As is generally known, the California Supreme Court decided on May 26, 2009 by a vote of 6 to 1 that the result of the referendum against homosexual marriage, known as Proposition 8 (“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”), occurred in a constitutionally appropriate manner and is not unconstitutional. With this ruling homosexual marriage is again done away with by the same court that had introduced it at an earlier time by court decision. The court further decided that the 18,000 marriages of this sort are permanent.
In the referendum held on November 4, 2008 52.2% voted against homosexual marriage, and 47.8 % voted for it. The level of voter participation was an astounding 79.4% of the 17.3 million registered voters in the State of California. The 52% consisted of Catholics (above all Latinos), Mormons, Evangelicals, but also non-religious voters.
On the day of the court decision, Gallup conducted a survey of a representative population of the USA. 57% voiced opposition to homosexual marriage. Since 2004 this number has fluctuated between 53% and 59%. In 1996 this number was still at the higher level of 68%. The number of supporters went from 47% in 2007 to 40% in 2009. In 1996 this number stood at 27%.
Apart from the presidential election this was the most expensive campaign that has ever taken place in the USA. The supporters of the constitutional amendment that defines a marriage to be something only between a man and a woman took in 28.84€ million in contributions. The oppon22.7€ents had even more, namely million in contributions. That the American presidential candidate John McCain and other leading Republicans spoke out in favor of the constitutional amendment is hardly astonishing. However, that Barack Obama did not speak out in favor of homosexual marriage is astonishing. Obama does not derive the conclusion that homosexuals should also be able to enter into marriage from his support of a homosexual life style.
Occasionally Evangelicals are made responsible for the rejection of homosexual marriage. But here is some interesting information: The major supporters of the constitutional amendment were the California Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the Mormons, the Orthodox churches, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and the Republicans. The Evangelical element played a subordinate role. Many Evangelical pastors spoke out in favor of the amendment, but by far not all of them.
On the other side there were above all Anglican Bishops (the Episcopal Church), the Rabbis of California and other Jewish groups, the California Council of Churches, and the Unitarians. Additionally, all the large daily newspapers in California spoke out in favor of homosexual marriage, demonstrating an imbalance as well as the fact that the media can often represent less than one-half of the population and that the population can be amazingly resistant to the cumulative pressure of the media. Against the theory of an Evangelical coup is the following fact: 70% of Afro-Americans voted for the constitutional amendment, among them surely Evangelicals but not the right wing conservative Evangelicals who are normally meant. 53% of Latinos voted for the amendment. Among Protestants, 65% voted for the amendment – this number could never only be made up of Evangelicals – and 64% of Catholics. 56% of all union members voted for the amendment, whereby Evangelicals are also restrained when it comes to unions. By the way, 2% of lesbians, gays, and bisexuals voted for the amendment and against homosexual marriage. Even so, among opponents of George Bush, 40% of them voted for the amendment.
An additional comment: The threats and smearing against proponents of the constitutional amendment bear witness to problems with democracy. That the contributor’s list was used in order to find out who was in favor of the amendment and then to denounce and threaten them is also reprehensible. That the director of the Los Angeles Film Festival and the art director of the California Musical Theater had to resign because they made contributions shows that democratic decisions are not respected.
All numbers and sources are found in the exemplary Wikipedia entry.
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