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Prop. 8: Opposition to gay marriage in L.A. appears to be shrinking, according to Times analysis

a Proposition 8 supporter and opponent clash

Although Proposition 8 won in Los Angeles County, a Times database analysis of voting patterns found some interesting changes since 2000, when voters approved another ballot measure against gay marriage.

In 2000, about 713,000 voters in L.A. County opposed Proposition 22, which banned same-sex marriage. About 1 million voters backed it, but about 6.4% of voters decided not to make a choice on the ballot measure. (2000 was a considered a low-voter-turnout election.)

Support for a ban on gay marriage appears to have tightened significantly in L.A. County in the last eight years, according to The Times' database analysis. Proposition 8 won 1.31 million votes, while 1.29 million voters cast "no" votes. As of right now, only 1.8% of those who voted for president decided to leave the Proposition 8 choice blank.

More reaction to Proposition 8's defeat in The Times:

The measure's most fervent proponents believed that nothing less than the future of traditional families was at stake, while opponents believed that they were fighting for the fundamental right of gay people to be treated equally under the law.

"This has been a moral battle," said Ellen Smedley, 34, a member of the Mormon Church and a mother of five who worked on the campaign. "We aren't trying to change anything that homosexual couples believe or want -- it doesn't change anything that they're allowed to do already. It's defining marriage.... Marriage is a man and a woman establishing a family unit."

On the other side were people like John Lewis, 50, and Stuart Gaffney, 46, who were married in June. They were at the San Francisco party holding a little sign in the shape of pink heart that said, "John and Stuart 21 years." They spent the day campaigning against Proposition 8 with family members across the Bay Area.

"Our relationship, our marriage, after 21 years together has been put up for a popular vote," Lewis said. "We have done what anyone would do in this situation: stand up for our family."

The mood is grim in San Francisco's Castro district as Proposition 8 wins.

-- Shelby Grad and Megan Garvey

Photo: Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (162)

I am hoping this measure will be found unconstitutional almost immediately. This is exactly like trying to pass legislation prohibiting people of different ethnic backgrounds from marrying. It's just wrong.

The "shrinking" opposition to same-sex marriage could very well be an illusion. Because this election has been so passionate, it drove a lot more people to the voting booths than in years past, particularly on the side of Obama and possibly No on Prop 8. This doesn't necessarily mean that more people are on the side of SSM, but perhaps that more pro-SSM people voted than in 2000. Also, there are indications some voters were confused what "Yes" and "No" meant on the ballot. Unfortunately, this is such an emotional and personal issue, we may never get the true split percentile.

I personally don't believe in marriage, but I have enough sense to realize that not everyone shares the same views as me. Marriage is just a piece of paper & if you want to be bound with a piece of paper then that is your personal choice. Who are we to determine the choices that other people make? Who are they harming? I feel that people are still so closed-minded & it's sad. Yes on 8 says that they want to protect the children, but from what? All this proposition is doing is teaching our children discrimination. You might as well teach your children that interracial relationships are wrong because they are within the same context. We've come such a long way and now we are taking 10 steps back. Shame on all of you who voted Yes on 8.

We as Californian's should be ashamed of ourselves. We voted to give chickens rights and take the rights of gays away.

Screw this nonsense. Let's get rid of the term marriage from the Constitution. No marriage certificates, just domestic partnerships. If you want to, you can call it marriage at home, at your church, at work, anywhere you want to. Just not for the purposes of legal paperwork, filing taxes, etc... you know, the boring stuff. Equality for all!

Its a true shame that on the very day America steps out of a long long darkness, a majority of Californians have shown themselves to be neither very American or Christian. The tide of history is not with them and let there be no doubt, Jesus would not be either.

