Thursday, November 6, 2008

Changes In State Law Based On 2008 Election

Some where in the euphoria over the Presidential election, the voters decisions on some other issues got buried in the background. For example, the Los Angeles County Registrar's Office stopped issuing same-sex marriage licenses after the voters passed a measure to eliminate the right of gay couples to marry. Specifically, voters in California, Arizona and Florida weighed in on constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Apparently, 52 percent of voters approved California's Proposition 8. The amendment to the state constitution overrides a state Supreme Court ruling in May that legalized same-sex marriage. Folks at nearly danced in the streets. It is a good thing that they did not because the streets were already crowded. Thousands of demonstrators filled streets in Los Angeles Wednesday displaying their disappointment at the apparent passage of a ballot initiative to ban gay and lesbian marriages.
Hundreds of protesters staged a half-hour sit-in outside CNN's Los Angeles bureau on Sunset Boulevard. Ellen DeGeneres said she is "saddened beyond belief" over the proposed amendment. (DeGeneres is married to actress Portia de Rossi.)

In Arizona, a similar measure failed in 2006. But in 2008, Proposition 102 passed with 56 percent of the vote.

Florida voters approved that state's amendment, 62 percent to 38 percent. Arizona, California and Florida were the only states to consider constitutional amendments banning gay and lesbian marriages.

In Arkansas, 57% supported a measure to prohibit unmarried sexual partners from adopting children or from serving as foster parents. The measure applies to opposite-sex as well as same-sex couples.

Colorado rejected a measure defining a person to "include any human being from the moment of fertilization." This would have banned abortion.

South Dakota rejected a proposal to prohibit abortion except in cases of rape, incest or where the mother's life is at risk.

Michigan chose to amend the state constitution to permit human embryonic stem cell research. The embryos, which must have been created for fertility treatment purposes, would have to be ones that would have otherwise been discarded. