One of the reasons why California is such an important state in this battle over gay marriage (and why this is the costliest campaign about a social issue in U.S. history) is because it's the state with highest population in America. As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation, some have said, and this is arguably true at least when it comes to things like environmental standards and fashion trends. It would be incredibly damaging to gay rights—to civil rights—if Proposition 8 passes, considering same-sex marriage is already outlawed in 42 states (with 27 states having gone as far as writing it into their constitutions).
I have to point out once again that simply sitting back and waiting for the tide to turn is not the way to go. My now-infamous (though still anonymous) gay friend keeps saying that we should let the will of the people rule over this issue. To which I respond with a resounding, "NO!" Let me remind you again that when the U.S. Supreme Court decided to recognize interracial marriage (Loving v. Virginia), a whopping 72% of the United States was still against interracial marriage. Tolerance and acceptance came later. When people saw that interracial marriage didn't destroy society, then they started to change their minds. Folks fear the unknown; when they see that the unknown isn't so bad, the fear subsides. Gay marriage has been legal in California several months—the state has not sunk into the ocean, and hell has not swallowed its citizens whole.
For those of you landing on this blog for the first time: CALIFORNIANS, VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 8.
Hey, but enough about California for a while. There are two similar anti-gay measures on ballots in both Arizona and Florida.
First let's quickly talk about Florida's Amendment 2, which would also amend its state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. A recent poll puts support of the ban at 53%, which is not enough for it to pass. In Florida, 60% approval is necessary for a constitutional amendment. Now the 8 percent of undecided voters could push the ban through, if nearly all of them voted for it, which is highly unlikely. FLORIDIANS, VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 2. If you're so inclined, here's how to get involved.
Things are a bit trickier in Arizona. Proposition 102, another constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, shows about 49 percent support right now. It needs 50% plus one (same as California). The undecided voters (8%) are key. ARIZONIANS, VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 102. If you're so inclined, here's how to get involved.
And, wow, did Jay Leno actually take a clear-cut political stand in favor of gay marriage? Awesome!:
And the aforementioned terrific new article about same-sex marriage legislation in Time magazine is here.