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UPDATED: Voters approve Proposition 8

Posted: November 4, 2008 11:46 p.m.
Updated: November 5, 2008 2:40 p.m.
 
UPDATED 2:40 p.m. Wednesday:

With 99.5 percent of 25,423 California precints reporting, Proposition 8, the measure to ban gay marriage in California, was leading with nearly 52 percent of the vote early Wednesday afternoon.

The vote stands at 5,358,816 yes votes (52.5 percent) and 4,866,840 no votes (47.5 percent).

The measure drew attention in Santa Clarita like no other statewide proposition, spilling onto the streets as protesters pro and con staged rallies almost nightly.

The campaigns for and against it spent an unprecedented $73 million for a social-issue initiative, flooding the airwaves in a vitriolic feud.

Voters under 30 heavily opposed Proposition 8, while voters 65 and over supported the initiative. Age groups in between were split.

“It’ll keep the country from getting further into this tolerance thing,” said Brandon Maddox, 16, of Canyon Country, who bucked the trend. “Tolerance for gay marriage will lead to tolerance for polygamy, and so on. It has to stop at some point.”

The ban on same-gender marriage was opposed by voters who graduated from college and those who said they never attended religious services. Those who said they attend religious services weekly heavily backed the ban.

“You know, they already have civil union. The only thing they don’t have is the marriage union,” said Nancy Tujetsch, of Castaic. “They can have theirs, and let us keep ours.”

For many liberals, the proposition went too far.

“It’s an issue of individual rights,” said Michael R. Kulka, president of Santa Clarita’s Democratic Alliance for Action. “The last time we had rights taken away from us was with Prohibition and that didn’t work. This is a rights issue from the start.”

Alliance volunteer Diana Shaw agreed.

“I don’t want to fuss with the constitution,” Shaw said. “You can’t legislate people’s private lives.”

Among the issues debated was the influence that could occur in public schools if Proposition 8 did not pass.

“Ultimately, that’s the decision a local school board is going to make,” said Hilary McLean, spokeswoman for Jack O’Connell, superintendent of public instruction for California.

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