Prop 8 Vote Prompts Protests and Petitions

After Proposition 8 was passed on Tuesday, the reinstatement of California’s ban on same-sex marriage prompted widespread protests and outrage from those who had hoped to defeat the ban.

For ongoing coverage of this issue, please see NowPublic’s Proposition 8 Scan and featured coverage.

As many as 10,000 protesters encircled a Mormon Temple in Los Angeles on Thursday, as supporters of same-sex marriage continue to be outraged over the passage of Proposition 8.

An estimated 10,000 marchers descended on Westwood last hour to protest the passage of Proposition 8, leading to a bust of outrage large enough to encircle the Mormon Temple on Santa Monica Blvd. before overtaking the thoroughfare itself. Streaming live footage from KNBC features a mostly peaceful protest to date, with only minor incursions resulting in a driveway shout-down and a bit of get-the-homos-off-my-lawn resistance from cops nudging marchers off a sliver of LDS property. The crowd spilled onto Santa Monica around 3:15, shutting down westbound traffic en route to Westwood Blvd.

Huge protests overwhelmed police in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento on Wednesday as thousands of same-sex marriage supporters took to the streets in defence of the cause.

Los Angeles Police Department officials say they are preparing for another major Proposition 8 protest in Westwood today at the landmark Los Angeles California Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Westwood.

Department officials say they won’t be so caught off-guard again, as they were last night, when they were required to call a tactical alert after a few members of the mostly peaceful crowd got out of hand. The protest is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. off Santa Monica Boulevard.

Students across California also staged rallies, vigils, and protests in response to the Proposition 8 decision.

While things got violent in Los Angeles and Sacramento when more than a thousand people gathered to protest the passage of Proposition 8, a gay marriage ban in California, students across the state also held their own rallies and vigils Wednesday, a day after the controversial ballot initiative passed.

More than 100 Stanford students—holding “No on 8” signs converted to now read “I am a second-class citizen”—staged an impromptu rally around 1 p.m. yesterday, clogging an already congested intersection on campus and forcing traffic to come to a halt, the Stanford Daily reports.

Small protests were held at UC-Berkeley and Sacramento State, and Cal Poly students gathered with the San Luis Obispo community in a vigil over the new law. As one Sacramento State student put it, “I just watched it all shatter last night.”

And while students, protesters and police clash, online reaction is reaching a fever pitch.

A new online petition to ‘Re-open Proposition 8 for California‘ is being widely circulated on Twitter and has surpassed 122,000 signatures in less than 48 hours.

Civil rights groups have also jumped in to challenge the outcome of the Prop 8 vote in court.

Civil rights groups moved quickly today to challenge Proposition 8, asking the California Supreme Court to strike down the latest attempt to ban same-sex marriage across the state.

While refusing to concede that the ballot measure has passed, gay marriage supporters nevertheless filed a petition with the state’s high court in the event the current vote holds and Proposition 8 amends the California constitution to once again outlaw marriage for gay and lesbian couples.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera also filed an identical legal challenge in the state Supreme Court, joined by Santa Clara County and the Los Angeles city attorney. San Francisco city officials, who pushed to overturn California’s gay marriage laws in the previous court fight, argue that Proposition 8 violates the equal protection rights of gay and lesbian couples.

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Outraged bloggers are demanding that they be able to question those who voted ‘Yes’ on Prop 8 about their reasons for doing so.  

It wasn’t just Christians who voted to ban gay marriage in California, but no doubt the measure would’ve failed without their support. Ditto to the Mormons.

There are so many questions I want to ask those people who voted in favor of Proposition 8 and as a result banned gay marriages in California:

  • How is your marriage any more secure now that homosexual marriages in your state are broken?
  • What do you say to the children of gay parents who question why their mommies or daddies can’t be married?
  • Can I vote on the legality of your marriage?

 

Indeed, that final question seems to be ringing out the loudest in this debate: why should the majority be able to vote on the legal rights of a minority group?

As tensions flare over this highly divisive issue, many supporters of same-sex marriage have alleged that the Prop 8 ‘Yes’ vote was achieved, primarily, as a result of financial and political support from the Mormon church. Some have gone so far as to set up a website audaciously declaring “Mormons Stole Our Rights“.

Although no exact figures have been released, of the $74 million total spending on both sides of the initiative, the Mormon Church is confirmed to have spent at least $9 million in support of the ban — but church officials were quick to state that the ban “should not be portrayed as a ‘Mormon issue’ “.

The campaign manager for the group advocating passage of Proposition-8, which would ban gay marriage in California, says members of the Mormon church have donated about nine-million dollars so far to help pass the initiative. That’s about 40-percent of the total amount raised since July. Leaders of the church have encouraged members to do what they can to support Prop-8. While churches cannot take a stand on political candidates without affecting their tax status, they are allowed to address ballot issues. A spokesperson for the Mormon church in Sacramento told the “Sacramento Bee” the proposed ban on gay marriage should not be portrayed as a “Mormon issue.” Other religious groups have also contributed to support Prop-8. The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization, has donated more than one-million dollars.

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