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Posts for September, 2011

NAACP’s North Carolina Chapter Denounces Proposed Marriage Ban

Jim Burroway

September 15th, 2011

The North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP has issued an open letter denouncing the proposed constitutional amendment banning all same-sex marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships which goes before voters in May 2012. Says the NAACP:

A vote on the same sex marriage amendment has nothing to do with your personal and religious opinion on same sex marriage but everything to do with whether or not you believe discrimination should be codified and legalized constitutionally. We should never seek to codify discrimination into the very heart and framework of our Constitution.

…The NAACP strongly urges you to reject the so-called same sex amendment and any other present or future proposals of constitutional amendments that would permanently deprive any person in our great state of his or her inalienable rights

What Goes Into Constitutions Stay There Forever

Jim Burroway

September 13th, 2011

That’s the argument Rep. Henry M. Michaux, Jr. (D) made to the North Carolina General Assembly yesterday before they voted to send a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage to the state Senate:

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Don’t put this into a living document. The constitution is a living document. And if you think it’s hard to get something out of that living document, you take a look at the United States Constitution where it says that I am three-fifths of a person. Even though we have had amendments that come along to sort of change that, it still says it in that Constitution. And what you put in a constitution is there permanently. I know you all think you’ve got the votes to do it, but you need to think about what you’re doing and you need to think about the greater good of the people of this state.

Also, lawmakers who approve such an amendment will find their names forever attached to discrimination. Dan Savage has an example of a Presbyterian minister by the name of Thomas W. Miller, whose name is remembered for his religious-based opposition to efforts to prohibit deed restrictions and other forms of discrimination preventing African-Americans from buying or renting a home. I wonder what Miller’s grandchildren think about their grandpa’s legacy?

NC House Passes Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

Jim Burroway

September 12th, 2011

After three hours of debate and without public notice or input, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a proposed constitutional amendment by a vote of 75-42. A three-fifths approval was needed to put the measure on the ballot. Eight Democrats joined Republicans in passing the measure. The proposed amendment would not only place a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, but it would also bar civil unions and, possibly, domestic partner benefits. Some details from today’s decorous debate:

State Rep. Marcus Brandon (R-Guilford), the only openly gay state lawmaker, told his fellow lawmakers that people yelled “abomination” at him as he walked through the capitol building that afternoon, and said he was told he was “going to hell.”

State Rep. Mickey Michaux (D-Durham), a black lawmaker, had an exchange with (House Majority Leader Rep. Paul) Stam on the floor in which he pointed out that the U.S. constitution “still says I am three-fifths of a person.” Michaux said on the floor that he was attempting to highlight how hard it would be to remove the discriminatory language in the future.

At one point, state Rep. Jennifer Weiss (D-Wake) called out Stam for eating popcorn during the debate “while other’s rights are stripped away.”

The house voted to put the proposition on the ballot for a special election in May rather than holding the referendum during the Presidential election in November. Democrats feared that putting the vote on the November ballot would hurt President Barack Obama’s chances for carrying the state in 2012. Republicans agreed to move the date in order to increase Democratic support for the Amendment. However, with the May date coinciding with the Republican primary and with no Democratic presidential primary taking place, the earlier date is likely to significantly boost turnout for amendment supporters. Other observers also believe those same supporters would then boost the chances of socially-conservative candidates like Texas Gov. Rick Perry or Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Given the pressing crisis of massive numbers of same-sex couples battering county courthouses demanding marriage licenses, the Senate is expect to take the measure up very quickly, perhaps as early as Tuesday.

LA Times: Prop 8 Will Likely Be Upheld

Jim Burroway

March 4th, 2009

The California Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments over a lawsuit challenging Proposition 8 this Thursday. The court is then required to rule within ninety days. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Court may rule as early as Thursday to uphold the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage:

Reporting from San Francisco — The California Supreme Court may reveal Thursday whether it intends to uphold Proposition 8, and if so, whether an estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages will remain valid, during a high-stakes televised session that has sparked plans for demonstrations throughout the state.

By now, the court already has drafted a decision on the case, with an author and at least three other justices willing to sign it. Oral arguments sometimes result in changes to the draft, but rarely do they change the majority position. 

