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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Voters Support Traditional Marriage

In California, Proposition 8 was passed, despite an overwhelming “elite class” campaign to say “No” on Prop 8.  At the end of the voting, 52.5 percent of those casting ballots on Tuesday voted for the measure. Records show that 47.5 percent voted against the measure. Simply put, Proposition 8 asked California voters to affirm that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California" - a concept that voters previously backed when they approved Proposition 22 in 2000. California voters adopted the measure (Prop 22) on March 7, 2000 with 61.4% approval and 38.6% against. This time around, Proposition 8 overturns a May 2008 California Supreme Court decision legalizing gay nuptials and rewrites the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Exit poll data in California showed seven in 10 black voters and more than half of Latino voters backed the ballot initiative, while whites and Asians were split. Though blacks and Latinos combined make up less than one-third of California's electorate, their opposition to same-sex marriage appeared to tip the balance. Both groups decisively backed President-Elect Obama, regardless of their position on the initiative.

According to the liberal web site Huffington Post, in a blogger post by Raymond Leon Roker, the campaign to support “Yes on 8” was effective, “So who did [support Yes on 8]? For starters, the churches, religious leaders and advocacy groups in support of 8 were a very formidable force. Surveys showed religion played a major role in voter's decisions. Even “No on 8” supporters have admitted that their camp was too complacent, arrogant and far to unorganized.”  Mr. Roker, an African American, who indicated that he voted “No on 8” despite some misgiving, felt that the overwhelming African American support was mischaracterized by opponents of Proposition 8, “I've read several editorials already about how the ungrateful blacks betrayed gays right after America gave them their first president…(and that is) a gross oversimplification of what happened.” [Quoted from Huffington Post , November 7, 2008]

Now that Proposition 8 passed in California, those that demand special rights (for gays) are trampling on the rights of their fellow citizens.    According the Yes on 8 advocacy web site , “since Proposition 8’s victory, a series of protests against churches, small businesses and individual supporters of traditional marriage have taken place in cities across the state.  Tragically, some opponents of Proposition 8 who claim to cherish tolerance and civil rights are unabashedly trampling on the rights of others. Protests and boycotts have taken place against a Hispanic restaurant owner in Los Angeles, African American religious leaders in the Bay Area, and a musical theater director in Sacramento, among many others.” November 12, 2008

As both sides battled to influence the vote on Proposition 8, campaign finance records show that total contributions for and against the measure have surpassed $70 million, which set a record in campaign spending on a social issue ballot initiative.  Opinion polls indicated that the Proposition 8 vote would be close, as voters still favor the traditional definition of marriage, 49 to 47 percent, according to the most recent Public Policy Institute of California poll.  In the end, the Proposition 8 passed with enough support, from a diverse group of “Yes on 8” advocates.

Former California governor and career politician Jerry Brown, prior to the vote in November 2008, aided opponents of Proposition 8.   He is now serving as the Attorney General in California.    As a “lifer Democrat”, he was able to help the “No on 8” advocates by changing the Proposition 8 ballot title.  The proponents' original title for Prop. 8 was "Limit on Marriage." What voters saw on their California ballot pamphlet, thanks to career politician Brown, was that Proposition 8 "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry."   Advocates of the “Yes on 8” went to the California Supreme Court to keep the original title.    The same California Supreme court that sought to overturn the will of the people (in 2000, and now in 2008) ruled in favor of Brown’s rewording of the title language. 

So despite the huge amounts of money spent on both sides, and the established California (liberal Democrat) leadership and their allies pushing “No on 8”, it passed as a result of a strong grassroots campaign by the Protect Marriage coalition.  The “Yes on 8” advocates had significant support, “This victory would not have been possible without the support of our 70,000 contributors and over 100,000 dedicated volunteers. It was accomplished with the strong participation of about 80% of California voters, or nearly 14 million people participating in this expression of the People’s will” according to the  web site news release of November 12, 2008.

Now that the ruling of a group of activist California judges was overturned, it is worthwhile to reflect on the significance of what the Protect Marriage coalition achieved in November 2008. The people of California did not do anything rash or drastic in their vote of support. The majority of voters simply decided to enshrine the definition of marriage as one man and one woman in the California state constitution.   At this point, 30 ballot issues defining marriage as between a man and a women have passed in a number of states in the US.   And while the pro-gay marriage activists and their allies have put their considerable political weight, aided the Legacy media, to overturn traditional marriage, their efforts have not been supported by a majority of voters.     And when activists’ judges attempt to overrule the people or their legislatures, the voters have risen up to reverse these actions in most cases.  Such is the case of America throughout the States, as the US is a country built on the traditions of marriage, family and the right to vote.   Even if that means that a few overreaching judges, and their “courts first arrogance, the people second” are overruled in the process of ballot elections that express the will of the people.

© 2008, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,  

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