Wednesday, November 05, 2008

UPATE ON CALIFORNIA'S PROPOSITION 8

Just posted to the "No on 8" website: Nov 05, 2008

Results Status

Roughly 400,000 votes separate yes from no on Prop 8 – out of 10 million votes tallied.

Based on turnout estimates reported yesterday, we expect that there are more than 3 million and possibly as many as 4 million absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted.

Given that fundamental rights are at stake, we must wait to hear from the Secretary of State tomorrow how many votes are yet to be counted as well as where they are from.

It is clearly a very close election and we monitored the results all evening and this morning.

As of this point, the election is too close to call.

Because Prop 8 involves the sensitive matter of individual rights, we believe it is important to wait until we receive further information about the outcome.

Geoff Kors
Executive Committee
NO on Prop 8

Kate Kendell
Executive Committee
NO on Prop 8
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39 comments:

IT said...

The papers have all called it as a win for the measure. I don't think that using turnover estimates to imagine there are 3 million ballots left is justified. Our side ran a bad campaign in many ways, compared to the supporters.

Yesterday, the No-on-8 office sent me home because I had been out of town and missed "mandatory training" for election day. I went home and received a robo-call from Yes-on-8 with a tape of Obama saying he personally did not support gay marriage. Who cares that his campaign "officially" opposed Prop8. His own words defeated us.

It's over. We lost, defeated by organized religious hate and bigotry, and thrown under the bus by craven politicians afraid to take a stand for justice.

IT

Rob said...

The Yes on 8 website says this: "While it will take a few weeks to finish counting all the votes, Proposition 8 takes effect at midnight tonight. Just as it was before the Supreme Court’s ruling, only marriage between a man and a woman will be valid or recognized in California, regardless of when or where performed." -- how can this be true if the votes aren't all counted yet?

Frair John said...

Well, if nothing else we can start pushing to get rid of DOMA.
What else is a Democratic congress and President for?

john said...

A-G Brown's office has announced that marriages performed before the effective date of the ban will still be recognized as marriages.

This is going back to court. Stay tuned for Act II.

Sandy Koenig said...

I preface this comment by saying that I love animals. All kinds of animals. I believe that animals of all kinds are deserving of our utmost care, most particularly those we raise for food.

Having said that, I have to admit that I find it somewhat ironic that California voted to improve and protect the lives of chickens, while at the same time voting to invalidate the lives of human beings.

JTurner said...

I gotta say, my heart breaks over the outcome on Prop 8. I'm so sorry--for IT, for my friends who came from other states to get married here, for everything that was hanging on it. I agree with IT that the Yes on 8 people ran a better campaign. But I'm still disgusted and depressed that it passed. Count whatever ballots you want--Californians voted discrimination into their constitution yesterday.

RonF said...

Right now you'd have to shift a little under 250,000 votes to get a win.

Robo-G, I can't imagine what you think you can get done for yourself in court. The California Supreme Court's hands are tied. It can't declare the State Constitution unconstitutional, and the proposition itself leaves little to the imagination.

IT, what did you expect the politicians to do? The people have spoken and you must accept it just as much as you expect those who supported Sen. John McCain to accept the election of President-elect Obama. There's only one-half of a percentage point difference between the percentage support that Obama won and the percentage that Prop 8 won.

Suzer said...

Having to accept a duly elected president that one may not have voted for is worlds away from accepting unjust, discriminatory and, frankly, unConstitutional laws.

We will not stop demanding that ALL citizens of this country be treated equally. As a law-abiding taxpayer, I am due nothing less than the full rights, privileges, and responsibilities that our Constitution promises. I suspect that, eventually, GLBT people will be treated equally. And when that happens, my marriage and love for my partner will do no harm to anyone anywhere.

Ann Marie said...

Ron F,

Whether or not Obama or McCain are president, although important, is not the same as Prop 8. Prop 8 hits at something in the core of our being. Who is president is not about fairness, not about discrimnation, not about something so personal, so intimate as the marriage of two people who love each other and want to express it in commitment of marriage.

I shake my head. First of all we tell people that there shouldn't be any intimate physical expression of love outside of marriage and then we deny the right of some to the marriage in which to express that aspect of love.