The Times reports that Chief Justice Ronald M. George is the one to watch on this. He wrote the May 15, 2008 majority opinion which originally granted same-sex marriage. That ruling was a narrow 4-3 decision. According to The Times, most analysis expect the court to have just votes to uphold Prop 8, since only one justice is needed to shift from the original decision. The three dissenting justices from the 2008 position already held that the votors should decide.

A large outdoor jumbo screen will be erected outside the San Francisco Civic Center, where large crowds are expected to gather to watch the live hearings taking place at the nearby Supreme Court headquarters.

NAACP Calls For Prop 8 to Be Overturned

Jim Burroway

February 25th, 2009

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has joined the California chapter in calling for Proposition 8 to be overturned:

“The NAACP’s mission is to help create a society where all Americans have equal protection and opportunity under the law,” said President [Benjamin Todd] Jealous. “Our Mission Statement calls for the ‘equality of rights of all persons.’ Prop. 8 strips same-sex couples of a fundamental freedom, as defined by the California State Supreme Court. In so doing, it poses a serious threat to all Americans. Prop. 8 is a discriminatory, unprecedented change to the California Constitution that, if allowed to stand, would undermine the very purpose of a constitution and courts – assuring equal protection and opportunity for all and safeguarding minorities from the tyranny of the majority.”

…”The NAACP has long opposed any proposal that would alter the federal or state constitutions for the purpose of excluding any groups or individuals from guarantees of equal protection,” said Chairman [Julian] Bond. “We urge the legislature to declare that Proposition 8 did not follow the proper protective process and should be overturned as an invalid alteration that vitiated crucial constitutional safeguards and fundamental American values, threatening civil rights and all vulnerable minorities.”

The NAACP statement urges passage of House Resolution 5 and Senate Resolution 7, which would put the legislature on record as viewing Prop. 8 as an improper alteration of the California Constitution. The question is currently before the California Supreme Court, which is expected to hear arguments on March 5.

Marriage Wins Elections

Jim Burroway

January 14th, 2009

Freedom to Marry has just released a study (PDF: 112 KB/5 pages) which shows that “exhibiting leadership by voting to support the freedom to marry helps rather than hurts politicians.”

Many politicians, particularly Democratic politicians, fear that if they appear too closely aligned with same-sex marriage, they will face the consequences at the ballot box. But Freedom to Marry found that those who voted to end marriage discrimination since 2005 have a 100% re-election rate. This finding goes beyond re-election to their current seats — even those who sought higher office in 2008 all won.

These findings extend to those who evolved from opposing to supporting same-sex marriage, as well as to those who voted against anti-marriage amendments in their state legislatures.

Anti-Marriage Amendment To Be Introduced In Indiana

Jim Burroway

January 12th, 2009

We were tipped to this press release from the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund announcing a press conference on a proposed anti-marriage amendment for Indiana. State Reps. P. Eric Turner (R-Marion) and Dave Cheatham (D-North Vernon) are listed as co-sponsors for the amendment during for the current General Assembly session. Also participating at the press conference are unnamed representatives from the Family Research Council and the Indiana Family Institute.

[Hat tip: Mike]

Keith Olbermann on California’s Prop 8

Jim Burroway

November 10th, 2008
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Click here to read the full transcript

A Question of Priorities

Jim Burroway

November 8th, 2008

From The Washington Post:

No On 8 Concedes

Jim Burroway

November 6th, 2008

California’s No on 8 campaign has issued a statement conceding the passage of Prop 8:

Tuesday’s vote was deeply disappointing to all who believe in equal treatment under the law.

All Americans are harmed when any of us are discriminated against or have our fundamental rights taken away.

Make no mistake, this fight is not over.

We remain committed to ensuring full equality under the law, just as the thousands of same-sex couples who joyously married in California are committed to each other.

While it is understandable to be angry that a deceptive campaign could lead to such an unfair and wrong outcome, we need to keep focused instead on the progress we have made.

Thousands of volunteers and contributors gave selflessly to this fight for equality. Political leaders—Democrats and Republicans alike–took strong stands and spoke out against the distortions against us. Clergy, labor, educators and business leaders eagerly joined our cause. And we came within 4% of making history and protecting marriage equality in California.

The momentum is clearly on our side.

