Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Voters Scrap Same-Sex Marriage in California

CBC reports:
Voters put a stop to same-sex marriage in California on Tuesday, dealing a crushing defeat to gay-rights activists and putting in doubt as many as 18,000 same-sex marriages conducted since a court ruling made them legal this year. The gay-rights movement had a rough election elsewhere as well. Ban-gay-marriage amendments were approved in Arizona and Florida, and Arkansas voters approved a measure banning unmarried couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents. Supporters of the Arkansas measure made clear that gays and lesbians were their main target. But California, the nation's most populous state, had been the big prize. Spending for and against Proposition 8 reached $74 million US, the most expensive social-issues campaign in U.S. history and the most expensive campaign this year outside the race for the White House. Activists on both sides of the issue saw the measure as critical to building momentum for their causes. READ MORE

Discriminatory Marriage Amendments Pass in Arizona and Florida; California Still too Close to Call
Human Rights Campaign reports:
“We all know that our marriages did not begin with a court decision and they will not end with a vote on a discriminatory amendment” – Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign. READ MORE

Gay-Rights Advocates to Challenge Proposition 8 in Court
L.A. Times reports:
After losing at the polls, gay-rights advocates filed a legal challenge today in California Supreme Court to Proposition 8, a long-shot effort that the measure's supporters called an attempt to subvert the will of voters. Lawyers for same-sex couples said they will argue that the anti-gay-marriage measure was an illegal constitutional revision -- not a more limited amendment, as backers said.

People reports:
Californians voted Tuesday to ban same-sex marriage, setting the stage for a court battle over the legitimacy of roughly 16,000 such marriages – including those of celeb couples Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi and Star Trek's George Takei and Brad Altman. As Takei pondered the disappointing election returns Tuesday night, the 71-year-old actor told PEOPLE he was hopeful that his Sept. 14 marriage to Brad Altman would be "grandfathered in." But Altman was less confident. "We tasted marriage now, and it really is delicious!" Altman added. "And the thought that the people of California might take our marriage away from us is really frightening and worrisome and upsetting." With nearly 96 percent of the votes counted, controversial Proposition 8 passed by just over 52 percent (The initiative had drawn widespread opposition from Hollywood celebrities, including Brad Pitt, director Steven Spielberg, and even California's Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger). READ MORE

Why California's Proposition 8 Passed
NG Blog writes:
  • Too many people decided to join the No On 8 fight late in the game. For example, Father Geoff Farrow. In his case, too many people became focused on his plight rather than the issue that forced him out.
  • Ex-Gays in support of Proposition 8. Where the fuck was the ex-gay watchers?
  • As noted elsewhere, Eduardo Verástegui, who advocated for Yes On 8, is gay. Those bloggers who made a name for themselves outing hypocrites in religion and politics should have been all over this one. Instead, they looked the other way. If more people had known of his hypocrisy, they would have perhaps realized the Yes On 8 is bullshit.
  • No online unity among the online queer blogosphere. We should have been on an equal playing field, if not higher, with regards to the Yes On 8, all of them who continually flooded blogs and forums and social networking sites with lies and misrepresentations and distortions. We did not do that though there were moments when it looked like it could have. Again those of you in California with blogs really did everyone afoul. READ MORE

    Ballot Initiatives Provide a Wake Up Call to the LGBT Community About Race
    Pam Spaulding writes:
    "I feel that a giant snowball of blame game is about to roll over and crush me as we wait for the final count in California on Prop 8. Who voted for Yes on 8 is clear now, as exit polls show 70% of blacks, (with black women at 74%) voted for the amendment... I've been blogging for years about the need to discuss race in regards to LGBT issues. I hope that this is now the wakeup call for our "professional gays" out there who represent us to come out of their comfort zones and help bridge this concrete education gap... The belief that white=gay is big part of the problem, and as long as black LGBTs are invisible in their own communities and there is a dearth of color in the public face of LGBT leadership, the socially conservative black community can remain in denial that I exist as a black lesbian..." READ MORE

    "YES on 8": Blacks Overwhelmingly Approve Prop 8
    Rod 2.0 writes:
    The blame game begins as the exit polls and county returns are crunched in California. Black voters overwhelmingly supported Proposition 8. The numbers are daunting: 70 percent of black voters favored the amendment to ban gay marriage. In comparison, the CNN exit polls report "55 percent of white voters and 52 percent of Hispanics voted against the proposition." 75 percent of black women voted yes on the anti-gay measure. Similar numbers are not available for black men. The obvious reaction is to blame black voters for the measure's passage—and we're covering that angle for the next issue of The Advocate. But black voters only represent 6 percent of the electorate—that's only a very small piece of the pie—so you have to look at the entire jigsaw puzzle. READ MORE

    Good As You writes:
  • Maybe we should have directly challenged the anti-gay arguments even more.
  • Maybe we should have focused more on the African-American community, who exit polling suggests went against us somewhere in the 69%-31% ballpark.
  • Maybe we should have highlighted the Mormon factor even more.
  • Maybe we could have dedicated even more time to showing voters the difference between civil marriage and the ancillary component that is religious ceremony.
  • Maybe we could have pressed our friends in the entertainment community to come out, speak out, spend out in even greater numbers.
  • Maybe we should have had gay people in our official "no on 8" ads.
  • Maybe we could have done more to move the over 65 vote.
  • Maybe we shouldn't have taken so many votes for granted or assumed anyone was with us until we were 100% sure.
  • Maybe we should have more publicly called the anti-gay campaign what it was/is/always will be: Cruel and nasty discrimination masked behind a veil of "family protection."
  • Maybe we should have eliminated potential voter error by more fully reinforcing that a "no" vote meant you were with us while a "yes" vote was a nod to bias.
  • Maybe we should have directly challenged religious arguments, encouraging people of faith to look at their "clobber passages" a little more critically. READ MORE

    Proposition 8 Foes Refuse to Concede
    Sacramento Bee reports:
    Opponents of a ballot measure to ban gay marriage refused to concede this morning, despite vote totals that show supporters of Proposition 8 with a 400,000-vote advantage. Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said 3 million to 4 million ballots remain uncounted statewide. "The fact is depending on the turnout model we are looking at millions of votes yet to be counted," Kendall said. The race is too close to call. People's fundamental rights hang in the balance." Secretary of State Debra Bowen is expected to issue an estimate of the number of uncounted ballots late today or Thursday. It could take days to process all of them. Proposition 8 supporters declared victory early today, saying their model shows them with an insurmountable lead. Proposition 8, the most passionately debated and costliest measure on the ballot, was ahead 52 percent to 48 percent with 92 percent of precincts reporting. READ MORE

    Why We Shouldn’t Despair Over Prop 8
    Ali Davis writes:
    Don’t get me wrong: We can be very, very sad about Prop 8. None of the gay and lesbian couples who have been married in California managed to even reach a 6-month anniversary before this election. And The Mormon Church alone poured $20 million into the Yes on 8 campaign. Twenty million dollars that could have been used to feed the hungry, train people for jobs, or build a hospital a cancer wing instead got used to make misleading ads to stop people who just wanted to marry each other in peace. And the people of California, the great bastion of liberal tolerance, have just decided to set aside a group of people and take away a fundamental right. All of that is sickening and sad. But what I saw volunteering for the No on 8 campaign was amazing. This was the largest movement for GLBT rights in history. I worked with people who were gay, straight, bi, and transgendered, and from every ethnic, age, and economic group. READ MORE