I'm not happy about Harper being my prime minister but that come any where near how sorrowful in my soul I am over denying people the right to get married.

It just isn't on the same level at all.

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie

plsdeacon said...

At the risk of being flamed here, let me say that there is no one here being banned from getting married. Marriage has been (even in societies that accepted polygamy) between men and women. All Prop 8 did was codify the traditional definition of marriage as being between "a man and a woman."

I am sorry that you all feel hurt and rejected. You may not believe me, but I am sorry you feel that way. But, the people of the State of California have spoken and their desire is not to change the definition of marriage. Your success in getting the Supreme Court to change that definition is what sparked this amendment to the Constitution.

Yours in Christ Jesus,
Phil Snyder

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Phil,

With all due respect, you have absolutely every right to hold your opinion -- as do those who voted for Proposition 8.

What you do NOT have the right to do is to write your opinion into our constitution and deny American citizens fundamental constitutional rights by majority fiat.

That's the battle that will be fought now in the courts ... and it will likely be a long, expensive one that does nothing to build up either the nation or kingdom and everything to continue to polarize and divide.

As for the "people of California" having "spoken" the reason we have the system of governance we have in this country is to protect the minority from the bigotry, ignorance and arrogance of the majority.

It's like old joke: A true democracy is two foxes and one chicken voting on what's for lunch.

That's what happened yesterday.

And one battle is not the war.

Suzer said...

So, Phil, I guess that I could marry a gay man, and my partner could also marry a gay man, and then we could enjoy the attendant rights and benefits of those marriages while still living as partners? Why, gays and lesbians could all band together into legal (though dishonest) marriages, and enjoy certain rights and protections we are denied now. How's that float your boat? Not much "sanctity of marriage" there, is there? But it would all be perfectly legal. One man, one woman -- all "correct" body parts accounted for.

The issue here is being able to marry the adult person of one's choice. As a citizen of the United States, I should have the same rights and privileges as a hetero person does to marry the person I love. I currently do not enjoy those same rights and privileges. This is not about a "definition" or semantics, it is about lives, and love, and equality. I'm sorry that you cannot see that, dear brother in Christ.

In our society, marriage is no longer about property rights. It is not about having the correct body parts. It is, for better or worse, about two people who love each other. That is the "definition" of marriage, if you will, brought down to its simplest incarnation. Two people who love each other who decide to pledge their faithfulness to each other until death they do part.

GLBT people simply do not have the same right to marriage as a hetero person does, my friend (except for in a few states, and even those rights are limited, as federal rights and privileges are not extended there). And I suspect you do know and acknowledge that, as you supposed you'd be "flamed" for your comment. This is not merely about hurt or rejection, it is about discrimination, pure and simple. It will end, someday, and I hope I live to see that day. Love always wins.

plsdeacon said...

Susan,

First, thank you for being firm, but respectful. I will endeavor to do the same.

Second, the people absolutely do have the right to amend the Constitution. Normally, the process to amend the Constitution is rather difficult(for obvious reasons). I am now sure why it is so easy in California (or in Texas, but that is different post). I remember Popisition 13 in 1978 (I think). The people were fed up with the government raising taxes by simply saying your house was worth more this year, so they changed the constitution. I seem to remember a man that was upset that the US constitution did not include protections for free speech, freedom of religion, trial by jury, etc. and he got the first 10 amendments into the US constitution.

Our system of government is based on checks and balances. The legislative branch, executive branch, and judicial branches all have checks on each other to keep one branch from becomming too powerful. In California, if the Supreme Court declares a law unconstitutional, the people have the opportunity to change the constitution.

Now, you can argue that they are right or wrong, but you can't say they don't have the right to amend the consititution. (Unless you amend the constitution to say that people can't amend the consitution, but that would be rather ironic, don't you think?).

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

john said...

So let me get this straight (no pun intended), Phil. Under the law in CA, I can go out and find some woman who would never share my roof, much less my bed (because I try to avoid doing things that disgust me) and we could get married for tax and benefits purposes, yet I could not marry a man I might love and you're o.k. with that?

plsdeacon said...