So, as disappointed as we are, we know that there is still hope and there is still love and, yes, there is still work to do. With our continued effort and by building on the support generated in this campaign, we will prevail. There will be equality. For us all.

Since No on 8 is not involved with the lawsuits filed before the California Supreme Court seeking to overturn Prop 8, that effort will likely continue.

Coalition to Challenge Legality of Prop 8

Jim Burroway

November 5th, 2008

The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have filed a petition before the California Supreme Court, urging the court to invalidate Proposition 8 if its passage is certified by the Secretary of State. The groups charge that Prop 8 is invalid because it changes the state constitution’s core commitment to equality for everyone. According to the group’s press release (PDF: 2 pages):

The California Constitution itself sets out two ways to alter the document that sets the most basic rules about how state government works. Through the initiative process, voters can make relatively small changes to the constitution. But any measure that would change the underlying principles of the constitution must first be approved by the legislature before being submitted to the voters. That didn’t happen with Proposition 8, and that’s why it’s invalid.

“If the voters approved an initiative that took the right to free speech away from women, but not to men, everyone would agree that such a measure conflicts with the basic ideals of equality enshrined in our constitution. Proposition 8 suffers from the same flaw — it removes a protected constitutional right — here, the right to marry — not from all Californians, but just from one group of us,” said Jenny Pizer, as staff attorney with Lambda Legal. “That’s too big a change in the principles of our constitution to be made just be a bare majority of voters.”

Opponents of Prop 8 tried to block the innitiative from appearing on the ballot on similar grounds last July. At that time, the Supreme Court denied the petition without comment.

No on Prop 8 Refuses To Concede

Jim Burroway

November 5th, 2008

The No on 8 campaign called a quick news conference to declare that they are not conceding the race:

Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said 3 million to 4 million ballots remain uncounted statewide. “The fact is depending on the turnout model we are looking at millions of votes yet to be counted,” Kendall said. The race is too close to call. People’s fundamental rights hang in the balance.”

Many of those ballots are absentee and provisional ballots. The California Secretary of State’s office is expected to issue an estimate of the number of uncounted ballots later today or tomorrow. It could take several days to process all of them.

Prop 8 supporters declared victory shortly after midnight early this morning in a move that No on 8 called “presumptuous.”

Prop 8 Exit Polling

Jim Burroway

November 5th, 2008

CNN also has some interesting exit polling on California’s Prop 8:

As in Arizona, women are more supporting of same-sex marriage than men:
Men: Yes: 51%; No: 49%
Women: Yes: 50%; No: 50%

We have done a very poor job in reaching out to the African-American community:
White: Yes: 47%; No: 53%
African-American: Yes: 70% No: 30%
Latino: Yes: 51% No: 49%
Asian: Yes: 47%; No: 53%

The youth are our future:
18-24: Yes: 34%; No: 66%
25-29: Yes: 40%; No: 60%
30-39: Yes: 50%; No: 50%
40-49: Yes: 58%; No: 42%
50-64: Yes: 50%; No: 50%
65 or Over: Yes: 59% No: 41%

There’s a reason our opponents distrust education:
H.S. Graduate: Yes: 54%; No: 46%
Some College: Yes: 56%; No: 44%
College Graduate: Yes: 48%; No: 52%
Postgraduate: Yes: 39%; No: 61%

Marriage Amendments are a GOP thing:
Democrat: Yes: 35%; No: 65%
Republican: Yes: 81%; No: 19%
Independent: Yes: 44%; No: 56%

Election Day Update Live Blogging

Jim Burroway

November 4th, 2008

As of 2:12 pm EST/11:12 am PST:
Okay, one last update. The Los Angeles Times declared Prop 8 as passed, and so will we. I hope we’re premature.

