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Black voters back Calif. marriage ban


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Exit poll: Black voters back Calif. marriage ban

By MARCUS WOHLSEN, Associated Press Writer

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

California's black and Latino voters, who turned out in droves for Barack Obama, provided key support for a state ban on same-sex marriage. Christian, married and older voters also helped give the measure the winning edge, according to exit polls for The Associated Press.

Proposition 8 overturns a May California Supreme Court decision legalizing gay nuptials and rewrites the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Exit poll data showed seven in 10 black voters and more than half of Latino voters backed the ballot initiative, while whites and Asians were split.

Though blacks and Latinos combined make up less than one-third of California's electorate, their opposition to same-sex marriage appeared to tip the balance. Both groups decisively backed Obama regardless of their position on the initiative.

Obama has said he is not in favor of gay marriage but supports civil unions. The president-elect opposed Proposition 8.

Religious voters also were decisive in getting Proposition 8 passed. Of the seven in 10 voters who described themselves as Christian, two-thirds backed the initiative. Ninety percent of voters who said they had no religious affiliation opposed the measure, but they were a much smaller portion of the electorate.

Denise Fernandez, a 57-year-old African-American from Sacramento, said she voted for Obama but felt especially compelled to cast a ballot this year to support Proposition 8.

"I came out because of my religious beliefs. I believe a Christian is held accountable, and we have to make a difference," Fernandez said.

Religious voters were nearly as strong in their support for a measure that would have required doctors to notify parents before performing an abortion on a minor. Black voters were split on Proposition 4, however, and white voters came down decisively against the measure. It was defeated 52.1 percent to 47.9 percent.

Much of the advertising for Proposition 8 focused on same-sex marriage's ostensible effects on children, including the hotly disputed contention that young children would be taught about same-sex marriage in schools.

Nearly two-thirds of voters who had children under 18 living in their household backed the ban, while those without children were more narrowly opposed. Six in 10 married voters supported Proposition 8, while an equal number of unmarried voters voted against it.

Darryl Scott, a 46-year-old father from Patterson, voted for Obama and yes on Proposition 8. Scott said he has no hatred for gays but was raised to believe marriage is between a man and woman.

"People should do what they want to do, but it shouldn't be forced on others," said Scott, who is black.

The most pronounced divide over the same-sex marriage ban was between the state's youngest and oldest voters. Six in 10 voters under 30 were against the measure, and an equal number 65 and over were for it. Voters 30 to 64 made up most of the electorate and tilted slightly in favor of the ban.

Exit poll results also highlighted geographic splits in sentiment. In California's suburbs, where half the electorate lives, sixty percent of voters supported Proposition 8. City dwellers opposed the measure by a slightly smaller margin overall, though voters in Los Angeles were evenly divided.

More than half of voters in the largely conservative cities and suburbs south and east of Los Angeles backed the ban, as did about two-thirds of Central Valley voters.

About two-thirds of voters in the San Francisco Bay area and along the Northern California coast cast ballots against the measure.

The survey of 2,240 California voters was conducted for AP by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International. Most were interviewed in a random sample of 30 precincts statewide Tuesday; 765 who voted early or absentee were interviewed by landline telephone over the last week. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, higher for subgroups.

I guess homophobia is the new racism ... sad.

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Another from the latimes:

Gay rights backers file 3 lawsuits challenging Prop. 8: Lawyers for same-sex couples argue that the anti-gay marriage measure is an illegal constitutional revision. Backers of the measure attack the suits.

Lawyers for same-sex couples argued that the anti-gay-marriage measure was an illegal constitutional revision -- not a more limited amendment, as backers maintained -- because it fundamentally altered the guarantee of equal protection. A constitutional revision, unlike an amendment, must be approved by the Legislature before going to voters.

The state high court has twice before struck down ballot measures as illegal constitutional revisions, but those initiatives involved "a broader scope of changes," said former California Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grodin, who publicly opposed Proposition 8 and was part of an earlier legal challenge to it. The court has suggested that a revision may be distinguished from an amendment by the breadth and the nature of the change, Grodin said

Still, Grodin said, he believes that the challenge has legal merit, though he declined to make any predictions. Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen called the case "a stretch."

[...]

"The magnitude here is that you are effectively rendering equal protection a nullity if a simple majority can so easily carve an exception into it," she said. "Equal protection is supposed to prevent the targeting and subjugation of a minority group by a simple majority vote."

