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California voters approve gay-marriage ban

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081105/ap_on_el_st_lo/ballot_measures

LOS ANGELES – Voters put a stop to same-sex marriage in California, dealing a crushing defeat to gay-rights activists in a state they hoped would be a vanguard, 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 Tuesday. 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 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, 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.

"People believe in the institution of marriage," Frank Schubert, co-manager of the Yes on 8 campaign said after declaring victory early Wednesday. "It's one institution that crosses ethnic divides, that crosses partisan divides. ... People have stood up because they care about marriage and they care a great deal."

With almost all precincts reporting, election returns showed the measure winning with 52 percent. Some provisional and absentee ballots remained to be tallied, but based on trends and the locations of the votes still outstanding, the margin of support in favor of the initiative was secure.

Exit polls for The Associated Press found that Proposition 8 received critical support from black voters who flocked to the polls to support Barack Obama for president. Blacks voted strongly in favor of the ban, while whites narrowly opposed it and Latinos and Asians were split.

Californians overwhelmingly passed a same-sex marriage ban in 2000, but gay-rights supporters had hoped public opinion on the issue had shifted enough for this year's measure to be rejected.

"We pick ourselves up and trudge on," said Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "There has been enormous movement in favor of full equality in eight short years. That is the direction this is heading, and if it's not today or it's not tomorrow, it will be soon."

The constitutional amendment limits marriage to heterosexual couples, nullifying the California Supreme Court decision that had made same-sex marriages legal in the state since June.

Similar bans had prevailed in 27 states before Tuesday's elections, but none were in California's situation — with about 18,000 gay couples already married. The state attorney general, Jerry Brown, has said those marriages will remain valid, although legal challenges are possible.

Elsewhere, voters in Colorado and South Dakota rejected measures that could have led to sweeping bans of abortion, and Washington became only the second state — after Oregon — to offer terminally ill people the option of physician-assisted suicide.

A first-of-its-kind measure in Colorado, which was defeated soundly, would have defined life as beginning at conception. Its opponents said the proposal could lead to the outlawing of some types of birth control as well as abortion.

The South Dakota measure would have banned abortions except in cases of rape, incest and serious health threat to the mother. A tougher version, without the rape and incest exceptions, lost in 2006. Anti-abortion activists thought the modifications would win approval, but the margin of defeat was similar, about 55 percent to 45 percent of the vote.

"The lesson here is that Americans, in states across the country, clearly support women's ability to access abortion care without government interference," said Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation.

In Washington, voters gave solid approval to an initiative modeled after Oregon's "Death with Dignity" law, which allows a terminally ill person to be prescribed lethal medication they can administer to themselves. Since Oregon's law took effect in 1997, more than 340 people — mostly ailing with cancer — have used it to end their lives.

The marijuana reform movement won two prized victories, with Massachusetts voters decriminalizing possession of small amounts of the drug and Michigan joining 12 other states in allowing use of pot for medical purposes.

Henceforth, people caught in Massachusetts with an ounce or less of pot will no longer face criminal penalties. Instead, they'll forfeit the marijuana and pay a $100 civil fine.

The Michigan measure will allow severely ill patients to register with the state and legally buy, grow and use small amounts of marijuana to relieve pain, nausea, appetite loss and other symptoms.

Nebraska voters, meanwhile, approved a ban on race- and gender-based affirmative action, similar to measures previously approved in California, Michigan and Washington. Returns in Colorado on a similar measure were too close to call.

Ward Connerly, the California activist-businessman who has led the crusade against affirmative action, said Obama's victory proved his point. "We have overcome the scourge of race," Connerly said.

Energy measures met a mixed fate. In Missouri, voters approved a measure requiring the state's three investor-owned electric utilities to get 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2021. But California voters defeated an even more ambitious measure that would have required the state's utilities to generate half their electricity from windmills, solar systems, geothermal reserves and other renewable sources by 2025.

Two animal-welfare measures passed — a ban on dog racing in Massachusetts, and a proposition in California that outlaws cramped cages for egg-laying chickens.

Amid deep economic uncertainty, proposals to cut state income taxes were defeated decisively in North Dakota and Massachusetts.

In San Francisco, an eye-catching local measure — to bar arrests for prostitution — was soundly rejected. Police and political leaders said it would hamper the fight against sex trafficking. And in San Diego, voters decided to make permanent a ban on alcohol consumption on city beaches.


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sux about gay marriage

ppl who want to make lifelong commitments to each other should be allowed to do so


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"People believe in the institution of marriage," Frank Schubert, co-manager of the Yes on 8 campaign said after declaring victory early Wednesday. "It's one institution that crosses ethnic divides, that crosses partisan divides. ... People have stood up because they care about marriage and they care a great deal."

