Wednesday, November 05, 2008

California passes Proposition 8

No matter what one's own thoughts on the issue are, I think the results of this vote are interesting, especially since it reversed a decision made just earlier this year.

Here are a few excerpts from an LATimes story about the vote:

"I think the voters were thinking, well, if it makes them happy, why shouldn't we let gay couples get married. And I think we made them realize that there are broader implications to society and particularly the children when you make that fundamental change that's at the core of how society is organized, which is marriage," he said.

Opponents of Proposition 8 faced a difficult challenge. Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies, said California voters "very, very rarely reverse themselves" especially in such a short time.

Research and polling showed that many voters were against gay marriage, but afraid that saying so would make them seem "discriminatory" or "not cool," said Flint, so proponents hoped to show them they were not alone.

Perhaps more powerfully, the Proposition 8 campaign also seized on the issue of education, arguing in a series of advertisements and mailers that children would be subjected to a pro-gay curriculum if the measure was not approved.

"Mom, guess what I learned in school today?" a little girl said in one spot. "I learned how a prince married a prince."

As the girl's mother made a horrified face, a voice-over said: "Think it can't happen? It's already happened. . . . Teaching about gay marriage will happen unless we pass Proposition 8."

Many voters said they had been swayed by that message.

The role the media campaign had to play, as well as the sheer number of people campaigning on both sides (100,000 people went out for just one side yesterday), shows not only how important this vote was to people, but also how many resources (both financial and human) were used during the campaign for this issue -- striking especially given how many resources were already being tapped for just the presidential campaigns.

Florida and Arizona passed similar bans, by even greater margins, and Arkansas passed a measure keeping unmarried couples from adopting children or serving as foster parents.

Thoughts? Leave them (as long as they're civil) in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. I think the results are unfortunate. However, I've read that many ballots are still being counted. It's interesting that the margin is so close and I think this fact should alert people.
    I also find it sad that parents are afraid of their children learning about gay marriage in school. They should be more focused on having the schools teach against hate and promote understanding.

    I like what Ellen Degeneres had to say:
    "This morning, when it was clear that Proposition 8 had passed in California, I can’t explain the feeling I had. I was saddened beyond belief. Here we just had a giant step towards equality and then on the very next day, we took a giant step away.

    I believe one day a 'ban on gay marriage' will sound totally ridiculous. In the meantime, I will continue to speak out for equality for all of us."