California | Gay Marriage | News

Prop 8 Foes Refusing to Concede

Here's the latest in the Prop 8 battle:

"Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said 3 million to 4 million ballots remain uncounted statewide. 'The fact is depending on the turnout model we are looking at millions of votes yet to be counted,' Kendall said. 'The race is too close to call. People's fundamental rights hang in the balance.' Secretary of State Debra Bowen is expected to issue an estimate of the number of uncounted ballots late today or Thursday. It could take days to process all of them. Proposition 8 supporters declared victory early today, saying their model shows them with an insurmountable lead. Proposition 8, the most passionately debated and costliest measure on the ballot, was ahead 52 percent to 48 percent with 92 percent of precincts reporting."

Noon8Karen Ocamb reports to us on a conference call that happened earlier this morning:

"In a hastily called conference call at around 9:00am with reporters that lasted about ten minutes - Geoff Kors and Kate Kendell said they are waiting for outstanding absentee and provisional ballots to be counted. They estimate between 3-4 million outstanding, it depends on voter turnout. LA Times has the vote at 95.4% precincts reporting - Yes = 5,163,908 or 52% of the vote to No = 4,760,336 or 48%. I asked about where those ballots are expected to fall, since last night everyone said absentee ballots tend to be older, conservative voters from smaller counties. Kate and Geoff both said that's true, but they said LATE filing absentee folks - such as themselves, tend to be progressive and new voters tend to ask for Provisional ballots. They are waiting until the Secretary of State certifies the results - maybe later today, probably tomorrow, before making further comment on what they intend to do. Kendell said 'its going to be a bumpy ride.'"

Lawsuit planned.

And another.

This is far from over.

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  1. Sadly, it looks like the results are much like Virginia two years ago, gays lost the black middle class, so even while other candidates and measures passed (Jim Webb in VA and Obama in CA.)
    It appears if African American turnout had been at historical levels (much lower than last night) Prop 8 would have failed.

    We have a lot of work to do or we will keep loosing these elections

    Posted by: tom | Nov 5, 2008 1:44:45 PM

  2. MSNBC posted that it's over; Prop 8 has been passed.

    You need to demand a recount. The next course of action would be to go before the Supreme Court, again, since these are the rights of, what 1800 American citizens that will be taken away? That's generally a no-no.

    Posted by: Rad | Nov 5, 2008 1:44:56 PM

  3. Faced with the possible passage of Proposition 8, I think that it is important for supporters of marriage equality to focus on a few important factors that are in our favor:

    (1) Existing CA same-sex marriages will likely remain valid.

    (2) When refusing to remove Proposition 8 from the November ballot, the CA Supreme Court also declined to rule on the question of whether the proposed constitutional *amendment* should have qualified for the ballot under the more strict 60% majority requirements of a constitutional *revision*. Should this proposition win, reports are that we can expect the SF City Attorney General challenge it on that issue.

    (3) Based on the roughly 48% support for marriage equality, foes can no longer claim a popular mandate for maintaining discrimination. This should help lift political concerns that the CA Supreme Court justices might have with revisiting this issue and possibly ruling against Prop. 8.

    (4) The 2009 New York State Senate will be controlled by the Democratic party, finally opening the way for marriage equality legislation to be singed into law by Gov. Paterson--and, for the first time in the US, with statewide popular support AND without judicial directive.

    (5) The State of Connecticut is set to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples this month, again, with popular support.

    (6) Popular momentum is in favor of marriage equality.

    While we appear to be hitting a bump in this long road of civil rights, we must remain steady and focused on the very achievable goal of marriage equality in California and around the nation.

    Posted by: Mark | Nov 5, 2008 1:47:47 PM

  4. If the religious zealots behind Prop 8 want to protect marriage so badly - why aren't they trying to ban divorce and make that illegal? In the meantime, I too am in shock that LA County did so poorly... then again, there were some party boys crying at the prospects Prop 8 would pass last night. I asked them what they did to help stop it. They said: "We Voted." I asked them: "And what else? Did you work the phone banks? Did you go door-to-door? Did you write letters? Did you donate a percentage of your income like me and my friends?" They looked and said: "We went to a rally in West Hollywood and held a sign." Now that "they" have taken away the rights of one group away - who is next?

