What’s happening with Proposition 8

As of the latest unofficial returns, it seems Proposition 8 — the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage — is passing with 5,235,486 votes (52.2 percent); opponents offered 4,800,656 votes (47.8 percent).

“Yes on 8” chairman Ron Prentice issued a statement early this morning declaring victory:

While it will take a few weeks to finish counting all the votes, Proposition 8 takes effect at midnight tonight. Just as it was before the Supreme Court’s ruling, only marriage between a man and a woman will be valid or recognized in California, regardless of when or where performed.

This has been a hard-fought campaign on both sides. Now that the people of California have decided this issue, we hope there can be a healing among all and a continued respect for the diverse views that have been expressed during this campaign.

The outcome of this race is being closely followed in every state in the nation, and in countries throughout the world. California’s vote in favor of traditional marriage should give the silent majority comfort that they do have a voice and can and should stand up for this precious institution in legislatures throughout the world. Marriage is between a man and a woman.

But the “No on 8” campaign issued a statement refusing to concede the race:

Roughly 400,000 votes separate yes from no on Prop 8 — out of 10 million votes tallied.

Based on turnout estimates reported yesterday, we expect that there are more than 3 million and possibly as many as 4 million absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted.

Given that fundamental rights are at stake, we must wait to hear from the Secretary of State tomorrow about how many votes are yet to be counted as well as where they are from.

It is clearly a very close election and we monitored the results all evening and this morning.

As of this point, the election is too close to call.

Because Prop 8 involves the sensitive matter of individual rights, we believe it is important to wait until we receive further information about the outcome.

Here’s how the Bay Area voted, according to this morning’s latest but not-yet-final returns:

————————— Yes ————- No
Alameda —————— 38.1 ———— 61.9
Contra Costa ————- 45.09 ———– 54.91
Napa ——————— 44.94 ———– 55.06
San Francisco ———— 23.48 ———– 76.52
San Joaquin ————– 65.44 ———– 34.56
San Mateo ————— 37.6 ———— 62.4
Santa Clara ————– 44.39 ———– 55.61
Santa Cruz ————— 28.61 ———– 71.39
Solano ——————- 56.03 ———– 43.97
Sonoma —————— 33.9 ———— 66.1

I think the most telling numbers from this race come from Los Angeles, where Proposition 8 seems to have narrowly prevailed, 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent. LA is generally very Democratic – Obama won 69.33 percent of the vote there – yet that political liberalism didn’t translate into “No on 8” votes. I think many African-American and Latino churches were very effective in getting their flocks out to the polls for Obama, and for Proposition 8.

If Proposition 8 has passed when the election returns are finalized, it’ll go straight to court. The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights already have petitioned the California Supreme Court to invalidate the measure; they argue the initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the state constitution’s commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group — lesbian and gay Californians. They also say Prop. 8 seeks to keep the courts from exercising their essential role of protecting minorities’ equal-protection rights; the state Constitution says such changes to state government’s organizing principles can’t be made by simple majority vote through the initiative process, but instead must at least pass through the state Legislature first.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • John McDonnell

    I know it is a lost prop this year, but look at the numbers and how close the prop almost passed. Just think a few more years and it will pass and be entered into the CA constitution once again. (Measuring that it gets out of CA’s constitution this time.) To think that the Yes vote may have been driven by Ads that lied to the Californian voters. And they call themselves believers in God but yet sway the public in lies and hatred causes for their own benefits. Who’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing? As many would wonder, “What would Jesus Do?” Live and Let Live, only he can judge those of us in the end and make no other mistake we all have sin upon us. This is truly a discriminatory prop that is all to do about a word, and a large group outside with money that influenced lies based off untruth. The churches would not loose tax status’ nor children being taught in school. I, myself, was not taught about Marriage in a CA. school, nor were my three children and any instructions that are deemed inappropriate and against my individual belief I have the right to pull my child out of class. From days long ago this would not have ever been an issue and now that it is the issue will only be overcome with more and more people that become educated and less ignorance and more tolerance to other human beings. Everyone finally witnessed it last night as this country has a historical moment and making of a new president. So Yes voters of Prop 8, it’s just a matter of time. And it will be soon, it only took 40 years since Martin Luther King Jr was marching and civil rights overcame for many. I don’t believe it will take that much longer for this to shall pass and no longer be an issue where all human being are equals.