Suzer - actually the definition of marriage (until recently) has been man and woman or man and women. It has never been man and man (or men) or woman and woman (or women). So, if you are trying to argue some right based on natural law, I'm afraid you are barking up the wrong tree. If, however, you are trying to argue based on some form of evolving ethic or morality, then you are on slightly firmer ground, but the people of the State of California (or those that cared enough to vote) don't accept your evolving morality and beware that what changes one way can change again. So basing morality on evolving standards means that there is not standard and what is moral today may be immoral tomorrow.


John, I would not be ok with that type of marriage as I hold marriage to be a sacrament. But the State of California would recognize it (AFAIK - there may be other legal aspects I am not aware of). My point was not to say that it would be a good thing to live in a marriage like that, but to say that it is forbidden to you is demonstrably false.

If we are going to allow marriage to be between "two people who love each other" then why stop at two? What is magical about two?

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

IT said...

Actually, REVISION of the Constitution in CA is more difficult than simple AMENDMENT. That will be the basis of at least one legal argument against Prop8: that something that deliberately removes the Constitutional right of one class of people is a fundamental revision of the Constitution, and not simply a minor amendment, and therefor it IS unconstitutional.

The Constitution exists in part to prevent the minority from the tyranny of the Majority. If black civil rights were put to the vote after tha passage of Brown Vs Board of Education, segregation would remain....and Barack Obama would not be president.

That analogy puts the pro-8 people in the correct context of bias and bigotry.

Direct democracy is mob rule. Our representative democracy is intended to protect the people from the mob. The state legislature, the people's representatives, has voted twice to legalize gay marriage. Vetoed by the governor who, ironically, was awaiting the court decision.

IT

IT said...

Phil, the definition of marriage has evolved and continues to do so. The state is certainly free to define it any way it chooses. The "polygamy" argument is the slippery slope argument that your side always uses because you really don't have any good arguments against faithful, monogamous, committeed gay couples being allowed to marry by the state.

Religious believers just as fervant with you, find gay marriage to be a religiously justifiable conclusion.

Opposition to gay marriage is almost exclusively religious, and therefore attempts to limit my civil rights by some one else's religious views. That is wrong.

When Loving v. Virginia was decided, over 2/3 of Americans felt inter-racial marriage was deeply wrong, and used the same slippery slope arguments. It took nearly 30 years for that to change. Yet I don't think any of us looking back find this "redefinition" of marriage to have been a bad thing.

IT

plsdeacon said...

IT,

If "The state is certainly free to define it any way it chooses," then you should have no problem with the state defining marriage as existing between one man and one woman. I have two basic problems that are not religious in nature. First, the idea that a majority of the Supreme Court justices of a state can change the definition of marriage is abhorent to me. Second, the idea that 50%+1 of the voters can change the state constitution is also silly to me. The constitution exists to provide a basic framework for government and to protect the people from the government.

If "the definition of marriage has evolved and continues to do so," then how do we tell when it has evolved to include "gay marriage." This argument is based in the reality that gay marriage is something new and and evolution in marriage itself. So, when do we know that the definition has evolved? If it evolves one way, what is to keep it from "evolving" back to the old way? Do you really trust the word of four or five individuals on this issue? Isn't the idea of "evolution" in marriage itself a slippery slope argument. Regardless of what you may think, slippery slopes do exist. If the definition marriage can evolve to include gay marriage, then why can't it evolve to include other forms?

Phil Snyder

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Phil ... you do realize that the same arguments you're making here were used to argue against interracial marriage?

Suzer said...

Phil - I'm afraid you missed my point. Of course, perhaps I didn't make it very well, either. :)

My point is that marriage is no longer a creation of, for instance, property rights, as it was a few hundred years ago. Marriage several centuries ago was often not so much about love as it was about property, about two families joining together, with inheritances and wealth being shared or given and strategic alliances being made.

