Wednesday, November 5, 2008

On props and bans

I feel defeated today. In a way this is an accurate feeling.

The presidential cycle has now gone on for approximately 2 years, culminating in the historic election last night. Both McCain's concession speech and Obama's victory speech were thoughtful and welcome after a long campaign. Many around me were euphoric last evening.

I was not. I was constantly checking the ballot measures on gay-related issues. The first ballot measure to be called was that adoption by any non-heterosexually-married people is no longer possible in Arkansas (made possible by 57% of voters). I'm sure those orphaned children thank you, Arkansas; way to look out for the children.

Next to be called was the Florida constitution ban on gay marriage and any rights that approximate marriage for gays. I thought we'd be fine on this one; after all, a 60% supermajority was necessary. But Floridians are supermajor excited about banning gay marriage it seems ... the ban passed with 62.1% of the vote. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that the large elderly population, coupled with northern counties of Southern-style values voters, could muster their strength. Nice touch to make sure that civil unions are also constitutionally banned ... why stop at gay marriage?

Next came Arizona. At, I was kept apprised of the poor showing for gay marriage. Jonas and I had put our financial donations in this basket, having thought it would do the most good (after all, we thought Florida was safe). While the ban narrowly failed at the ballot two years ago, this time around it passed with 56% of the vote. I suppose this goes to show that if the people vote and give the "wrong" answer the first time, try try again.

The most crushing defeat, though, was saved for this morning, when I awoke to see the results from California. To my distress I saw that while the numbers had tightened, the final tally would likely by 52% in favor of Proposition 8, which removes the right to gay marriage in California. While there are still ~3 million ballots yet to be counted, it is unlikely that they will completely remove the 500,000 vote advantage that the Yes on 8 people achieved. Part of the Californian public sure knows how to consume advertisements based on emotional bias, dirty tactics, and misinformation. Not to mention overlook blackmail and computer crimes.

I think I'll save my euphoria for another day.

(Day 144)

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