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 5, 2008 1:48:10 PM

  5. Since the church can't stay out of politics, maybe we need to start a campaign for them to pay taxes.

    Posted by: Colin S | Nov 5, 2008 1:48:46 PM

  6. Seems turnout was horrendously low out there. Less than 10MM voters. WTF? Prop 8 passed because of apathy.

    Posted by: Brett | Nov 5, 2008 1:51:43 PM

  7. Please forgive my ignorance, (I am a brit so not familiar with the intricacies of U.S. law!) but If Proposition 8 *has* passed, what happens to all the Californians who have taken up their (currently constitutional) right to marry? Do they effectively have their licenses torn up and lose all the legal benefits they incurred or do they get to stay married, as it was legal when they did?

    Posted by: JonnyEnglish | Nov 5, 2008 1:53:39 PM

  8. I'm sorry, but Obama's words about equality last night rang hollow. Every African-American that voted YES ON 8 yesterday should be ashamed.

    Interracial marriage should be put up for referendum again. I don't care what you say, it's the same thing. Taste of medicine and all that.

    Posted by: freddy | Nov 5, 2008 1:56:23 PM

  9. And another direction would be to go the "Separate but equal" direction.

    This is a long road to hoe. Marriage is really a theocratic term; biblical, and when you start poking religious conservatives in the eye, you're going to do nothing except piss them off. This is the same base that covertly rallied to put the Asshat-in-chief into office in 2000. And look, No on 8 lost when they rallied.

    If you go "Separate-but-equal" for now; recognized civil or domestic unions by a JP (much like Canada), that's a foot hold. It's something to build on.

    Hell, it took 40 years for the country to get past segregation! The gay movement still has another decade or two to catch up!


    Posted by: Rad | Nov 5, 2008 1:56:51 PM

  10. The sad reality is that this really comes down to a fight against ignorance. If you were to combine the gay vote against prop 8 and the informed, intelligent non gay vote against prop 8, we would still fall WAY short against ignorant, fear based haters. That's just the simple truth. There are far more stupid sheep in the world than there are those people who choose to use their brains. This fact makes me lose a little faith in humanity. But at least Obama slaughtered McCain. There in lies some hope for the future.

    Posted by: JR | Nov 5, 2008 1:59:07 PM

  11. 1800 Americans? What are you talking about, Rad? More like 1 million, and likely far more. Just because people aren't married doesn't mean they didn't lose a right. And far more than 900 couples have been married since May.

    But I'm sorry, as much as I respect and appreciate the work of those trying to fight the outcome, the margin is too large. We lost, and every member of the LGBT community who didn't donate any time or money to fighting Prop 8 should be ashamed of themselves. Sickened, actually. I'm not a full-time activist, I have a full-time job. But I found time to help. If you didn't, you're no better than a Log Cabin Republican: self-loathing and despicable. You left the work to others because you were lazy, selfish, presumptuous, or cheap.

    And while I think the campaign eventually got very strong, it started too late and was far too confident at the outset. Of course it was the gay Bradley effect. Few people will admit to being bigots.

    I wish gays would tithe some of their resources to our rights and lives as effectively as the f'ing Mormons do to undermining them.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 5, 2008 2:02:34 PM

  12. You took the words right out of my keypad, Colin S.

    TAX THE CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Nov 5, 2008 2:06:12 PM

  13. Well, at least McCain wasn't get elected. Because if he were he would have appointed SC judges who would've ensured that same-sex marriage is NEVER legal.

    Posted by: Hans | Nov 5, 2008 2:07:07 PM

  14. As of this moment 95% of the votes counted the difference is only around 400,000

    As I mentioned in another thread = possible 1,000,000+ Gays in california are UNREGISTERED to vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We could have won this thing bitches if more had pushed the ground game as vs the money game.

    The blame is OURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1,000,000 potential gay voters NOT even fucking registered to vote!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The blame is all ours!