  • Concerned Mom

    It is amazing how one group of people can continue to try and push their views on others and utilize a few judges to overturn what millions of people believe is inappropriate(on two ballot measures now). Once should be enough!!! Our forefathers are definitely turning over in their graves now.

  • Bay Area Youth

    Ex Post Facto is defined:
    adj. Latin for “after the fact,” which refers to laws adopted after an act is committed making it illegal although it was legal when done, or increasing the penalty for a crime after it is committed. Such laws are specifically prohibited by the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 9. Therefore, if a state legislature or Congress enacts new rules of proof or longer sentences, those new rules or sentences do not apply to crimes committed before the new law was adopted. [http://www.legal-explanations.com] This basically says that any contracts already legally approved can not have their legal status changed under the U.S. Constitution. This not only clearly protects the rights of already-married couples, but invalidates the Proposition itself, which reads: “Only marriage between a man in a woman is valid and recognized in California.”
    So, the law no longer allows homosexual couples to get married, but it now considers all marriages between a man and a woman non-valid and they are no longer recognized. Therefore, Proposition 8 and the new law that was (unfortunately) approved is an Ex Post Facto law, since it is no longer recognizing 11,442 marriage contracts. The Constitutional Amendment that Proposition 8 would be is not only Unconstitutional on the grounds that sexual orientation is a protected classification within the state of California (which could unfortunately be easily overturned by the California Supreme Court Judges), but under the U.S. Constitution. If the California Supreme Court does not, for some reason, repeal Proposition 8, it could easily be taken to the United States Supreme Court on the grounds of it being an Ex Post Facto law.
    Due to the idiotic manner in which Prop. 8 was written, it cannot be a valid law, since it clearly says that only heterosexual marriages are valid, or given the rights of marriage. This cruel, discriminatory Proposition needs to and WILL be overturned.
    And as far as the No on 8 campaign “pushing their views on others”- homosexuals WOULD have to drastically change their lifestyles if this was amended. Your life would stay exactly the same. It’s complete bigotry to say that they are pushing their views upon you, while there isn’t a SINGLE non religious-backed argument. To say that it is better to have your opinion valued than other’s RIGHTS valued is plainly mean-spirited.

  • a more concerned mom

    It is amazing how the other group of people ARE pushing their views on others. As a direct descendant of the forefathers you speak of, they are most certainly turning in their graves over the fact that people like you havent evolved yet. Our forefathers were quakers and puritans. The Quakers fought for freedom of speech and religion and separation of church and state. The Puritans fought against it. You must be a puritan.

    It took the catholic church 300 years to apologize to Galileo for sentencing him to life in prison for claiming that the earth moved around the sun. The Mormons believe that they are aliens from another planet godlike enough to come to earth and populate it. Howard Ahmanson believes that the bible should replace the constitution. This is your group of people. Not evolved. You would rather hate than think. God bless you for you know not what you do.

  • Johnny

    I’ve mixed thoughts about this turn of events. One the one side, I am saddened that one group should be treated differently than another. These so-called ‘moral’ religious types are hateful, sniveling hypocrites, and I hope they burn in their respective mythological hells. One the other hand, I am glad Prop 8 passed, because ALL marriage should be banned as an institutionalized practice. There is absolutely no place for the government in the affairs of the heart. We need better laws concerning property rights and children’s affairs, and certainly workers’ rights[with benefits like healthcare]. WHY homosexuals want anything to do with such an antiquated, destructive, hurtful custom as marriage is a mystery to me. They should put their energy into banning ALL marriage from our public social institutions, because binding affairs of the heart with legal contracts is futile and intrusive of individual rights to privacy.

  • Josh,
    It’s interesting when you start comparing how Bay Area counties voted eight years ago for Proposition 22. While No on 8 support from San Mateo, San Jose and Contra Costa may not seem that surprising, all those counties backed Prop. 22. Contra Costa was 56 percent for a ban then, 55 percent against a ban now.

    What strikes me as a bit odd, however, is that Yolo County, home to Davis and West Sacramento, was one of just six counties that voted against Prop. 22 in 2000, but voted overwhelmingly — 67 % — for Prop. 8 this year.


  • By San Jose I meant Santa Clara County.

  • OK scratch that. Yolo was 58.5 percent NO, which makes more sense. I think I went too far down the list to the next Y — Yuba, which was over 67 percent yes.

