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Exploring the Future of Gay Rights

On November 4, Californians passed Prop. 8 by a vote of 52 to 48. The measure reversed a California Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in the state. How did this happen in a blue

Exploring the Future of Gay Rights

Alan Ray (Guest Host):

Once again, everything we thought we knew was wrong. For most of us, it seemed clear on November 4th that if Barack Obama won the California vote, Proposition 8 would likely lose.


The measure was an attempt to amend the California constitution to ban same sex marriage. If passed, it would overrule the State Supreme Court's ruling earlier in the year which gave same-sex couples the same marriage rights as mixed-gender couples.

It did pass when the votes were counted.  The common wisdom was wrong again. And not just a little wrong. Prop 8 passed on the Left Coast by a margin of 52 to 48 per cent.

The very groups that gave the election to Barack Obama voted in resounding numbers in favor of Prop 8 and against same-sex marriage. Even in San Francisco's Chinatown, where the ethnic vote was strongly behind Obama, Asian-American voters also strongly supported the plan to ban same-sex marriage.

Yesterday the California Supreme Court agreed to hear three lawsuits challenging the legality of Prop 8 and provide a ruling by March.


  • David Peters , family therapist with degrees in psychology and religious studies.
  • Sara Clarke Kaplan , professor of ethnic and gender studies at UCSD.
  • Glenn Smith , professor of constitutional law at California Western School of Law.