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Proposition 8 stands, despite protests and court challenges

November 10, 2008 |  6:03 pm

As advocates of same-sex marriage turn to courts, protests and perhaps a future ballot measure to overturn Proposition 8, the Yes-on-8 campaign manager declared the measure to be “as over as Barack Obama’s election.”

Yes-on-8 strategist Frank Schubert said the best way to overturn the measure would be to place an initiative on the ballot that would repeal it. But he doubts that will happen.

“Politically this was the best chance they could have possibly had,” Schubert said.

The all-important ballot title written by Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown cast the measure as one that would revoke a right. The language had been viewed as particularly helpful to people who opposed the measure.

Also, Schubert noted, there was a huge Democratic turnout -- though many Democrats, particularly African Americans and Latinos, don’t support same-sex marriage and voted for Proposition 8. Exit polls showed blacks supported the measure 70%-30%.

One of the closing ads featured Dianne Feinstein. Popular though she is, Schubert said it was odd that foes of same-sex marriage would tap Feinstein to lecture minorities about discrimination.

“It had the feel of a lily-white, liberal campaign,” Schubert said.

He added that the ongoing protests by supporters of same-sex marriage will not help their cause and will have the effect of hardening support for Proposition 8.

Schubert’s comments came as Democratic state legislators, including leaders of the Senate and assembly, filed a brief urging that the California Supreme Court void Prop. 8.

No Republican legislator signed the petition, although Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, denounced the measure in a television appearance over the weekend.

With almost 11 million ballots tallied, Prop. 8 had 52.3% of the vote, with 47.7% against. Although many ballots remain to be counted, the 500,000-vote spread is viewed as insurmountable.

“Proposition 8 seeks to effect a monumental revision of this foundational principle and constitutional structure by allowing a bare majority of voters to eliminate a fundamental right of a constitutionally-protected minority group,’ says the brief, written pro bono by the firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

“If Proposition 8 takes effect, this Court will no longer be the final arbiter of the rights of minorities.”

-- Dan Morain

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