New Study Analyzes What Drove Vote on Prop 8 & Debunks Myths

Contrary to some political expectations, voting to support the freedom to marry and opposing anti-marriage measures helps rather than hurts politicians, a new study Pro-Marriage Legislators Win Elections released by Freedom to Marry unequivocally shows.

For many years legislators across the country have voted on laws aimed at ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Others have been asked to vote on state constitutional amendments aimed at discriminating against same-sex couples and their children by denying them the freedom to marry and other legal protections. A review of all of these votes from 2005 to the present shows that legislators who vote to end marriage discrimination for same-sex couples are consistently re-elected.

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New Year’s Resolution: Take the Pledge to Support Marriage Equality

Join in the best way to celebrate the new year and support the freedom to marry: take the pledge to have 7 conversations in 7 days for the 12th Annual Freedom to Marry Week, February 8-14. People across the country are already taking the pledge so join in today!

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California Attorney General Jerry Brown States Prop 8 Should Be Overturned

On Friday, December 19 in an unexpected move, Attorney General and former Governor of California Jerry Brown filed a legal brief claiming the marriage ban, which revised the California Constitution to include discrimination against gay and lesbian couples, "is itself unconstitutional because it deprives a minority group of a fundamental right."

In a lengthy filing, he argued that the constitutional amendment was "inconsistent with the guarantees of individual liberty" in California's governing charter. "Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights," Brown said.

In a separate filing, supporters of Proposition 8 asked the Court to nullify the marriages of the estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who exchanged vows before November 4. They also named Kenneth W. Starr, the former Whitewater prosecutor and U.S. Solicitor General, to represent them before the Court.

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New Jersey Commission Unanimously Recommends Marriage Equality

In a unanimous vote, a blue-ribbon state government commission issues its final report (pdf) to Governor Corzine and the legislature, recommending they enact a marriage equality law. The report concludes that civil unions in New Jersey are indeed separate and unequal to marriage, hence the legislature needs to take action and legislate equality.

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Recent Polls Show Ever-Increasing Public Support for Marriage Equality

Two nationwide polls released in the last week show ever-increasing public support for gay people's freedom to marry. Over the weekend, a Newsweek poll report titled A Gay Marriage Surge showed public support growing for equality while a survey conducted by Harris Interactive reaffirmed a high of 47 percent of nationwide adults supporting gay people's freedom to marry.

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California Voters Already Feeling Buyer’s Remorse Over Prop 8

A recent SurveyUSA poll showed that just weeks after voting on Prop 8, 8 percent of California voters who supported it (only 52.1 percent of total voters) regret their decision to take away rights from a minority, indeed showing a potential different election outcome. This trend represents the continually increasing support for marriage equality across the country.

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States Move Toward Marriage Equality

Vermont State Sen. John Campbell announced he will introduce a marriage equality bill in January, and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, a legal group working throughout New England, announced the goal of achieving the freedom to marry for all six states in New England by 2012. As public support continues to grow and leaders stand up for what's right, more and more states across the country will uphold equality.

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California Supreme Court Grants Review in Prop 8 Legal Challenges

The California Supreme Court announced it will review the legal challenges filed against Prop 8. Last week, civil rights groups such as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Equal Justice Society, California NAACP and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. filed a petition to stop Proposition 8 from being enacted "because it would mandate discrimination against a minority group and did not follow the process required for fundamental revisions to the California Constitution."

These groups followed similar arguments that the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights used when they filed a lawsuit against Proposition 8 immediately following the election. The court said it would require an expedited briefing process. The case is Strauss, et al, v. Horton, et al.

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Momentum Toward Marriage Equality Across Country

Disappointment and pain over the anti-gay attacks in California, Arizona, Arkansas, and Florida are balanced by so much good news from around the country, including the dawn of a new era in Washington, D.C.

We celebrate the defeat of the attempt by anti-gay groups in Connecticut to call a constitutional convention so they could write marriage discrimination into the state constitution. Sixty-percent of Connecticut voters cast ballots to support their high court's decision to uphold the freedom to marry and now, marriage equality is preserved in Connecticut. Same-sex couples can begin applying for marriage licenses on November 12th.

Californians were bombarded by a massive $40 million anti-equality campaign of deceptive scare-tactics and lies. Despite the final vote on Prop 8, the campaign will not be the last word. Public opinion moves in favor of fairness, we have truth on our side, and 2009 will see advances toward marriage equality.

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Election Results

Get your election results concerning fairness for all families here or follow us on Twitter. Real-time updates will occur as results are reported. Here are the states and votes we’re watching:

CALIFORNIA Prop 8: Anti-gay constitutional revision would eliminate right of same–sex couples to marry

Still too close to call. Check the L.A. Times to see results.

FLORIDA Amendment 2: Anti-gay constitutional amendment would write marriage discrimination into the state constitution

Anti-gay constitutional amendment PASSED

ARIZONA Prop 102: Anti-gay constitutional amendment would write marriage discrimination into the state constitution

Anti-gay constitutional amendment PASSED

CONNECTICUT Question 1: Call a constitutional convention to amend the state constitution (threatening to eliminate marriage for same-sex couples)

Anti-gay constitutional question DEFEATED

ARKANSAS Act 1: Anti-gay measure would bar unmarried couples from fostering or adopting children

Anti-gay measure PASSED

Watch and circulate the many videos about Election 2008.

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