    Ca gays who voted, go into one of our bars and slap the shit out of 1/2 of our gay brothers and sisters there because they didn't bother to register to even vote. Then turn around and slap ourselves for not working the ground game to register our idiot brother and sisters

    400,000 diff and CA has around 1,000,000 unregistered gay voters of voting age!

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Nov 5, 2008 2:08:14 PM

  15. Yes, Jimmyboyo. Turnout was PATHETIC!!! Apathy lost Prop 8.

    Oh, and fuck taxing the church. How about we bomb it?!?

    Posted by: Brett | Nov 5, 2008 2:15:23 PM

  16. Sadly, we can't even assume that all those potential gay voters would vote against a Prop. 8 style measure.

    Many of them are closeted.

    Many are conservative.

    Many are religious.

    Many just don't care about marriage.

    Posted by: John in CA | Nov 5, 2008 2:15:33 PM

  17. It is time to move to tax all churches. They no longer should be entitled to tax exempt status.

    Additionally, I want my own taxes reduced by half to off set my loss of financial rights that come with marriage.

    If these two things were to happen, I personally would not bring the issue up again.

    Posted by: John | Nov 5, 2008 2:18:51 PM

  18. in order to repeal the passage of Prop 8 we now need a two-thirds majority. Not likely to happen for decades! The only hope we have is for the CA Supreme Court to rule Prop 8 unconstitutional. The other hope is for Obama and the Dems to approve and recognize civil unions nationally for us. I know it is second class status, but for now it would make a sea change in the country and prepare the way for full equality.

    I can't help but feel bitterness toward my fellow Californians and deep lack of respect for their evil religion. And let's face it, any religion that takes away other people's rights and judges their marriages as invalid is evil.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 5, 2008 2:20:30 PM

  19. bret and john


    how many of registered gay voters turned out? The general US pop saw 2/3 turn out of registered voters so we probably saw 1/3 of our own ca gay registered voters not turn out at all

    After slapping myself and preping to slap a whole shit load of others at my fave bars, i for one will be ready for next time

    ground game ground game ground game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Nov 5, 2008 2:24:28 PM

  20. I worked so hard in my local community to get out the word for NO on 8. Standing with signs in the cold, calling people, having simple discussions with people about the prop and what ist REALLY meant. And who were the majority of the people who helped me do this? Straight females. All the gays in the area were "too busy", and kept telling me it was California and there was no way it was going to pass. And we are.

    I also blame the official NO campaign for a horrible job.

    Posted by: Jason D | Nov 5, 2008 2:28:51 PM

  21. If we really care about this issue, we need to act like it. Civil rights are won because the oppressed group is willing to sacrifice, even die for their cause. I see no such resolve on our side, not even close, and thus, we lose every time.

    Posted by: lucas | Nov 5, 2008 2:31:14 PM

  22. I've said this before, but I'll say it again: apathy in the gay community killed us, not the religious fundamentalists.

    Don't get me wrong, there is no way Prop 8 could have gotten on the ballot much less passed without the support of religious wingnuts. But from what I observed in the gay community, not many people were concerned about the outcome of Prop 8. I spent night after night after night in front of the bars in West Hollywood either holding No On Prop 8 sign or attempting to convince guys to donate time or money to the campaign. The reaction to me and to other No On 8 volunteers ranged from people saying "Thanks for being here" as they breezed past us to head into the bar to outright hostility. One of our volunteers approached a guy waiting to get into a bar and was told that he would be pushed in front of traffic if he didn't go away. These are members of our own community who are either condescendingly giving us a verbal pat on the head or actively threatening us while we fight for our (and their) rights!

    There is a lot of blame to go around here, but in the end it lands at our own damn feet.

    Posted by: peterparker | Nov 5, 2008 2:31:46 PM

  23. I think a lot of gays were just SURE that Prop 8 was going to fail (and they knew Obama would take CA) that they didn't even bother to vote. How such a ridiculous thought entered their heads I'll never know. But this isn't over guys. So stop focusing on the negative of it now and look at the positive: We have a fucking SANE president!

    Posted by: Damon | Nov 5, 2008 2:31:52 PM

  24. My 2¢:

    I made observations while watching this all play out in LA and I think there are few pills the gay community must swallow...