Glen Lavy, an attorney for the Proposition 8 campaign, called the lawsuits "frivolous" and "a brazen attempt to gut the democratic process."

The first action was filed by the ACLU, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Lambda Legal. Santa Clara County and the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles also sued, and Los Angeles lawyer Gloria Allred filed a third suit on behalf of a married lesbian couple.

All the lawsuits cited the constitutional revision argument, and two of them asked the court to block Proposition 8 from taking effect while the legal cases were pending.

"The court must hold that California may not issue licenses to non-gay couples because if it does it would be violating the equal protection clause," Allred said at a news conference.

A California Supreme Court spokeswoman said the court would act "as quickly as possible" on the challenges.

Other lawsuits could follow, but gay rights groups have called on supporters not to file cases in federal court. They fear that a loss at the U.S. Supreme Court could set back the marriage movement decades.

"We think it is early to go into federal court and ask federal courts to say we have a federal right to marry," Pizer said.

In addition to going to court, gay rights advocates sought to assure about 18,000 same-sex couples that their marriages will remain valid.

The groups cited comments by Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, who has said the initiative was not retroactive. If the marriages are challenged in court, that case too would go to the California Supreme Court. Experts differ on whether the law would protect the marriages.

The California Supreme Court voted 4 to 3 on May 15 that a state ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The ruling also elevated sexual orientation to the constitutional status of race and gender, an elevation that provides strong legal protection from discrimination.

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Reporting from Sacramento and Lake Forest -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday expressed hope that the California Supreme Court would overturn Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage. He also predicted that the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who have already wed would not see their marriages nullified by the initiative.

"It's unfortunate, obviously, but it's not the end," Schwarzenegger said in an interview Sunday on CNN. "I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."

Go Arney!

On Sunday, he urged backers of gay marriage to follow the lesson he learned as a bodybuilder trying to lift weights that were too heavy for him at first. "I learned that you should never ever give up. . . . They should never give up. They should be on it and on it until they get it done."

The governor's position on the fate of the existing same-sex marriages aligns him with California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, who has said he believes that the state Supreme Court will uphold the existing marriages as valid.

The 14-word constitutional amendment does not state explicitly that it would nullify same-sex marriages performed before the Nov. 4 election, although proponents say it will. Legal experts differ on this point.

Schwarzenegger's comments came as protesters took to the streets for a fifth day in a row, sometimes marching to Catholic and Mormon churches that supported passage of the ballot measure.

Hundreds of Proposition 8 protesters in Orange County gathered down the hill from Saddleback Church in Lake Forest as several thousand congregants attended services inside the sprawling religious campus.

Martijn Hostetler, 30, of West Hollywood held a sign that read "Purpose Driven Hate," a dig at the church's celebrity Pastor Rick Warren, author of the bestseller "The Purpose-Driven Life,"who backed the ballot measure. "I don't think Jesus would approve of a gay-marriage ban," he said. "I don't think God discriminates."

While demonstrators received supportive honks from motorists, many members of the mega-church said they had little sympathy for the protesters because the matter had already been settled by voters.

"We're a democracy and our strength is that the majority wins the vote," said John Kirkpatrick, a church member.

Sherrie Derriko, a longtime Saddleback Church member and hair salon owner from Mission Viejo, said she was bothered that protesters had targeted houses of worship. As she drove by, she rolled down her window to offer some advice.

"Read the Bible. God made man and woman, and that's what a marriage is," she called from inside her SUV.

Derriko recounted the incident after attending services. "When we saw them out there, we thought, 'Why are they not over this? Do they think they're going to change anything, or are they just stirring up trouble at our church?' "

But for Sally "Sal" Landers, 52, a Saddleback Church member from Lake Forest, her participation in the protest was a deeply personal matter. Landers and her female partner of three years plan to marry and adopt children. When she received an e-mail from Warren urging a "yes" vote on Proposition 8, she said, "I felt like I was kicked in the stomach by someone who loves unconditionally."

Some churches, to be sure, assailed Proposition 8 as discriminatory.

"We will continue to bless same-sex unions here until we can legally celebrate same-sex unions again," the Rev. Ed Bacon told 1,000 congregants during Sunday services at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, which has blessed same-sex unions for 16 years.

After the service, Bacon and other clergy members held a news conference on the church steps. They were surrounded by gay and lesbian couples, some standing with young children.

