|Chuck Bierwirth and his husband John Daniel demonstrated for No on 8 ouside of City Hall on election day. Photo by Rink.
California voters went to the polls on Nov. 4 and overwhelmingly voted for a new President of the United States, contributing significantly to the election of Barack Obama.
California voters also voted on Proposition 8, the state initiative that would amend the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
As Bay Times goes to press, nobody - except for some over-eagerYes on 8 proponents - can accurately claim victory in that vote. The initiative is ahead (which would ban same sex marriage) some 400-500,000 votes with over 95 percent of the state precincts reporting, but some 3-4 million provisional and absentee ballots still remain to be counted. Depending on where those uncounted votes lie, they may be enough to tip the scales to defeat Prop 8.
So we will have to wait. In the meantime, the City of San Francisco, the ACLU, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have filed suit in California to block the initiative from taking effect. The lawsuit challenges the legitimacy of a bare majority of the electorate taking a constitutionally guaranteed right away from a minority, leaving other minorities subject to similar affronts down the line.
In Los Angeles, famed attorney Gloria Allred has also filed suit against the initiative, on behalf of her clients Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, who were married in Los Angeles on the day marriage became legal.
Despair ran rampant through our community today - and through the legions of our supporters, many of whom also worked and gave tirelessly to defeat Prop 8. It's difficult to believe that over 50,000 people just in San Francisco voted to ban marriage, but they did. The horror of possible passage is still sinking in for us.
Please see Chris Crain's insightful commentary below, and be sure to read Ann Rostow's coverage which begins on page 5. And then take a deep breath and watch this all unfold over the next few days and weeks.. Just know that if this turns out to be a setback, it won't stand. We have hopefully learned a tremendous amount from this campaign - who our friends are, how to successfully run a campaign, and hopefully how to deliver our message far more effectively.
Eventually, we will have full marriage rights, and truly equal protection under the law. It's just a matter of time.