About those seven million, Maggie…

Timothy Kincaid

June 15th, 2010

Tomorrow is closing arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case over whether Proposition 8 was in violation to the US Constitution. Here’s what National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher has to say about it:

This is an outrage that never should have happened: 7 million Californians exercised their core civil rights to speak, to donate, to organize and to vote for marriage. Around the country millions of other have invested their time and their treasure. And Ted Olson today will be asking the courts to nullify our right to vote for marriage.

Well 7,001,084 does sound like a lot of folks. But let’s just for a moment put it in perspective.

  • In 2008, the population of California was 36,756,666. So about 19.0% of Californians voted for Prop 8.
  • In 2008, there were 23,208,710 people eligible to vote in California. About 30.2% of eligible Californians voted to take away marriage rights.
  • At the time of the election, there were 17,304,091 people registered to vote in the state. Of registered voters, about 40.5% showed up at the polls to “vote for marriage” restricted to heterosexuals.
  • A total of 13,743,177 voters turned up to vote. Of them 50.9% voted for proposition 8.
  • There were 13,402,566 votes cast on Proposition 8. Of them, 7,001,084 (or 52.2%) voted for the proposition and 6,401,482 (or 47.8%) voted against it.

Yes, Proposition 8 won. But let’s not pretend that Californians as a whole were so fired up about marriage that they all couldn’t wait for the chance to vote against equality. Less than a third of eligible voters supported this bill enough to show up and vote for it.

Dave H

June 15th, 2010

Sorry, Timothy. The only numbers that count are the numbers for the people who voted.

It’s like in football. You can talk forever about rushing yards, passing yards, sacks, turnovers, penalties, yada yada yada, but the only statistic that matters is the one that’s on the scoreboard at the end of the game.

Don’t worry, I loathe Maggie and NOM as much as anyone, and I find it obscene that in this country that is supposed to be the beacon of freedom and guaranteed rights that we even entertain the idea of putting people’s rights up for a vote.

But your argument is useless.

John in the Bay Area

June 15th, 2010

In point of fact, the Californians who voted for Prop 8 voted AGAINST marriage, not for marriage.

Eric in Oakland

June 15th, 2010

It is obscene for her to talk about voting to take away the equal rights of a minority as an exercise of a “civil right”.

Sadly, it is quite common for the anti-gays to pervert the English language though.

Pro-family = anti-family for gays
Pro-marriage = anti-marriage for gays
Religious freedom = against freedom of religion for tolerant churches
Love = hate


June 16th, 2010

Dave H, I understand the point you’re making–that it’s the end result of the vote that matters, not the actual numbers, but I think what Timothy was getting at is that Maggie is also citing numbers as though they’re important.

What she’s saying is that the opinion of 7,001,084 people is more important than the opinion of 6,401,482 people–but only because the slightly larger majority holds what she considers to be the right opinion.

So I think we’d agree that it’s fair to ask who made Maggie such an absolute authority that she gets to decide who matters more when it comes to granting or denying rights.

Paul in Canada

June 16th, 2010

Oh come now – surely Maggie is right – a minority of California’s most ignorant and hateful citizens should dictate equality for all…. LOL

Even if the majority of citizens voted for Prop 8, it still doesn’t excuse the political ‘leadership’ to be, uh, leaders and ensure equality for all citizens.

I just don’t understand your US referendums… even in a ‘democracy’, they are not structured to be democratic in the true sense of the word. The majorities voice rules? Yikes!!!!!

Priya Lynn

June 16th, 2010

DaveH said “I find it obscene that in this country that is supposed to be the beacon of freedom and guaranteed rights that we even entertain the idea of putting people’s rights up for a vote.”.

The United States hasn’t been the beacon of freedom and guarenteed rights for several decades, if ever.

Jason D

June 16th, 2010

And Ted Olson today will be asking the courts to nullify our right to vote for marriage.

When did voting on other people’s civil rights suddenly become a right unto itself?

Mags, I vote we take away your right to vote or speak. I bet I can find 7 million people who’d agree, would that make it fair enough for ya?


June 16th, 2010

I agree with Priya Linn. This country has always made big promises, but has consistently failed to fulfill them with respect to minorities.

Gays and lesbians are only the latest group to be flagrantly denied the freedom, justice and equitable treatment under the law that is supposed to be every American’s birthright, following a long line of other groups that has included blacks (slavery and segregation), Native Americans (ethnic cleansing and denial of citizenship), women (denial of suffrage and protection from rape and assault), Chinese (exclusion from immigration) and Japanese (internment).

I want equality as much as anyone, but let’s not pretend that oppression with the consent of the majority is anything new in this country.

Regan DuCasse

June 16th, 2010

NOM and every other ‘family’ representative that keeps talking that line of BS, behaves as if this were a situation unprecedented in the courts for minorities.
And in the case of gay people, who have traditionally been on the receiving end of seriously harmful bigotry and discrimination at that.

The demand to vote, was precisely because of an unfair advantage. And also after advancing the stereotype of gay people as threatening.

As what had to be proven in court:
what benefit has there been to society in promoting this discrimination.

and what evidence is there that this particular minority is harmed.

The answer clearly has been none to the former, to justify the discrimination.

And plenty of the latter to end it.

Bragging over and over about the power of the majority ‘the people have spoken’, while also claiming that gay people have political power and the ability to sway the voters is more of that two headed snake Maggie Gallagher is capable of being.

What is actually going on, and why it’s so important, is the exponential damage this kind of law does to the Constitution and Bill of Rights and the mission statement of both.

Neither of these documents is for the purpose of discrimination. And most definitely not against any citizen’s group exclusively.

And since marriage, children or whatever family ideal NOM thinks is out there, ISN’T protected by this amendment, it’s worthless to that purpose altogether.

So therefore, shouldn’t and needn’t be in place.

Most importantly though, another contradiction is the indictments on judges that the anti gay put forth.
That any rulings in favor of gay people are by ‘activist’ judges or ‘legislation from the bench’…
when actually it is THEY who want the judges and legislation to de facto enforce laws that do not exist to begin with.

Such as a morals test to qualify to marry. A fitness or fertility and fecundity and biological relationship test to qualify to parent or marry.

A religious enforcement standard against a group in a country that has no religious enforcement whatsoever.

And non protection of a minority from the tyranny of a majority, even though that tyranny is well documented to what extent it damages a particular minority.

In every way, the anti gay want each and every law and protection guaranteed a citizen, to be denied gay people and without any cause, or reason that garners improvement for the efforts.

And they want historical context and societal improvements garnered by NON DISCRIMINATION against previously discriminated people, to be ignored and forgotten because they don’t think the category fits.

Strict scrutiny has been very necessary here and the anti gay’s logic doesn’t pass such scrutiny.
When it’s all said and done, how certain religious people in particular ARE scrutinized regarding this law, are proven to be extraordinarily, cruel, SELFISH, ignorant and liars.

The proof of which is extolling a predictable outcome as fair to whose lives are most affected by it.


June 16th, 2010

I don’t get all this gloating over a victory by a mere 2.2%.. That’s not exactly a resounding statement. In fact it speaks to how utterly flimsy the public’s opinion is on it. The truth is that the trend is going in only one direction. I think the false bravado only serves to try to cover up what they know is the truth and what horrifies them. This ain’t holding up for long, whether in court or in the ballot box. I can’t wait to hear them bitch and moan once they start losing these votes, they’ll probably even hypocritically claim that even a majority has no right to “redefine culture” so to speak.

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