California same-sex marriage ban too close to call

But the discriminatory measure leads, and gays and lesbians suffer other losses around the country.

Published November 5, 2008 3:45PM (EST)

The morning after the election, it's not looking good for same-sex marriage, while the fate of the highest-profile ballot measure on the issue still remains undecided.

California's Proposition 8 would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state by amending the California Constitution to discriminate against them. The ban is currently leading 52 to 48 percent with 95 percent of precincts reporting, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Based on those same numbers, the Wall Street Journal is declaring the measure has passed. Supporters of the ban have already declared victory; Ron Prentice, chairman of, called this "a great day for marriage" in a statement e-mailed to reporters. 

A record-shattering $74 million was spent on Proposition 8 in California, where some 16,000 same-sex couples have married since June of this year, after the state Supreme Court ruled that gays and lesbians have a right to do so. Everyone from now President-elect Barack Obama to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger opposed the ban. 

Meanwhile, amendments to ban same-sex marriage were approved Tuesday in both Arizona and Florida. And in Arkansas, gays and lesbians hoping to adopt or become foster parents suffered a loss, with voters passing a measure that bars unmarried couples from doing so, according to the New York Times.

The Arizona vote is notable because two years ago state voters rejected a similar measure, according to the Associated Press. While state law already bans gay marriage in Arizona, now the state's Constitution has been amended to prevent judges from overturning the statute. 


By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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