Now, this ends the live blog.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,040,122 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,437 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,873 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,406 (43%)
96% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,235,486 (52%) – Projected winner
No: 4,800,656 (48%)
97% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,710,928 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,877,193 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:35 pm EST/10:35 am PST:
At this point, there has been no substantial movement in the election results for the past several hours — just a few tweaks here and there as the last precincts report in. There may be more changes as absentee and provisional ballots are counted over the next few hours and perhaps days. We will continue to update these figures periodically in other posts, and put this particular marathon “live blog” to an end for now.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,845 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,346 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,873 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,406 (43%)
96% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,220,694 (52%)
No: 4,792,873 (48%)
96% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,674,662 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,855,432 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:20 pm EST/10:20 am PST:
Just a few minor tweaks to the Arkansas and Florida counts. No change on Arizona or California. The No on Prop 8 campaign called a hastily organized press tele-conference refusing to concede, saying that 3 million to 4 million ballots remain uncounted statewide.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,792 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,315 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,873 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,406 (43%)
96% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,220,694 (52%)
No: 4,792,873 (48%)
96% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,674,662 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,855,432 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 12:20 pm EST/9:20 am PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,792 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,315 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,774 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,344 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,220,694 (52%)
No: 4,792,873 (48%)
96% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,674,626 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,966 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 11:30 am EST/8:30 am PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,792 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,315 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,873 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,406 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,195,136 (52%)
No: 4,779,297 (48%)
96% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,674,654 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,855,427 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 10:00 am EST/7:00 am PST:
It’s time for me to head to work, so updates may be sporadic.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,774 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,344 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,163,908 (52%)
No: 4,760,336 (48%)
95% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,662,558 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,598 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 9:35 am EST/6:35 am PST:
Interesting exit polling results for California’s Prop 8. The present is difficult, but the future is ours. Hang in there.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 571,392 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 432,512 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,125,752 (52%)
No: 4,725,313 (48%)
95% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,662,558 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,598 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 9:15 am EST/6:15 am PST:
Interesting exit polling results for Arizona’s Prop 102. Things will definitely be different in another decade or so. Despite these losses, time and history are clearly on our side.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 571,392 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 432,512 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,019,930 (52%)
No: 4,656,291 (48%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,662,558 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,598 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 8:45 am EST/5:45 am PST:
None of the networks are calling California’s Prop 8 yet.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 571,392 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 432,512 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,010,855 (52%)
No: 4,650,469 (48%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,662,558 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,598 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 8:00 am EST/5:00 am PST:
Well, we’re back. Let’s see where things stand right now.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 571,392 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 432,512 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,948,765 (52%)
No: 4,597,609 (48%)
91% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,632,316 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,832,236 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 2:15 am EST/11:15 pm PST:
I’m afraid this will have to be my last update for the night. My partner has rolled over and turned off the light, and our two dogs are staring at me with that look that says, “aren’t you done yet?” And there’s the fact that I still have to get up early in the morning for my real job.

So here is where things stand right now. We’ll pick it up in the morning. Feel free to add your updates in the comments.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,008,420 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 776,896 (44%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 544,197 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 544,197 (43%)
90% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 2,457,023 (53%)
No: 2,202,737 (47%)
39% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,632,316 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,832,236 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 2:00 am EST/11:00 pm PST:
California is still hanging in there.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,007,350 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 776,264 (44%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 509,879 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 379,606 (43%)
84% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 2,282,644 (53%)
No: 2,055,774 (47%)
35% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,632,316 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,832,236 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:40 am EST/10:40 pm PST:
As we continue to watch California’s results trickle in, there are some silver linings to report. Arizona State Sen. Tim Bee (R-Tucson) lost his congressional race against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 55% to 43%, with 73% of precincts reporting. Bee is the guy responsible for casting the crucial sixteenth vote which put Prop 102 onto the Arizona ballot. His political career is now, fittingly, over.

