What is Proposition 8?

Proposition 8 was a California ballot proposition passed in the November 2008, general election.

The measure added a new section (7.5) to Article I of the California Constitution. The new section reads: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."[1][2][3] By restricting the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples, the proposition overturned the California Supreme Court's ruling of In re Marriage Cases that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. California's State Constitution put the measure into immediate effect the day after the election.[4] The proposition did not affect domestic partnerships in California.[5]

Proponents of the constitutional amendment argued that exclusively heterosexual marriage was "an essential institution of society," that leaving the constitution unchanged would "result in public schools teaching our kids that gay marriage is okay," and that gay people would "redefine marriage for everyone else." Opponents argued that "the freedom to marry is fundamental to our society," that the California constitution "should guarantee the same freedom and rights to everyone" and that the proposition "mandates one set of rules for gay and lesbian couples and another set for everyone else." They also argued that "equality under the law is a fundamental constitutional guarantee" (see Equal Protection Clause).[6]

The campaigns for and against Proposition 8 raised $39.9 million and $43.3 million, respectively, becoming the highest-funded campaign on any state ballot that day and surpassing every campaign in the country in spending except the presidential contest.

After the elections, demonstrations and protests occurred across the state and nation.
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Same-sex couples and government entities filed numerous lawsuits with the California Supreme Court challenging the proposition's validity and effect on previously administered same-sex marriages. The court upheld Proposition 8, but allowed existing same-sex marriages to stand. Additional lawsuits in federal courts are still pending.

Above content from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_8_(2008)

How will others states fare when pressed not only to pass gay marriage laws but actually uphold them?

The years indicated are those by which a gay marriage ban would be defeated by voters in a given state, according to the regression model (below) designed by Nate Silver of www.fivethirtyeight.com.

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Read in Nate's own words how he designed his map

"I looked at the 30 instances in which a state has attempted to pass a constitutional ban on gay marriage by voter initiative. The list includes Arizona twice, which voted on different versions of such an amendment in 2006 and 2008, and excludes Hawaii, which voted to permit the legislature to ban gay marriage but did not actually alter the state's constitution. I then built a regression model that looked at a series of political and demographic variables in each of these states and attempted to predict the percentage of the vote that the marriage ban would receive.

It turns out that you can build a very effective model by including just three variables:

1. The year in which the amendment was voted upon;
2. The percentage of adults in 2008 Gallup tracking surveys who said that religion was an important part of their daily lives;
3. The percentage of white evangelicals in the state.

These variables collectively account for about three-quarters of the variance in the performance of marriage bans in different states. The model predicts, for example, that a marriage ban in California in 2008 would have passed with 52.1 percent of the vote, almost exactly the fraction actually received by Proposition 8.

The more religious a state is, and the more white evangelicals it has, the higher the percentage of voters who would be likely to support a gay marriage ban. However, according to Silver marriage bans "are losing ground at a rate of slightly less than 2 points per year. So, for example, we'd project that a state in which a marriage ban passed with 60 percent of the vote last year would only have 58 percent of its voters approve the ban this year." So it's possible to extrapolate, given the current religious demographics of a state and the trend of decreasing support for bans, when a gay marriage ban would fail.

There are 11 states where a marriage ban would already be expected to fail: all of New England and New York, plus several states in the West (all of which are among the least religious states in the country). California wouldn't be likely to reject a ban until next year. (Side note: despite California's status as a sort of poster boy for social liberalism, most of the Northeast tends to be more liberal on these kinds of social indicators.)

Over the next couple of years, majority opposition to gay marriage bans will spread quickly through the Northeastern and Western states, then through the Midwest - claiming a majority of all states by 2013 - and finally through the South, with Mississippi bringing up the rear in 2024."

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