Then how come the US has such a high divorce rate? I'm just saying.....


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ayup


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That's disappointing ...


I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

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it a sad they when so many ppl want to prevent others happyness, when allowing same sex marrage wouldnt hurt anyone


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Rights groups challenge new gay-marriage ban

I don't understand why this even has to be a problem. We have rights and liberties that grant us the option of choosing our spouse; ie not having to marry someone our family or govt picks out for us. We are free to choose who we marry period. The state or federal govt does not have the authority in our democracy to tell one human being they cannot marry another human being and no amount of amendments is going to make it right. States just need to file the marriage licenses and stay the hell out of peoples personal lives.

This is not a theocracy. This is not a Christian only, Muslim only, pick your thing here only country. No religion may impose its doctrines on our laws. Separation of church and state. Religion serves as moral guidance, nothing more. Individual religions have the option of not blessing a marriage if it is not inline with their teachings. They do not have the right to force or influence our legislators to make laws that remove rights from citizens of this country.

There is no reason for gay marriage to be illegal regardless of of what faiths oppose its practice. Religion has the option of not recognize a marriage between two people but does NOT have the right to stop it.


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Rights groups challenge new gay-marriage ban

I don't understand why this even has to be a problem. We have rights and liberties that grant us the option of choosing our spouse; ie not having to marry someone our family or govt picks out for us. We are free to choose who we marry period. The state or federal govt does not have the authority in our democracy to tell one human being they cannot marry another human being and no amount of amendments is going to make it right. States just need to file the marriage licenses and stay the hell out of peoples personal lives.

This is not a theocracy. This is not a Christian only, Muslim only, pick your thing here only country. No religion may impose its doctrines on our laws. Separation of church and state. Religion serves as moral guidance, nothing more. Individual religions have the option of not blessing a marriage if it is not inline with their teachings. They do not have the right to force or influence our legislators to make laws that remove rights from citizens of this country.

There is no reason for gay marriage to be illegal regardless of of what faiths oppose its practice. Religion has the option of not recognize a marriage between two people but does NOT have the right to stop it.

Actually, Marriage has become a Government institution. And the legislators do have the right to impose such laws, if the people vote for them. Since marriage is not in the constitution, it is up to each state to decide. Democracy falls both ways, and in this case it went in a conservative fashion. The irony is, those responsible are the high level of Hispanics that have immigrated into the country over the years, all having a strict 18th century style catholic belief structure. (trust me, I know, my dads side of my family came from Honduras). The liberal groups that wish to bring these people in and legalize them as citizens must not realize that from a political stand point that 99% of everyone south of the border are hardcore religious conservatives. Not only are these people against homosexuality, but the are very against abortion. We also must remember we only live in a democracy on a state level, and in a republic on a federal level, and they do have the right to make a federal law, without the peoples approval, because in essence they do have our approval. We voted for the 2 senators (and however many reps your state may have) that "hopefully" cast their vote in the way which we want them to. Hell, we don't even really vote for the president, (as most found out in 2000) we vote to suggest to the electoral college of our state who to vote for. If they so desired, they could vote the other way.

Believe me when I say our government isn't in any hurry to come to the rescue on the behalf of same sex marriage. If you believe its a conspiracy, you're damn right it is. Its not about religion or morals and its certainly not about "believing in marriage and its sanctity"... it may be under the guise of those things, but when it comes down to it, its all about the tax money. The US government is in no hurry to hand out more tax benefits than they have to.


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Actually, it's both. If you can find a faith to marry you, you can be married in the eyes of whatever religion you choose. But the government won't grant you married status, which allows you to claim taxes as married or other such benifits.


Yesterday was the deadline for all complaints!

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the govt's got no business going any further then saying to the 5 people you need to make it legal 'sign here and that will be however many dollars' -_-; Denying tax paying citizen their right to marry someone because of gender isn't freedom or equality in action. Religions and their theories about what marriage is need to butt the fuck out of individual liberty issues.


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Actually, it's both. If you can find a faith to marry you, you can be married in the eyes of whatever religion you choose. But the government won't grant you married status, which allows you to claim taxes as married or other such benifits.

Well I know that, but its my understanding that homosexual couples want the same government rights. Especially the tax benefits. Correct me if I'm mistaken.


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No, I'm sure you're right. I was just pointing out that marriage isn't really a government institution, it just defines certian rights based on what it considers marrage to be.


Yesterday was the deadline for all complaints!

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But because of our separation of church and state in this country we've pretty much made it a government institution, allowing them to define what it is. I guess I should have mentioned that, but instead I was too lazy and just quoted Lady. :P

Several of my friends route to marriage equated to going down to the court house and getting married. But you're right, from a faith standpoint, the government has nothing to do with marriage.


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