Reviewing the 2008 November California propositions — Prop 8

Basic information about Proposition 8 — “ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME–SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.”

Umbrella yes-vote site.

Umbrella no-vote site.

The big one.

I could say a lot. But a few months back, after the California Supreme Court decision, I already said a few things, and to avoid repeating myself, I will leave it at quoting myself twice. First, as I linked in that piece in May, a reminder of my overall political thoughts, specifically this:

…if, as I’ve said before, the American experience is an experiment that has never been guaranteed of success, then my feeling at heart is that I vote and act to ensure that the least possible damage is done on the widest possible scale, no matter how many decades certain standards have been in play (and often precisely because those standards have been in play — it is still less than a hundred years since something seemingly so patently obvious now, the right for women to vote, was confirmed nationwide). Things must be done to improve the general lot, of that I have a firm belief — even as I feel one must be rigorous in ensuring those actions done to improve it are carried out to the best possibility there is.

I then added this in May:

I see this as the continuing experiment at work, and as I tried to note in my comment on women’s suffrage, we have been down this road before, where something seemingly inconceivable became standard. Legalizing gay marriage improves the general lot by further extending the principle of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ to all — as the complexity of society is more and more recognized, then that means that extension must be further applied to the full. I think this principle as applied to this issue is going to be further recognized and understood with time. Fully accepted by all? I do not foresee that in the slightest, but I do not see the clock being turned back — as I read briefly in a story somewhere over the last few days, if you had asked the question of gay marriage in, say, 1960, the idea would have barely made any sense to anyone whatsoever. By 2060, by and large, people will wonder what the fuss was about.

Perhaps I was too optimistic at the time I wrote that. Nonetheless, my conclusions remain as they are.

I vote a simple, flat NO.

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2 Responses to “Reviewing the 2008 November California propositions — Prop 8”

  1. Eve McGivern Says:

    I find it unfortunate that Prop 8 did pass, especially in California. That doesn’t bode well for the rest of America, as I think somehow California is seen as a progressive state, such as in the passing of prop 2, regulations on animal confinement practices.

  2. Ned Raggett Says:

    I think it’s important to remember that we’re talking about something that had only just been formalized in May — this isn’t, say, something of decades’ standing suddenly being removed. I’m not trying to minimize the righteous pain and anger of this result, merely trying to establish a context — and as a friend pointed out last night, in 2000 a similar proposition went through with a 23% or so difference in the result. This time around it was around 4%. That alone is a sign.


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