People who voted for Prop 8....all I can say is, thank you. Thank you for ruining one of the greatest days in American history. Thank you for distorting your religion, which is also mine -- yes, I'm a devout Christian -- and using it to abuse others. Thank you for the lies, hatred, and bigotry masquerading as "traditional family values." Thank you for deliberate, often violent ignorance and the friendly statement, "I don't discriminate, I don't hate gay people...I just don't think they should have the same rights as other people...and oh, if my kid is gay, I don't want them to have rights either." Thank you for your ongoing and deeply felt conviction that America simply can't function without second-class citizens, and that constitutional guarantees really aren't for everyone. You must be so proud.

For the first time in years, I'm proud to be an American today...but ashamed to be a Californian.

Thanks be to God for the passage of Proposition 8!

Given the pro-homosexual climate in California and the horrible misinformation of the anti-Proposition 8 campaign, I think it's a miracle that it passed. I am so happy that it did.

This is not about "gay rights" or "hatred of gays." Homosexual domestic partnerships are already granted ALL the rights of married coupled -- that's a non-issue that was LIED about by the anti-8 campaign.

For me personally this is about not allowing four judges to pervert a 2000+ year old sacrament from God. It was about not putting the fickle demands of popular culture ahead of God. It was not about allowing the homosexual lifestyle to be regarded as healthy or normative.

Thank you God!

What could I say that anyone will listen to?
I personally believe that this was started in the Garden of Eden: "God created the world for Adam & Eve yet some folks figure it was made for Adam & Steve. . . The scriptures are filled with stories of man & wife, walking together hand in hand throughout their life, Even Noah when he loaded them animals two by two, checked for male and female as they came through. . ."
Sure I am a Christian and nowhere is the Bible does the Lord or his apostles condone homsexuality. If this was about a personal choice then go for it as God gave to man his agency, but you don't have to force us to recoginze your choices. Only until now do we heterosexuals have to stand up for our choices. If it's about legal rights learn to live here within the legal system or go to another country where you feel you are more welcome. I have no hard feelings for "Gay" people, in fact I lived with two Gay men for over a year and still have homosexual friends, do I preach to them, do I habor resentment towards them, of course not they are my friends and they have made their choices, just as you have made yours. Just accept that society and God does not recognize those choices.

I don't take sides, but let's not confuse sex and race or ethnicity, JB. Two different ethnic backgrounds marrying IS different from two people of the same sex marrying. Quite different.

This measure is both wrong and unconstitutional. This is obviously a religious matter for Prop 8 supporters. The First Amendment clearly states that the government will not have a preference over one religion or another.

I am appalled that a place as progressive as California would vote so strongly to support this measure. The scare tactics used by Prop 8 supporters in their advertising were very clever and effective regardless of the actual truth, and it just goes to show how easily people are swayed.

The heterosexaul dictatorship eliminates gay people's rights; hide behind religion and children to cover their bigotry. Haterosexuals retain a flawless score of eliminating gay people's rights across America. Oh, but hateros will say they are for equality yada yada (as long as it's for themselves).

The anti Prop 8 supporters claim it is discriminatory to prevent homosexuals from marrying. What if some man wants to marry his sister, or his daughter, or three women? What if they love each other? Your logic dictates that all of these scenarios would be OK. And few people do. The anti-8 supporters have no problem discriminating against others - just not themselves.

Shame on all of you who voted "Yes on 8". Thank you for showing your true colors.
What a disgrace all of you are to this beautiful state I call home.

What's really disturbing is that much of Prop 8's support came from Obama voters. McCain got a paltry 766k votes in LA but Yes on 8 got over 1.3 million! That's insane!

Obama completely failed to lead and showed no courage on this hate prop. He better start leading now or I see some big cases of buyer's remorse coming.

Matthew, if it's a "sacrament from God", what the hell is doing being sanctioned by the state? I

If this is true, then no state should be able to sanction any "marriage". Civil unions with the exact same rights & obligations should then be available to anyone.