"I know these couples. I know their relationships," Bacon said, addressing a phalanx of television cameras. "They should be celebrated, rather than disparaged. . . . In the eyes of God, these people are married."

source (LA Times again)

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You know, this actually makes no sense to me. Who gives a shit if gay folks want to get married? I can see an issue with gay folks adopting children being fought in the courts and such but man, seriously, who cares if they get married? What in the hell does it have to do with anyone else if two guys or two gals want to get married, just don't associate with them and if you're religious, just assume they're going to hell but man, they aren't hurting anyone by getting married nor does their marriage affect anything for anyone else (at least I don't think so unless there are tax breaks). To me it's just full out discrimination. The problem I see is that the people that are protesting this must be lacking in something in their lives like a hobby or whatnot. I can understand if gay folks getting married killed other people or hurt other people but it just doesn't.

Websters:

Main Entry:

mar·riage Listen to the pronunciation of marriage

Pronunciation:

\ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\

Function:

noun

Etymology:

Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry

Date:

14th century

1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage b: the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

2: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected ; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities

3: an intimate or close union

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For many it's simply the word "marriage". In their religious definition it means only ONE thing. They are often OK with "civil unions" but not tying their church to it. So be it. I don't understand why this is still happening either. NOWHERE does legislation dictate that CHURCHES will be FORCED to perform ceremonies. Shit, there are plenty that will though. Just another reason for initiating more divides amongst the plethora of "religions" out there already.

Just remember, there's always somebody who's god is better than yours (or you're going to some form of hell anyhow )

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and then there's also the part of the population who's just plain afraid of what they don't know and get warped and twisted ideas of what they don't know is. these folks are generally non-religious bigots who spout their lack of knowledge loud and proud and come across to many as backwards hicks.

if only you could smack these dudes upside the head and make them see just how hate-filled they're being, for really and honestly, all church-related definitions of marriage aside, no good reason.

maybe that's the next big landmark to hurdle... gay rights and acceptance.

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I can see an issue with gay folks adopting children being fought in the courts and such ...

you can? will they turn the kids gay?

I can see it being an issue for the courts as there is now a third party involved, the kid, as opposed to two consenting adults (so the sentence wasn't implying that I have an issue with it, just that I can see it being an issue).

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I can see an issue with gay folks adopting children being fought in the courts and such ...

you can? will they turn the kids gay?

I can see it being an issue for the courts as there is now a third party involved' date=' the kid, as opposed to two consenting adults (so the sentence wasn't implying that I have an issue with it, just that I can see it being an issue).[/quote']

and in a straight relationship adoptions, there is a kid involved as well.

the clear implication of what you are saying is that you see some merit in distinguishing between gay and straight parents.

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On that subject, Arkansas had their own ballot initiative this election to overturn that state's Supreme Court decision which had struck down the Arkansas law disallowing adoption by gay couples. Phew, that's convoluted: the upshot is that adoption by gay couples wasn't allowed, the courts said the law could not be justified, adoption by gay couples became allowed via court decision, the ballot initiative made it illegal again.

So in a state with apparently three times as many children needing a home as there are homes willing to take them in, even those fortunate enough to have gotten a placement with a family are now being sent back to group homes because it is seen as an unfit environment. Where the people of Arkansas think they are going to conjure up all these 'proper' hetero-sexual couples - when those families haven't managed to materialize to date - to give these children a loving home, I can't even imagine.

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I can see an issue with gay folks adopting children being fought in the courts and such ...

you can? will they turn the kids gay?

I can see it being an issue for the courts as there is now a third party involved' date=' the kid, as opposed to two consenting adults (so the sentence wasn't implying that I have an issue with it, just that I can see it being an issue).[/quote']

and in a straight relationship adoptions, there is a kid involved as well.

the clear implication of what you are saying is that you see some merit in distinguishing between gay and straight parents.

I don't see merit in anything and I wasn't voicing my personal opinion on the subject, I was merely stating what I think might happen or be the case, not saying I agree or disagree, just saying that it could be the situation. Call it a prediction.

Just noticed this:

i don't think he's saying that at all. he's just acknowledging that some consider it an issue.

Yup

Want my actual opinion on it? I think that families, any families, be given the option of adoption and that there are or should be measures in place to make sure that the new parents are decent. In other words, yeah, I don't think that say 2 man hating lesbians who are a couple should raise a kid just like I don't think a man/women black hating couple should have a kid. If the people are decent, they get the kid. I'm against assholes having a kid but I have gay friends and I don't in anyway have anything against gay folks and as far as adoption is concerned, I'm just against hate from the adopting parents, not sexual orientation. My opinion.

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