    We must be in unequivocal lock step repeating loudly the matra GAY IS NOT A CHOICE, GAY IS NOT A LIFESTYLE, GAYS ARE PART AND PARCEL OF FAMILY. We cannot let enemies continue to say, print, spread the lie that gay is a choice, that gay is a lifestyle one chooses and that it is a behavior that can change. We must fight that Tooth and Nail with everything and it starts with you saying it over and over and over out loud.

    We must clean up our act - the Gay Pride Parade makes sense commemorating Stonewall with RESPECTFUL and MATURE displays like professional groups, sports groups, gay political groups, PFLAG for example. Having obscene participants out in the open KILLS US!!! It just gives the Religious Right and others good reason to see us as dirty freaks if we are engaging in obscene behavior in a parade. And don't come back at me like that doesn't happen please.

    Where was Massachusetts in all this? WTF didn't they send out press releases and communiques and articles about how Marriage is NOT a problem for the vast majority of Straight Families therein?

    What the gay movement needs is an OBAMA type leader, a MAN - not a Lesbian to stand up to Straight Men as a MAN and provide a strong role model for young gay men. It is GAY MEN that are mostly targeted with anti-gay hatred and it will take a strong VISIBLE male leader to really make a difference. The closest I've seen to this is Patrick Giuerro (sp?) as he's shown some strength on CSPAN against CWFA yet he was too reticent- SPEAK UP and STAND TALL and CONFIDENT!

    Gay men (not gay women) have to stop IGNORING when a straight man calls you a name and stand up to him. I have lost count as to how many times I've stood with a group of gay men (big guys no less) and one a-hole straight guy walks by and tosses out Fkn faggots and NOT one gay guy but me wants to wring his neck- rather my gay friends shrink or pretend NOT to have heard it.

    Out Anderson Cooper NOW. He is gay and he must be outed and be SO WHAT about it- he'll write books, become huge for being who he is and a gay guy at the same time and BE a visible gay MAN as a great role model for young gay men.

    On each point-counterpoint I've seen on TV regarding Prop 8, the No on 8 side (usually a man) allowed the Yes side most of the floor! WTF! Talk over them, don't give them much room to keep talking- I was appalled to see on KTLA this practically silent No on 8 debate with some old Judge representing Yes on 8 and the No on 8 guy just sat there barely moving while the old Judge ran him over - even the KTLA hosts were trying to prop up the guy representing No on 8 but he kept SILENT!!!!!!

    Many of you have said this and it must be put into action somehow - tax the "family" organizations that really are just limbs of the Mainline Protestant Church. Example Focus on the Family- there has to be a way to legally dismantle them or at least tax them. There has to be legal and aggressive end runs made on these organizations or they will ALWAY trounce gay rights. In the case of Prop 8, Focus on the Family ALREADY had a plan that had been tried and tested in other states since 2000 and the machine they've got (posters, websites, mailers, focus groups, words that reach the reptile brain of voters) was just deployed in California and worked like gangbusters. The No on 8 was clearly taken aback and had to play catch up.

    Personal responsibility. As gay people we are ambassadors to every straight person we are out to and being OBNOXIOUS is not really going to get us anywhere. Many gay people are that - PEOPLE and we are all colors and kinds but one thing all people can agree is that OBNOXIOUS behavior is counter productive. I'm talking about common courtesy and manners in public- I see so many gay guys yapping loudly about sexual things; that's fine but watch out for little ears PLEASE and yes talk about that stuff but just be decent about the volume and who's around you like little kids. I hope you know what I mean here and I see it/hear it all the time out and about. I'm not saying to censor you I'm just saying there is a time and a place for everything is all.

    Well, sorry for this long stream of consciousness. I'd love to hear what you think of my ramblings. I too am floored by the fact that 70% of California's Black voters voted YES. That's a real slug to the stomach. Be well and I wish us all good luck.

    Posted by: Alan | Nov 5, 2008 2:38:20 PM

  25. Rad: Canada does not have civil unions or domestic partnerships. It is full-fledged marriage here.

    Posted by: Jeff | Nov 5, 2008 2:54:01 PM

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