  • SusanMSD

    We ( opponents of prop 8 ) didn’t have the money that they ( proponents) did to get our message out. The Mormon church tipped the scales with their all-out erroneous television ad campaign. Enough of the public bought it all, believed that it was really about education and our children, believed that it would be the beginning of the end to allow gay marriages.

    The truth is that this was, is, and always will be a civil rights issue. The people that said they were allowed to have their opinion and their right to vote yes on 8 were essentially saying they had the right to disallow a minority of our population their civil rights, which is discrimination. Passage of prop 8 has constitutionalized discrimination.

    I am a straight married woman who will fight to help reverse this deplorable and despicable abuse of the system by the fundamentalists and the Mormon Church in particular.

    Bigots with bibles are still bigots.

  • I find it interesting that you have to be a U.S. citizen to donate money to a presidential candidate’s campaign, but people outside the state can donate as much as they want to a state proposition.

  • Kristin

    I believe that it is a good thing Prop 8 passed. All of this “going against people with religious values who happened to go for Prop 8” is ridiculous. It is not biggotry, it is the constitution. A man and a woman are considered married, not a homosexual couple. If you really want to argue on such a ridiculous basis, look at the anatomy of people. A man and a woman are meant to be, not a man and a man or a woman and a woman.

  • Theo

    Marriage is meant to be a man and a woman by whom? Let’s not forget that roughly forty years ago, a marriage between a black woman and a white man wasn’t legal. Marriage has been redefined throughout the years. At one point, only whites could be legally married in this country.

  • Joe

    Kristin, your inane comment proves that you are both a moron and a bigot. The Constitution does not define marriage as being between a man and a woman; it is absolutely silent on the matter. You and your fellow jesus freaks want to avoid being called bigots by referring to the “constitution” or one’s “anatomy” as your reasons for supporting Prop 8, but the reality is that you support a cause which actively seeks to strip away the rights of others. Who are you to decide that a man and a woman were “meant to be?” Supporting explicit discrimination against a minority group is anything but having “religious values.” Rather, it is blindly following a work of fiction (the Bible) and being brainwashed into believing that only those who think exactly the way you do deserve to have the same rights as you. You do not have any religious values and you are not acting morally by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, you and your jesus freak bigots are the Taliban equivalent in the United States who seek to oppress those who do not share your so-called “values.” But again, who are you to decide that your “values” should be followed, especially when they include taking away rights from people you don’t even know! Shame on you for being so ignorant and close-minded! Consider moving to Afghanistan – we don’t want people like you ruining our wonderfully progressive state and taking us back to the Bronze Age!

  • Bob

    Gays are actually hurrying up the return of Jesus as Judge! Know how? In Luke 17 Jesus predicts that just before His return there will be a mysterious worldwide resurgence of the “days of Lot” (see Genesis 19) on an unparalleled scale that will be caused by unseen powers who will be allowed to manipulate many! By playing their predicted role, gays are making the Bible even more believable. BTW, if you want a preview of Gaydom’s untimate goal for Main Streets everywhere, Google “Zombietime” and open up “Up Your Alley Fair.” (This often occurs in Pelosi’s pigpen – the reason for her constant unflappable Mona Lisa smile.) I wonder how soon San Francisco’s underground saint – San Andreas – will get a huge jolt out of what happens over his head in front of little kids! Bob (PS – Ingrates should be grateful that Howard and Roberta Ahmanson care about all Californians – especially little children who are allowed to view public depravity!)

  • Stina Lee

    Bob- you seem so driven and motivated! I wonder if you direct this kind of enthusiasm toward All areas of your life, or is this special, enthusiastic ignorance saved just for things you have absolutely no idea about, or connection with? Thank god though you have the good lord on speed dial, and such clever interpretations of the bible! You know the future- you know everything! We, as “gays” (as you so affectionately label us) are playing our “predicted roles”, eh? You seem so excited about it! This surprises me, one redeeming quality about the religious fanatics is they seem to feel a degree of sorrow for those who don’t see things their way… fear for the non-believers’ soul etc- but not you! Oh boy, you and god will have a fantastic time in the sky with that giant magnifying glass of “judgment”- frying the gays. This situation is a heart breaking struggle for those of us who want the same rights and recognition as you have. The fact that our liberty was revoked is difficult and while you flaunt your hatefully zealous opinion, throwing terms like “depravity” at those who simply have different lifestyles behind closed doors- is a small way to try to make yourself feel superior. Try a little dignity. In showing that toward others, you show it to yourself.