One of the most closely watched ballot initiative votes dealt with gay marriage. In California, Proposition 8 appears headed for approval. The Proposition would amend the California constitution to specify that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Voters also passed gay marriage bans in Arizona and Florida. [includes rush transcript]
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We are joined on the telephone right now by — to talk about another issue. While the media has focused mostly on the election of Barack Obama, voters also cast ballots on 153 ballot initiatives on matters as diverse as clean energy, predatory lending, abortion and gay marriage. In South Dakota, voters rejected a ban on abortions. Michigan voters approved the use of medical marijuana. Colorado voters defeated a measure that would have defined life as beginning at conception. In Massachusetts, a ballot initiative calling for the decriminalization of marijuana passed.
But the most closely watched initiatives dealt with gay marriage. In California, Prop 8 appears headed for approval. The proposition would amend the California constitution to specify that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Voters also passed gay marriage bans in Arizona and Florida.
We’re joined by Andrea Shorter now, the campaign director of And Marriage for All, a coalition of gay and civil rights groups in California. What is happening at this moment, Andrea Shorter? It looks like Proposition 8 is passing.
Yeah, the votes are coming in. It’s inching — it’s going to be close. It’s going to be very close. And so, I think that there’s something to be said in terms of the race to defeat Proposition 8. We came very — we’re coming very close. We haven’t called it yet, but we’re nearing 100 percent reporting throughout California.
So what does this mean?
What this means is that it’s going to be a profoundly painful moment for families in California, for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people across the country. And we haven’t given in yet, but certainly we’re prepared to continue to fight.
And what exactly does it say? And does it mean the marriages will be invalidated?
Right now, that will be left up to the courts. It would appear as though that would be part of the challenge legally, but certainly our intention is to make sure that those marriages do stay validated.
Well, Andrea Shorter, thanks for being with us. Of course, we will continue to follow Prop 8 in California, as we will ballot initiatives around the country. I also want to thank Eduardo Galeano for joining us from Uruguay, from the capital, from Montevideo. We’re going to go to break, and when we come back, well, Melissa Harris-Lacewell is staying with us, and Ralph Nader will join us next, independent presidential candidate. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. We’ll be back in a minute.