At this point in time (9AM PST), with 95+% of precincts reporting and with a current 400,000 vote margin, it looks like Proposition 8 banning gay marriages will pass. I am very sorry to see this. A break down of the votes by county shows a very predictable pattern: the urban areas of the state are almost totally against this proposition, while the rural areas are heavily in favor of it, a split that matches up with normal labels of ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’.
It shouldn’t be this way. Regardless of a person’s general political leanings, this proposition is on its face a direct endorsement of discrimination, a statement that some people are less equal than others. As it is a constitutional amendment, it will be very difficult to fight this in the state court system, and it is unlikely the U. S. Supreme court will take any action, as lacking jurisdiction over state law in the absence of any clear point in the U. S. constitution that would prohibit such a law – although they did take action on interracial marriages in 1967, and it can at least be hoped that this proposition can be attacked on the same grounds.
In an election that saw the first Afro-American president elected, a very nice indication that long held biases and attitudes about race have been overcome to at least some degree, this result indicates that there is still a long way to go to change attitudes about sexual preferences. And the advertising that went on in favor of this proposition was, to my mind at least, absolutely despicable, with their false-to-fact statements and pandering to fear and religious bigotry.
Today, at least, I’m not proud of being a resident of California.