Wednesday, 5 November 2008

...and now bad news from the US voting night

Unfortunately, along with my excitement re Barack Obama’s historic victory, I am saddened with gay rights setback during this election night in the US.

Reports indicate that Voters in Florida and Arizona approved constitutional bans on same-sex marriage on Tuesday, while the electorate in Arkansas approved a ballot initiative to prevent gay and lesbian couples from adopting. Initial results from California indicate that majority of voters back Proposition 8 which would constitutionally ban historic same-sex marriage decision by the Supreme Court. I wonder, what is going to happen to already issued thousands of gay marriage certificates?

I know that Obama is against gay marriage but otherwise he is for same-sex civil unions and other equality issues. Here is hoping that CHANGE promised by Obama campaign will change bigoted mentality of middle America, and we will witness real changes, and for all, as president-elect Obama promised during his speech tonight.


Ani said...

Well, that stinks. As to the legality of California gay marriages, this is what they're saying about it right now:

In California, with 95 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday, the ban had 5,125,752 votes, or 52 percent, while there were 4,725,313 votes, or 48 percent, opposed.

Similar bans had prevailed in 27 states before Tuesday's elections, but none were in California's situation — with about 18,000 gay couples married since a state Supreme Court ruling in May. The state attorney general, Jerry Brown, has said those marriages will remain valid, although legal challenges are possible.

Obama's opinion, even as president, doesn't actually matter that much--these issues are decided state-by-state, weird as that may seem to the rest of the world. It's a bargain that was made at the founding of the United States, and in fact, is right in the name of the country.

grigor said...

well, artmika, I too thought that it is bigoted mentality of middle America. At this very moment, I am just ashamed that I live in California. Never again I will talk about the middle America when the enemy is right here next door. It is just incomprehensible. Being from Berkeley, probably the most liberal part of the country, this is a huge shock. Everyone was against 8, the governor, senators, Obama, but it passed. Just try to imagine, the very same people who voted for Obama said yes on 8. A mystery.

artmika said...

I know, I am shocked too :( I wonder what will happen to supported by Obama same-sex civil partnership act if it gets passed at some point ok federal level? Is it possible to enforce it on a federal level or states may decide to opt out? What a weird system...

artmika said...

Apparently, there is still some possibility that the fate of gay marriage in California may be saved from Prop 8. Not sure if this could work, but hey there is this possibility.

Via Queerty: All may not be lost in terms of Proposition 8, the California ballot measure that seems to have overturned gay marriage.

According to DailyKos, California Supreme Court Justice Ronald George, who wrote the majority opinion based on his state's precedent, not the Supreme Court, did not create a suspect class for gay folk, thereby leaving some wiggle room for debate:
There is ample precedent under CA law that alterations of fundamental rights cannot to done with a mere amendment via majority vote of the electorate. This would constitute a "revision" of the CA Constitution would requires 2/3 vote of both Houses of Legislature AND a 2/3 vote by the electorate or alternatively a State Constitutional Convention called by 2/3 vote of both houses.

Activists are also hoping the 3-4 million uncounted ballots can help swing the polls back in our direction.

Ani said...

America--land of lawyers, and always a growth industry. Now you see why. Here's an insightful take on what went wrong in California:

artmika said...

Well, yes, there are definitely lessons to be learnt. Now gay rights campaigners should mobilise all their resources to try legally challenging the Prop 8; or other appropriate actions. More news are coming out re potential legal challenges. I hope it will work.

I heard lawyers can do magics in the US :)

SF city attorney prepares legal challenge to Prop 8

San Francisco, California) At least three lawsuits are are in the works to challenge Proposition 8, a proposed amendment to the California constitution that would ban same-sex marriage.

One of the suits is planned by City of San Francisco attorney Dennis Herrera’s office. A second is by the three LGBT groups that won the historic California Supreme Court ruling that allowed same-sex marriage in the state. The third is by one of the couples who were married after the court ruling went into effect in May.

All three suits would begin if Prop 8 passes. [...]

John said...

It is a terribly bittersweet night for LGBT Americans. To see the candidate that a vast majority of us supported with passion win, and then to see our hopes for equality dashed in California...there's more than one reason to cry.

artmika said...

Very true, John, your feelings are echoed by many...

Here is Bil Browning's opinion at The Huffington Post.

Today is The Day but I'm angry instead

[…] I went to the DNCC where my partner was a delegate. I put up signs at our house, talked to our neighbors, installed the iPhone app so I could phonebank from my own phone, and blogged like crazy on Bilerico Project, Huffington Post and the LGBT for Obama blog.

The LGBT community supported the Democratic ticket. We supported change and hope and equality. We supported our fellow Americans as we reached for the stars. And we won. Today is the day.

But I'm not joyful; I feel robbed. Americans didn't support the LGBT community. Instead, we've been slapped back into place with marriage amendments in Florida and Arizona and an anti-gay adoption law in Arkansas. The ultimate insult, the California marriage amendment to strip LGBT couples of their right to marry, looks poised to pass even though opponents rattle lawsuit sabers and refuse to concede until all absentee and provisional ballots are counted.

I don't feel hope; I feel despair.

I'm Angry More...

Yet, I'm resigned to continue beating my head against the wall. I will fight on. I believe in change and hope and equality and if my fellow citizens don't want to share them with me and mine, I'll keep fighting until they do.

I will not give up. I will not quit. I will not stop or pause or waver.

I will keep hope. Barack Obama won the election. Change will come.

artmika said...

California: "Power of numbers to discriminate against minority. Courts should step in to protect fundamental rights!"

artmika said...

San Francisco: "Our pride flag at half mast"

artmika said...

Disappointing: Armenian American LGBT groups keep silent over same-sex marriage ban in California

Ani said...

Thought you might like to see Keith Olbermann's impassioned comment on his MSNBC show tonight--here's a link for both a text and a video version:

artmika said...

Simply amazing commentary, Ani. Thanks. I decided to post it on Unzipped, for a change. It's now all over gay blogs. My big respects to Keith Olbermann.

Gay marriage is a question of love