Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress

NCRR opposes Proposition 8, which would amend the California Constitution to eliminate the fundamental right of marriage for same-sex couples in California. We believe gays and lesbians are entitled to the fairness and equality that all California citizens now enjoy under California law. NCRR opposes discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. To not recognize gay and lesbian rights to marriage is discrimination.

Historically, Japanese Americans experienced legal discrimination in the United States through anti-miscegenation laws and the unprecedented incarceration of nearly 120,000 Nikkei during World War II.

Marriage is a fundamental right; it validates long-term relationships between couples and confers rights and responsibilities binding under law. Legal marriage promotes economic equality, social stability, and long-term happiness.

On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court found that laws restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples are unconstitutional and that Article 1, Section 7 of the California Constitution and the state’s Equal Protection Clause guarantee the right of marriage to gays and lesbians. Prop 8 would overrule that guarantee by amending the state’s constitution to read, “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Opponents of Proposition 8 include Governor Schwarzenegger, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Asian American elected officials Judy Chu and Mike Eng also oppose Proposition 8.

NCRR joins with API Equality-LA in opposing Proposition 8 and in supporting equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. All residents of California deserve equal protection under the law. We encourage the Nikkei community to VOTE NO on PROPOSITION 8 on November 4, 2008!! NCRR can be reached at or 213-680-3484.

NCRR members who endorsed this statement at the October 4 NCRR General Meeting: Kay Ochi, Kathy Masaoka, Jan Tokumaru, Richard Katsuda, David Urmston, Jim Matsuoka, Haru Kuromiya, Wilbur Sato, Frank Emi, Suzy Katsuda and Janice Yen