Proposition 8

23:52 Thu 06 Nov 2008. Updated: 23:25 02 Nov 2010
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Amidst the mainly good news from the election on Tuesday was this heartbreaker: Proposition 8, California’s measure to eliminate gay marriage rights, passed. Not by a huge amount: the latest numbers are 52.5% to 47.5%, a difference of 500000 votes.

I really thought that Proposition 8 would fail. I wasn’t convinced that it would, but had enough hope and dodgy poll data to make me think that things were looking good.

I’m aware that I’m extremely insulated, living here, and that makes it harder to gauge trends. I can’t think of a single person I know in California who would have supported it. The Bay Area, unsurprisingly, voted against it overwhelmingly. Of all the Bay Area counties, only Solano had a majority in favor. (State-wide, 42 of 58 counties backed it.)

On the other hand, San Francisco’s numbers were 76.5% against, which is certainly a lot, but means that almost one in four San Fransciscans supported it. Apparently much of that support comes from immigrant communities, which is also saddening.

Three legal attempts to prevent the measure from becoming law have already been started. There’s still a chance it won’t make it. I certainly hope it doesn’t, but the fact is that the voice of the people is for it, and that’s really a disappointment.

It’s a big victory for the Mormons, of course; they put over $20 million into supporting it. As Jon Stewart pointed out, this is because the Mormons have always believed that marriage is between a man and… um…

That obvious joke aside, the irony of the Mormons organizing to interfere in the marriage regulations of another state is really quite appalling. Not that I’d expect them to see that.

Apparently the ads that really swung the undecided voters were those that focused on how children would be “forced” to learn about gay marriage; the key piece of one ad was a young girl coming home to her mother and saying (happily) that she’d learned that two princes can marry, or two princesses can marry.

What the problem with that is, I just don’t know, but clearly it strikes some weird fear into the hearts of these people, so maybe one should feel sad for them, as well as for the victims of this measure, whose society is really telling that they’re inferior, and the rest of the state as well, which has been prevented from moving out of that particular mode of benightedness.

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