To say that one must be allowed to "marry" in order to be equal is similar to a male insisting he should be "mom" and a female insisting she should be "dad". These are just terms. The terms have been defined since the creation of the English language. Equality provides "rights" not terms. The rights of homosexuals have been enforce for years and there are no rights being denied two homosexuals with the passage of Prop 8. Today we shall call marriage as between a man and a woman. We shall call the woman "Mom" and the father "Dad". We call the affection between two individuals committed to each other "love" and to demand that another term be saddled into the equation is a slap to what really matters in the relationship between two people. Those that rushed to the alter after the judges disregarded the voters will were setting themselves up for disappointment. They chose to manipulate the term marriage for their own devices. Marriage affords no additional rights to those who are committed to each other and have indicated such to the laws of the land. Let's get over the symantecs that cost supporters over $70 million dollars and get on to issues that ACTUALLY impact the lives of people such as the rampant taxation and borrowing that was approved this election. California's appetite for hand-outs, taxes, and borrowing will keep the state in recession long after the country recovers. Sad...

words cannot describe how saddened i am by prop 8 passing... i am still crossing my fingers, hoping for the best- even though i know its a done deal. its ridiculous that this is passing. I am from Minnesota originally, and have lived in california for 4 years. When moving here, i thought i was moving to the greatest, most ahead of the times, most accepting state that i possibly could... but now i see that that is not the case. i am so sad... all this prop does is promote hate and discrimination... nothing good comes out of this at all. The Yes on Prop 8 supporters say that they want to preserve the sanctity of marriage... but newsflash- marriage isn't that sacred... straight people have been messing it up for years... there is no way that gay people could make it any worse than the straight people already have!

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it clearly defined in the constitution that there should be a seperation of church and state?

Shouldn't it be up to the church whether or not it wants to give a marriage license or not?

Considering a domestic partnership and a marriage are the exact same thing with two names why must we make them two different things?

I am not at all religious but plan on getting married some day. But wait, you are now saying marriage is a religious sort of thing, so I plan on being domestically partnered some day. I will have a wedding. I will wear white. We will exchange rings. But will do I care what your god thinks? No. But, because it will be between a man and a women, it will be a marriage.

This has nothing to do with religion, it is civil rights. If a priest agrees to marry to gay people, then let them be married.

How it should be: Marriage, a union by a person of faith.
Domestic Union: union by the court.

Let your church make the decision on who gets married there, not the government.

Who defines normal? To me your archaic christian beliefs aren't normal...

This is for everyone who voted for prop 8!
Have you thought about what your gay child who hasn't come out to yet is feeling?

I am disgusted that this proposition was even on the ballot. Is it really necessary to constitutionally define marriage? In this election year, where citizens of this country rallied around candidates on either side who represented anything but the average resident of the white house, how could this issue even matter? When California's constitution does not demand that all people recieve food an healthcare, who could possible care who exchanges rings, and vows of love and honor. To think that Californians were so easily duped by one of the most ridiculously obvious slippery slope campaigns only illustrates how uneducated and, frankly, naive the slight majority is. How embarassing.

OK, that is it. I wanted to be nice about this, I was all for protecting 'traditional values'. I would have voted for laws that gave parents notice of 'gay' curriculum. I would have supported keeping the status quo in schools. But, if 'traditional values' are keeping me a second class citizen... I implore people to join me in an all out WAR on "traditional values"! I do not accept being separate but equal.

The United States voted yesterday to over turn 'traditional values' by putting an African-American in the oval office. I've never been prouder to be an American, and never more ashamed of being a Californian. Even more ashamed of being from LA county.

If "homosexual domestic partnerships are already granted ALL the rights of married coupled," then why won't you give us that title?

"Separate is NOT equal." Don't mare your religious view on others people.

Why do religious folks always try to throw whatever they believe onto us? I'm not gay and this doesn't affect me in anyways, but I know that civil unions aren't the same as marriage. There are 8 differences, including adoption, tax breaks,.....you know, the things that people get married for!
I just can't wrap my head around it. People seriously voted to discriminate against a certain people. I swear we had this battle in the 1960's about rights of human beings. Also, I saw a speech for prop. 8 after they won, and he said that gays are our brothers and they still have the same rights? What?

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