Orange County is perceived as the most conservative of California’s counties. It is the home to the large churches and “family values” organizations and hasn’t voted for a Democrat for President since 1936.
In 2000, the voters in Orange County supported Proposition 22, a change to the civil code that banned gay marriage (since overturned by the state Supreme Court), by 69%, significantly more than the state’s average. And the region’s newspaper, the Orange County Register, had this to say:
The ultimate question in Prop. 22 is whether the definition of what constitutes a marriage should remain as it always has been, or whether the door can be opened to same-sex marriages – and by extension to any other sort of arrangements that people might devise.
Their advice was not to risk such a thing and instead to vote “Yes” on Proposition 22.
But time has passed and attitudes have evolved. And California’s conservative paper has changed its position. The OC Register opposes Proposition 8.
As our understanding of equal protection has evolved and expanded and as an increasing number of same-sex couples have expressed a desire to make lifelong commitments to one another – incidentally, promoting societal stability and reducing promiscuity – it has become clear that equal protection should be extended to same-sex couples.
In an ideal world, the state would have little or no role in defining or regulating so intimate a relationship as marriage. However, the state has inserted itself into all too many aspects of our private lives. Given that it has done so, it is only fair that it afford equal protection to all who choose to make loving lifelong commitments to one another. We recommend a “no” vote on Prop. 8.
Also opposing Proposition 8:
- The Los Angeles Times
- The San Diego Union-Tribune
- The San Jose Mercury News
- The San Francisco Chronicle
- The New York Times
- The Desert Sun
- The Napa Valley Register
- The Tracy Press
- The Contra Costa Times
- The Santa Cruz Sentinel
- The Press-Enterprise
(hat tip to reader Tara)