Western society's definition of marriage has evolved such that marriage is now about love between two people. You say man and woman - fine - but what drives that man and woman to get married (I hope) is love. So if love is our primary reason for getting married, why disallow it for same sex couples? Marriage (which remember, is based on love) is a fundamental right in this country, and to deny it to same-sex couples who wish to have equality with their hetero peers is then to apply our Constitution differently to different classes of people -- something clearly prohibited where a fundamental right is concerned.

Of course, marriage is much more than can be described in a comment section. But to say the "definition" of marriage is only "man and woman" is simply too narrowly drawn. It is true that, traditionally, marriage has been thought of as a primarily hetero domain. However, since marriage is based on love, and love between same-sex partners does exist and is as genuine and real as love between hetero partners (whatever your personal religious arguments may be against that), I see no reason why same-sex partner should not be offered the same rights and benefits in the civil marriage arena as heteros are.

I have seen some scholarship in the past that does show that there have indeed been gay "marriages" throughout history, but that scholarship is not my forte. I haven't read up on it enough to know more than the fact that it is out there and that some form of gay marriage or union has, indeed, existed in Western culture, even if not widespread.

Bateau Master said...

Why, when the constitution was written and changed from 1879 to 1986, did its framers and ammenders fail to define what their concept of marriage entailed?

Perhaps they didn't feel that such a definition was necessary - it was already well understood.

Tuesday may have been a correction of their oversight.

Suzer said...

Or perhaps they failed to define it because, in their wisdom, they understood that marriage has changed over time and they didn't want to so narrowly construe such an important aspect of society?

In fact, marriage as a fundamental right came about through case law, based upon Constitutional principles. To my knowledge, it is only recently that a fearful populace has been stirred up to "define" marriage and enshrine it in state constitutions. Otherwise, it is typically the domain of case law and legislative actions. Writing discrimination into constitutions is a more recent invention.

MarkBrunson said...

Just couldn't resist coming to kick people when they're down, Phil?

Some deacon.

john said...

"John, I would not be ok with that type of marriage as I hold marriage to be a sacrament. But the State of California would recognize it"

Phil, we aren't talking about sacraments. The state of California and its laws have nothing to do with sacraments. And as you point out, the laws of the state of California, as Prop 8 may require, now recognize sham marriages simply because two people of different genders are involved but do not recognize relationships which involve love and mutual commitment. To repeat the question, and try not to quibble this time, are you o.k. with that?

john said...

And Phil, quit the crap about "your brother in Christ". You're not my brother in Christ or anyone else. I don't want to share the same planet with you.

seamus said...

What was so remarkable in the opinion given by the California Supreme Court was the elevation of same sex marriage to a fundamental right and as such truly unassailable by referendum or proprosition. I fully expect that the Supreme Court will overturn this proposition on these grounds alone. You cannot by simple majority amend or take away a right under the equal protection clause of the Constitution without eviserating the equal protection clause as a whole.

RonF said...

However, since marriage is based on love, and love between same-sex partners does exist and is as genuine and real as love between hetero partners

Herein lies the crux of why Proposition 8 won. You put forward as an established fact something that what turns out to be a majority of California voters don't believe to be true. When a rather large number of California voters stated rather emphatically that they did not believe this to be true, you had a couple of choices. One was to convince them that they were wrong. But the supporters of the above proposition didn't follow that course. You ended up getting 4 people to overturn the will of millions.

A 50% + 1 majority of the California electorate may not be the best way to amend the California State constitution. But it's superior to a 50% + 1 majority of a 7 member body that has limited accountability to the voters.

This country was founded on the philosophy that rights are not granted by courts. They are not granted by government. They are granted by our Creator - the goverment is only their guarantor, not their creator or grantor.

It is also founded on the philosophy that the ultimate authority on the intent of the Creator is not the government but the people. I'm not a Californian, but I suspect that a significant part of what happened with Proposition 8 was the perception that the proponents of it's defeat had repeatedly done an end-run around this.

So to say that you had a right to same-sex "marriage" because the Supreme Court of your State said so was wrong. It is not the role of the Supreme Court to create or redefine rights. That belongs to our Creator and is expressed in the will of the people, not the will of the government. And the people have just said "No" - you do not and never did have that right.

