John Briggs, Former OC State Assemblymember/Senator, Still an Asshole After All These Years

Briggs: Deluded even in his old age
I about spit my morning Makers when I came across a New York Times article extolling the virtuous of a regretful John Briggs. Why, had the notorious ex-OC state senator/assemblymember, who authored 1978's Neanderthalic Proposition 7 6 (forever remembered as the Briggs Amendment that sought to ban homosexuals from being school teachers (an idea so retrograde even Reagan was against it), found the rainbow?

Alas, it was his son, Ron Biggs, and the political fuckup that pained him so was another political black stain pushed by his father in the 1978 election: Proposition 7, which set into motion the modern-day prison-industrial complex that's bankrupting California for decades to come.

Ron is trying to get Prop. 7 repealed, admitting it's been a drain on California. John's stance? He thinks it's the state's fault the death penalty doesn't work, and therefore we should continue to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to put people on death row for decades instead of saving money by merely putting them in the hole for life. But Ron is undaunted.

"I have made it my mission to get his support for life without parole," he told the Gray Lady. "That may be a high bar, but that's my mission."

Good luck with that, Ron: you actually act like you have brain cells, while your dad can't ever claim to have owned any.

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Richard Winger
Richard Winger

I'm confused...did the son change his surname from Briggs to Biggs?  Briggs and Biggs aren't the same name.

mitch young
mitch young

Oh, and criminologists figure that about 25% of the crime drop seen in the last two decades is due to locking up a lot of bad guys for extended periods -- basically until they age out of the violent crime demographic (at least). 

mitch young
mitch young

"I about spit my morning Makers when I came across a New York Times article extolling the virtuous of a regretful John Briggs. "

virtuous --> virtues

Even I probably would have opposed the Briggs proposition --had I been more that a tot at the time -- because it might have opened the door to witchhunts. Having said that, it's clear now that its the old 'give them an inch, and they'll take a mile' deal. Gay liberation led quickly to the excesses (entirely predictable) of the bathhouses of San Francisco and West Hollywood, and then it was a straight (so to speak) shot to the AIDS epidemic. Face it, even homosexual men are horn dogs, and without women to chain them down, and with the extra risky behavior that is male homosexual sex, an epidemic of some sort was inevitable. 

Now, of course, mere tolerance for homosexuality is not enough -- we have to change fundamental institutions of our society beyond all recognition in order to make the unequal supposedly equal.


Correction... Prop 6

A simple google search turns up a recent NPR Article that stated the following  (and since its NPR Its a credible source to you Lefty's)

In 1978, Reagan campaigned against a referendum in California called Proposition 6 that would have banned gays and lesbians, and possibly anyone who supported gay rights, from working in the state's public schools.The bill was supported by the Christian right and sponsored by state legislator John Briggs. The measure failed, and Briggs later said it was solely because of Reagan.

The Wikipedia page on the Briggs amendment states ...The former state Governor (and later US President) Ronald Reagan moved to publicly oppose the measure. Reagan issued an informal letter of opposition to the initiative, answered reporters' questions about the initiative by saying he was against, and, a week before the election, wrote an editorial in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner opposing it.

The timing of Reagan's opposition is significant because he was then preparing to run for president, a race in which he would need the support of conservatives and moderates who were very uncomfortable with homosexual teachers. As Lou Cannon (Reagan biographer) puts it, Reagan was “well aware that there were those who wanted him to duck the issue” but nevertheless “chose to state his convictions.”

Extensive excerpts from his informal statement were reprinted in the San Francisco Chronicle of September 24, 1978. Reagan's November 1 editorial stated, in part, “Whatever else it is, homosexuality is not a contagious disease like the measles. Prevailing scientific opinion is that an individual's sexuality is determined at a very early age and that a child's teachers do not really influence this.”

It is notable that politicians as diverse as Reagan, Gerald Ford, and (at the end of the campaign) then-president Jimmy Carter all opposed the bill.While polls initially had showed support for the initiative leading by a large margin, it was defeated by a landslide following opposition by the LGBT community and prominent conservatives, moderates, and liberals alike.

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