And perennial Federal Marriage Amendment sponsor Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) has lost her bid for re-election. With 67% of precincts reporting, Betsy Markey is thumping her 57% to 42%.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,004,467 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 774,471 (44%)
91% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 501,385 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 373,806 (43%)
83% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 2,252,980 (53%)
No: 1,983,079 (47%)
32% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,614,855 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,816,930 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:20 am EST/10:20 pm PST:
The web site for California’s results is extremely slow right now. It’s been slow all evening, but right now I’m really having a hard time getting the results to come up.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,003,365 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 774,034 (44%)
91% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 481,397 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 361,804 (43%)
77% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,996,918 (53%)
No: 1,810,938 (47%)
29% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,614,855 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,816,930 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:00 am EST/10:00 pm PST:
It’s official; Florida has fallen. California is still standing — and the gap is beginning to close.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 998,429 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 771,350 (44%)
91% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 475,310 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 356,953 (43%)
75% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,867,373 (53%)
No: 1,633,120 (47%)
24% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,589,831 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,800,945 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 12:40 am EST/9:40 pm PST:
I’m back home now, keeping an eye on Arizona and California. It looks like Arkansas and Arizona are lost. I can however take consolation that Pima County (Tucson), my home, has stayed true to its better nature and is trending against Prop 102. California and Florida are still too close to call, although I think we’ll be able to call Florida soon, unfortunately.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 973,264 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 747,932 (44%)
85% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 446,081 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 337,638 (43%)
67% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,682,717 (55%)
No: 1,407,141 (45%)
22% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,479,514 (62%)
No: 2,719,369 (38%)
92% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 12:20 am EST/9:20 pm PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 930,710 (56%)
No: 728,183 (44%)
81% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 415,261 (57%)
No: 317,625 (43%)
61% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,451,505 (55%)
No: 1,213,319 (45%)
17% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,414,880 (62%)
No: 2,678,415 (38%)
91% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 11:35 pm EST/8:35 pm PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 877,204 (56%)
No: 684,143 (44%)
71% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 378,764 (57%)
No: 288,143 (43%)
54% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,053,742 (54%)
No: 894,081 (46%)
6% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,249,773 (62%)
No: 2,591,180 (38%)
86% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 11:07 pm EST/8:07 pm PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 754,526 (56%)
No: 585,886 (44%)
49% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 287,692 (57%)
No: 218,441 (43%)
40% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,184,771 (62%)
No: 2,558,175 (38%)
84% of precincts reporting
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 10:00 pm EST/7:00 pm PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 90,920 (59%)
No: 63,362 (41%)
3% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 3,623,476 (62%)
No: 2,179,355 (38%)
62% of precincts reporting
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 9:30 EST/6:30 PST:

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 3,388,335 (62%)
No: 2,066,794 (38%)
50% of precincts reporting
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 21,273 (57%)
No: 16,366 (43%)
3% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 3,388,335 (62%)
No: 2,066,794 (38%)
50% of precincts reporting

* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

Voting Day Observations

Timothy Kincaid

November 4th, 2008

I’m not exactly liveblogging here… but I want to use this post to give you a few of my observations as the day goes along (All times Pacific):

6:08

OK, I’ve got to log off for a while. My final observations for now are:

With 41% counted, Florida’s Amendment 2 has a yes vote of 61.9% and a no vote of 38.1%. However, Miami-Dade had no precincts reporting and Broward County only had 7%. So this is still far to close to call.

Arizona’s polls just closed. But the exit polling suggests that we will not be celebrating there. They project that the proposition will pass with about 55% of the vote.

California polls will be open for another two hours.

5:32

With 29% counted, Florida is still 60% to 40%

5:13

With 20% of precincts counted, Florida’s Amendment 2 is 59% to 41%.

CNN’s exit poll on Florida’s Amendment 2 is very very close.

Male (46% of voters) 61% yes
Female (54% of voters) 60% yes

To pass, this Amendment needs 60%. Depending on the rounding, the exit polling could be on either side of that number. This is a squeeker and may well go late into the night.

4:44

With 0% of precincts reporting, Florida’s Amendment 2 is ahead 59% to 41%. It needs 60% to pass.

Hmmmm. Now MSNBC is telling me that there are no ballot measures in Florida.

4:03

Polls are now starting to close in some states and news sources have started the process of declaring winners based on pre-election polling, exit polls, and the handfuls of votes that have been counted.

While this provides and exciting and entertaining evening, there is concern that calling the election for one presidential candidate or the other may hurt voter turnout in Arizona and California. And the expectation is that this would be advantageous to both Proposition 8 and Proposition 102.

3:46

Churches have traditionally been viewed as good locations for polling places. As part of their sense of civil duty, and because they placed emphasis on godly rather than worldly goals, they were ideal. However, with increasing partisanship and political activism being part of the message of some churches, they may soon find that election boards view them more as a liability than ideal polling source.

Take, for example, this story of a church marquee in Florida.

Cape Coral resident Matthew Neff was excited about casting his vote Tuesday until he reached his polling location.