If you want to have that right, you need to stay out of the courts and start working on the electorate. Keep trying to push it in the courts while bypassing the people and you'll keep getting rejected by the people.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

"If you want to have that right, you need to stay out of the courts and start working on the electorate.

The Constitution already gives us equal protection to all Americans -- it is not within the power of some Americans to take those rights away from others ... and that's what happened here.

As for your strategy of using "the people" rather than the courts to protect the rights of a minority population, if that strategy had been employed in 1954 there would be no Brown v Board of Education decision, our schools might very well still be segregated and nobody would have ever heard of -- much less elected -- a guy named Barack Obama.

john said...

ronf is right about the need to do a better job of persuading the voters of the rightness of our cause, but he is dead wrong about how rights are protected in this country. It should be clear to anyone who can read English, due process and equal protection are enshrined in our constitutions and bills of rights BECAUSE these rights are too fundamental to be taken away by 50% + 1 of any electorate.

plsdeacon said...

John,

May God bless you and ease your hatred. I am not OK with a sham marriage, but there is a lot that the Government approves or sanctions that I am not OK with. I will work within the political system to let my voice be heard. Until I am elected "Benevolent Dictator" I will have to live with the compromise that is politics. The same is true of everyone else.

This is not a question of rights. It is a question of definition. What is Marriage? In the United States, "Marriage" has always been one man, one woman. The idea of "gay marriage" was not advanced until just recently. People claim that the definition of marriage has changed. That is false. The purpose of marriage may have changed (why people get married) but the basic definition has not changed. However, let's assume that the basic definition can change. How do we know when that change has occurred? I sumbit that the majority of the voters voting "yes" on 8 indicates that, at least in California, the definition of marriage has not changed - the opinion of the courts to the contrary.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

IT said...

Phil, you completely neglect that the exact SAME ARGUMENT YOU MAKE, was made in the aftermath of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark ruling that overturned anti-miscegenation laws in the US. Even then, the majority of voters would have voted to deny inter-racial marriage.

But take it back before then. Before Loving, there were state laws overturning anti-miscegenation laws, notably the Perez decision in CA.

Had it been put to them, the voters would no doubt have done the same they did here, opposed to the "re-definition" of marriage.

Yet we KNOW that would have been WRONG.

You are just like the people who opposed the Perez and Loving decisions.

IT

plsdeacon said...

First, let me say that I believe that the laws against interracial marriage are wrong. I believe they were wrong becuase of what God revealed in Holy Scripture ad based on the concepts of Natural Law.

However, why do you say they were wrong? Under your idea of "evolving definition of marriage," isn't it possible that the "definition of marriage" at that time had not yet evolved to include people whose skin tones were radically different?

I still submit that the definition of marriage has always been one man and one woman. It has (as has been pointed out to me here) not always been "two people who love each other." People are trying to change that today. What Prop 8 did was simply put that definition out of reach of the courts. If you want the definition to change, then you need to use the political process and convince the majority of Californians to accept your new definition. Working through the courts will simply anger the people who want to convince.

As for the slippery slope arguement (polygamy) being invalid, don't you think it ironic that you make the claim that the "slippery slope" on a blog named "An Inch at a Time?"

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

uffda51 said...

Prop. 8 passed because its supporters played the fear and bigotry cards. They appealed to the same people who believe that God selected George W. Bush to be president and sent Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans as punishment. Millions of out-of-state dollars helped.

The duty of the courts is to rule on the constitutionality of an issue. The California court ruled that discrimination based on sexual orientation was unconstitutional.

The Mormons, i.e., Utah, had to change their definition of marriage to join the United States. The writers of the Constitution said that a black man equaled 3/5 of a white man and that women could not vote. We changed the Constitution. How do we account for these changes other than “evolving morality?” Martin Luther King Jr. said "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” 300 years ago Barack Obama might have been the property of a white Christian plantation owner. Is it necessary to be a member of the group being discriminated against to understand discrimination?

If we restricted voting to white male property owners, as the Founders intended, McCain would be president. The Rush Limbaughs of the world will go to their graves angry about this.

If the Constitution were amended to require all citizens to bow and pray to Mecca five times every day, I would object. I have no problem with anyone doing so, but I do have a problem with religious doctrine being enshrined into law.

