California voters going to the polls in November will have another major decision to make besides who to choose for President – now they’ll also be voting on whether to amend the state constitition to effectively ban gay marriage
If passed this new measure “would insert the sentence, ‘Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California,’ into the state constitution,” thus nullifying the recent California Supreme Court decision that overturned a gay marriage ban on the ground that it was unconstitutional.
In 2000, 61% of Californiams voted for the original gay marriage ban during an election when 53% also voted for Al Gore, the Democratic Presidential nominee [stats: Infoplease]. Which indicates that popular support for a Democratic, ergo “liberal” nominee, does not guarantee support for gay rights. Could the measure’s appearance on the ballot tip the scales against Obama?
Larry Gross at USC’s Annenberg School doesn’t think it will make much of a difference in the Presidential race:
I doubt if the decision will have a large effect on the California race, as those most invested in denying gays the right to marry are not natural supporters of John McCain. If McCain tries to use this issue to garner support among the religious right — not inconceivable given his recent behavior — he risks alienating the independent voters he’ll want to take away from Obama. [USC Election 2008]
Now the question is if the anticipated record high numbers going the polls will be as eager to ban gay marriage in November as they were 8 years ago. Any theories?