As he entered Diplomat Wesleyan Church, where his precinct was, he read the church’s marquee: “Yes on 2.”

After a complaint, the message was changed to “Marriage Yes!”

According to the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office, as long as the sign is outside 100 feet of the door it is not a violation.

That may well be the case, but election officials may soon tire of hearing from citizens that their official polling place is trying to influence votes. And non-Christians lose respect for the faith when churches behave in such an arrogant and offensive manner.

2.49

Because nothing says “sanctity” like a mass marriage arranged with a stranger.

The Unification Church (better known as the Moonies) perform mass marriages, often arranged between total strangers. But, of course, they support Proposition 8:

Rev. Michael Jenkins, President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (USA) announced his support today for California’s Protect Marriage Act, Proposition 8.

Why is it that those who have marriage rituals or beliefs that most folks view as peculiar and out of the mainstream seem so eager to try and dictate mine?

2:05

No on Prop 8 responds to “outrage” over Mormon missionaries ad:

The ad has been produced by an organization not affiliated with our campaign. Mr. Schubert should direct his questions to the organization behind the ad.

As we have stated previously, the Mormon Church deserves the same respect as any other religion. But it is wrong for the Mormons to push their views about marriage on the rest of California through the ballot box

We note Mr. Schubert has failed to denounce despicable statements by individuals affiliated with the Prop. 8 campaign.

At an official Prop. 8 rally at the State Capitol in Sacramento last week, a Prop. 8 lawyer compared the fight against gay marriage to the fight against Hitler. That outrageous statement was denounced by the Anti-Defamation League but not by the Prop. 8 campaign. Instead, the campaign Web site described the event as successful and thanked attendees.

At the same Prop 8 rally, another speaker said homosexuals “can’t reproduce, so they must recruit our children.”

Both videos are posted to our YouTube channel.

1:54

Jennifer Roback Morse, a self-promoting anti-gay activist, has started the Ruth Institute to push her idea that it’s just downright Cool to support one-man, one-woman marriage. She’s managed to get a whopping 245 members to sign up on her Facebook. Morse has decided to declare tomorrow to be International Mormon Appreciation Day:

We, the members of the Ruth Youth, hereby declare and proclaim November 5, 2008, to be International Mormon Appreciation Day. We hereby express our gratitude toward and solidarity with our LDS brothers and sisters.

No matter how the election for Proposition 8 turns out, we are grateful to the courageous, dedicated, and always cheerful members of the LDS Church.

1:00

The Yes on 8 voter:

In Sacramento. Richard Jackson, 56, an in-home caretaker, voted for Proposition 8 because he didn’t want same-sex marriage to be taught in schools.

“In the Bible, it wasn’t Steve and Steve, it was Adam and Eve,” he said. “They don’t need to put that in schools. It ain’t right. I’ve got 24 grandkids and a little girl who’s seven, and I don’t want them around that.”

12:51

Yes on 8 seems to be trying to cheat in San Diego County:

Stephanie Colter, a teacher from Bay Park, said someone had placed Yes on 8 signs outside her polling place at the First Baptist Church in Bay Park, right next to the signs directing voters inside.

“They’re all over the parking lot,” Colter said. “I’m really upset. They shouldn’t be a polling place if they want to do that.”

Signs in support of Proposition 8 were reportedly placed at precincts in Rancho Bernardo and in Bonita. Officials at the Registrar of Voters Office said they had also received complaints about Yes on 8 signs being placed too close to polling places.

In Ventura County advocates opposing Proposition 8 obeyed the law:

In Camarillo, Sheriff’s Deputies had to be called out to settle an angry dispute over whether a group of No on Proposition 8, which would ban gay marriage, protesters were too close to a polling station at the county Board of Education office. The argument was settled after poll workers and protesters used a tape measure to mark off the 100 feet distance that campaigners are supposed to maintain from polling stations.

12:35

LA Times’ Karen Kline thinks the Mormon Missionary ad is fair game:

Having viewed the ad, I can’t see what the big deal is. Skits like this are common fodder for campaign ads. Were opponents of Prop. 8 supposed to never touch the religious aspect of this? Is it supposed to be unfair to play the Mormon card, considering the role Mormonism has played on the Yes side (e.g., pressing its members to donate and work for the campaign)? Surely the Mormon church and its members never expected to leap into a campaign with this much vocal and financial might, funding it in large part and pushing for it relentlessly, without expecting that they would be viewed as a force that is trying to roll back the clock on gay rights in California. And considering that the Yes on 8 campaign has tried to depict gays and lesbians as attempting to take over elementary schools and force themselves on religious weddings, it’s not in a great position to claim bigotry and intolerance, let alone misleading advertising, coming from the other side.