California allows first cousins to marry. Texas does not. Prop. 8 does not address this question. Where is James Dobson when we need him? How can this assault on the definition of marriage be tolerated? Shouldn’t we spend $70+ million to resolve this anomaly?

Just six days ago conservative radio host Dennis Prager attacked the “left” for constructing “a grand edifice of lies about America.” One of those lies, according to Prager, is that “equality” is an American value. It is, he claimed, a European value.

Hmm.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…

Or:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

We fought a revolution because we rejected the “European” doctrine of the divine right of kings in favor of equality and self-governance. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are not European documents. To conservatives, government is the eternal boogeyman when, in fact, the government IS “the people.” Progressives shall continue to strive to create a more perfect union. Equality for all remains the core value of that effort.

john said...

Phil, your sanctimoniousness and insincerity fairly bellow from every character you type.

Do something productive, why don't you, and re-read the gospels paying particular attention to what Jesus had to say about hypocrites.

plsdeacon said...

John,

Denial is not just a river in Egypt and Projection does not just happen in movie theaters. When talking about "sanctimoniousness and insincerity" take the log out of your own eye before reaching into mine, please. I am, and have been, respectful of persons here. I am engaging arguments, not persons. Please do the same.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Noge to commenters: Please comment on the "issue" not the "tissue" of other commenters.

And, a word to the wise on the whole "cyber troll" phenomenom: we do, from time to time, find commenters whose only goal is to engage to enrage ... and one is sadly likely to find one's less carefully considered responses copied on other blogs as illustrative of "see how 'they' are."

As noted above ... challenging ideas is a good thing: attacking individuals is a not permitted thing.

At least not here. (If you want to do that, go over to Stand Firm.)

Suzer said...

Ron -- I do have to take issue with your comment that our rights are determined by the Creator. That may be true, in a sense, but believe me, every right that you enjoy in the United States of America (I'm assuming that you are in the U.S.) is granted by the government.

Were that government to suddenly go away, were the Constitution to be completely overturned in some cataclysmic military coup, you would not longer have the rights you believe you have.

Now, you may believe yourself to have them, and may believe that they are inalienable. However, without the government there to protect them, they don't mean squat. It was probably the first thing we learned on day one of Constitutional law.

Which is why, really, the separation of church and state is so important, and why I find this conversation so disheartening at times. It is clear that the anti-marriage equality folks are imparting their religious beliefs on their arguments. Most of those anti-marriage equality folks feel that they can never separate their religious beliefs from the secular civil law.

However, our Constitution provides freedom from the imposition of such beliefs. What has been determined a fundamental right in our society simply should not be up for a "vote" by anyone. And frankly, the courts are exactly the place that this issue should be determined. Ron - it's not surprise that you would disagree with my statement that you quoted, but your disagreement is at the crux of this issue. The fact that you, or anyone, believes it is o.k. to just someone else's relationship as not real or worthy enough for marriage equality should really not be on the table at all. The civil right of marriage should never be up for a vote. I never got the right to vote on anyone else's marriage (and believe me, I've seen many a disastrous one), so why should anyone have the right to vote on mine? Again -- a fundamental right should never be allowed to be voted on by anyone.

Anyway, I've been down with the stomach flu all day, and thus cannot respond to every point, but just wanted to add these thoughts in furtherance of the discussion.

Suzer said...

Ouch -- sorry about all the typos on that last comment! That's what the stomach flu and a fever will do to you, I'm afraid!

plsdeacon said...

Suzer,

Perhaps a compromise on the issue of rights is in order. I believe that our Declaration of Independence speaks of men being "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights" and that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among the nations.

So, our rights come from God. Government exists (in large part) to guarantee them and help decide between them when rights come into conflict.

As for religious people getting their views passed into law, I'm afraid that we can't stop that. I assume that you have some religion (even absence of relgion is a form of religion). You work to get your views - which are formed, in part, by your religious outlook (or lack thereof). How is that different from others working to get their views (formed, in part by their relgious views or lack thereof) passed into law. Absent religious views, we return to rule by strength and might makes right.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder