Proposition 8, the same-sex marriage ban in California, appears to have passed. With 92 percent of precincts reporting this morning, Proposition 8 was ahead by 52 percent to 48 percent, or a little over 350,000 votes. Sponsors of Prop 8 declared victory last night, but groups opposing the measure refused to concede. However, when the sun comes up on the West Coast this morning, it should become clear that on a night of many victories for LGBT equality, we suffered one HUGE loss.
It’s worth noting that African-American voters overwhelmingly supported Prop 8, with 70 percent of blacks voting for it, according to exit polls. Fifty-three percent of whites in California voted against Prop 8. There was also a dichotomy in terms of age, with more than 60 percent of people ages 18-29 voting against Prop 8, while a majority of people 30 and over supported the measure.
As Jon Garinn notes in the comments below, it was not the only loss of the night for LGBT equality. Marriage amendments also passed in Arizona and Florida, and an adoption ban passed in Arkansas. The only bright spot in terms of state ballot measures was Connecticut, where voters rejected a Constitutional Convention aimed at banning gay marriage. But these three results pale in comparison to what happened in California, which has been called the “Gettysburg” of the same-sex marriage fight.
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