12:23

File this under “info provided more than a little too late”:

Are you sick of reading a well written editorial about how the supporters of Prop 8 are telling lies, and then see right next to it an ad with happy heteros telling you “think Prop 8 isn’t about marriage? Click here to see how the perverts will seduce your children and kick your dog” (OK, slight exageration)?

Well it seems that users of Google’s AdSense aren’t too happy either. So today Google is releasing info on how to block such ads.

12:06

Yes, Proposition 8 is a California effort, Amendment 2 is in Florida, and Proposition 102 is in Arizona. But the recognition that the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the funding and volunteer force behind the anti-gay efforts is driving the observations in this report from Salt Lake City:

Most interesting is the high turnout of male and female couples wearing “Vote No on Proposition 8″ shirts, and the amount of signs up and around the area at various homes, business and proximities to voting centers. 800 miles away from Utah, Proposition 8 stands as a hot-button issue for voters who are turning out to the polls this morning there. But you would think that in Utah, the issue is our own to vote on. Proposition 8 is one of the most heavily covered issues here in Utah on radio, TV, and newspapers.

It appears that those who feel the powerful hand of the Mormon Church on their back most closely may have adopted this issue as a way to state their defiance.

(There’s no need to read the rest of the report. It’s mostly defensive of the church’s position.)

11:10

Supporters of marriage bans certainly seem to have their undies in a bunch about an internet ad that something called “Courage Campaign Issues Committee” created and placed on YouTube. It shows two Mormon missionaries invading the home of two lesbians, searching for their marriage license, and ripping it in two. It ends with one saying to the other, “That was too easy” and the other replying “Yeah, what can we ban next”.

According to Jacobs the 1:00 commercial will air tomorrow morning – Election Day – in various parts of California. It’s expected to be on MSNBC and CNN.

The Mormon Church, the California Catholic Conference, and the pastor of an evangelical church in Thousand Oaks have each issued their own press releases full of words like “blatant discrimination” and “hate and intolerance”.

I agree that it’s a tacky ad. But there are certainly a lot of tacky YouTube ads supporting Proposition 8 that are more blatant in their unmasked hatred. And none of these good religious leaders felt the need to object. Nor did they object to outright lies that were produced, funded, and televised by the official Yes on 8 Campaign.

All of which suggests to me that these groups are far less principled and far more driven by a desire for worldly power than they would like to believe.

10:41 (LA, CA time)

I didn’t get to the polling place until after 8:30 am and so there wasn’t much of a line – about five folks in front of me. The poll workers were trying hard to be helpful but were pretty much confusing themselves and everyone around them on how to work the mechanics of the vote. My neighborhood is mostly asian and hispanic but for some reason the few white folks I see when voting set off by gaydar.

The LA Times ran a little blurb about some random person they interviewed while voting. It’s someone I know; we both work in the same field.

Proposition 8 also resonated with Pena. Even though he and his girlfriend haven’t gotten married, Pena said he believes that people should be able to marry whomever they want. “I really think it’s more about love than marriage,” he said. “Marriage isn’t that important to me, but it may be to some people.”

Today Is The Day

Jim Burroway

November 4th, 2008

Star Spangled Banner

You know what to do.

Not Many Get TheCall

Timothy Kincaid

November 3rd, 2008

An evangelical fast and prayer-meeting was planned for Saturday in San Diego. Part of a movement named TheCall, they hoped for an attendance of 70,000 and planned to fill Qualcomm Arena to pray for the success of Propositions 4 and 8 and other spiritual matters.

But the crowd didn’t appear. Karen Ocamb reports

If TheCall organizers hoped to fill Qualcomm Stadium, which holds 71,000 people, their expectations fell far short. A public relations person associated with TheCall reported 33,000 participants, based on “clickers” recording people coming through the gates. However, two journalists independently concluded that there were no “clickers” at the main entrance. The two journalists guesstimated the crowd at between 10,000-15,000 people.

