"Proposition 8 eliminates equal rights for one segment of the population while continuing to grant that right to others," said Maria Armoudian, an Armenian-American radio personality on KPFK in Los Angeles. "We Armenians have had to endure a century of discrimination. Let us now stand together calling for an end to discrimination for all people. Vote NO on Prop 8."
Using historical footage, the ad reminds voters of three particularly bleak periods in state history:
-- Japanese American Internment: Authorized by President Roosevelt in 1942, the Army ordered all people of Japanese descent, whether citizens or non-citizens, living in CA to be interned in permanent "relocation centers." Those centers remained operational until the end of the war. Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, who was California Attorney General at that time, later wrote that the internment was "not in keeping with our American concepts of freedoms and rights of citizens."
-- California's Ban on Interracial Marriage: In 1948, California became the first state in the nation to wipe away a state law banning interracial marriages. In the 1967 case of Loving vs. Virginia dealing with the remaining state bans, the United State Supreme Court ruled that: [T]he freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival."
-- Racially Restrictive Covenants: These covenants were widely enforced
in the early 20th century to discriminate against African Americans, Jews
and other ethnic groups by prohibiting the lease or sale of property. The
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