle of the Great Recession, with the unemployment rate rising, would you rather donate money to overriding Prop 8 (knowing that millions and millions of dollars from opponents of same-sex marriage will pour into Caligornia), or would you rather donate your money to food banks and poverty relief programs? UULM offers additional pragmatic reasons why we should wait until 2012, and it’s worth reading their letter.

You will not be surprised to learn that I myself am a reluctant twelver. I call myself a reluctant twelver, because I would prefer to see religious marriage separated from marriage as a civil contract. In the mean time, I hope we can postpone the fight to overturn Prop 8 until 2012. If someone puts it on the ballot for 2010, I guess I’ll have to roll up my sleeves and fight tooth and nail to overturn Prop 8 next year — but I hope it doesn’t come to that.