A Latino Yes on 8 participant, who works at Qualcomm Stadium, placed the crowd count at around 5,000 and called the event “a failure.” And since many of TheCall participants flew in for the rally and not to help pass Prop 8, the effect of the rally is uncertain, at least in the short run.

A picture taken by the San Diego Union-Tribune (above) shows a nearly empty stadium. But they acknowledge the difficulty estimating the attendence at the event.

Organizers estimated there were 33,000 people inside the stadium by 3:30 p.m., but a crowd count was difficult to obtain because attendees could come and go throughout the day. Although a cluster remained in front of the stage as the hours passed, the stands, which can hold 71,000 people, never looked more than one-third full.

Celebs Oppose Prop 8

Timothy Kincaid

November 3rd, 2008

On October 15 I posted an open letter to Madonna… which proved to be one of my least popular posts. Some readers felt that celebrities have no obligation to make any contribution towards keeping discrimination out of the California Constitution, whether or not they live here and have been disproportionately enriched by gay fans. Others felt that Madonna was too busy, that the “tactic” was distasteful, or that gay equality isn’t really her battle to fight.

Certainly few seemed to agree with my decision to base my concert purchasing decisions on whether the artist – who had taken a good deal of money from me and my friends – cared about my equality. And perhaps those who did agree felt that I should not have expressed my intention in quite to direct a manner.

Since that time, several celebrities have stepped up and made contributions, either financially or through public endorsement. Some, like Cher and Eric McCormack, have a significantly gay fanbase and others, like Samuel L. Jackson and John Cho, may not be as closely associated with the gay community. But many do seem willing to put their money and their image to good use in fighting this discriminatory effort.

And now a report from Madonna’s concert on Saturday in Oakland says the following:

Madonna also got in a plug for voting “no” on Prop. 8, and her suggestion was approved by acclimation.

It’s not likely that there were very many of the 20,000 Madonna fans in attendance that night who were planning on voting Yes on the proposition. But if she was able to remind the attendees to vote and to make Prop 8 a priority, then I am very appreciative.

And although Madonna hasn’t given any of her own personal half billion, the company that put on her tour, Live Nation, contributed $50,000 to No on 8 so some of the money flowed back.

Interestingly, Washington Blade’s Kevin Naff, had this to say last week.

There are too many wealthy celebrities out there — Rosie, Kathy Griffin, Madonna to name three — who rely almost exclusively on gay support for their livelihood. It’s time to give something back.

Let’s hope and pray that Tuesday’s vote will endorse equality in California, Arizona, and Florida and it will turn out not to have mattered.

Latest SurveyUSA Poll Slightly Positive

Timothy Kincaid

November 3rd, 2008

SurveyUSA has been polling discouragingly for the past month:

October 6

Yes 47%
No 42%

October 17

Yes 48%
No 45%

Today SurveyUSA released a poll that shows the proposition to be slightly failing.

Yes 47%
No 50%

I don’t place too much faith in SurveyUSA. However, I am encouraged that their polling is showing a trend towards a No vote.

LA Times Debunks Yes on 8′s Myths

Timothy Kincaid

November 2nd, 2008

A new LA Times editorial reviews the claims made by the Yes on 8 Campaign and reveals their lies.

Clever magicians practice the art of misdirection — distracting the eyes of the audience to something attention-grabbing but irrelevant so that no one notices what the magician is really doing. Look over at that fuchsia scarf, up this sleeve, at anything besides the actual trick.

The campaign promoting Proposition 8, which proposes to amend the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriages, has masterfully misdirected its audience, California voters. Look at the first-graders in San Francisco, attending their lesbian teacher’s wedding! Look at Catholic Charities, halting its adoption services in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal! Look at the church that lost its tax exemption over gay marriage! Look at anything except what Proposition 8 is actually about: a group of people who are trying to impose on the state their belief that homosexuality is immoral and that gays and lesbians are not entitled to be treated equally under the law.

That truth would never sell in tolerant, live-and-let-live California, and so it has been hidden behind a series of misleading half-truths. Once the sleight of hand is revealed, though, the campaign’s illusions fall away.

Newspaper Positions

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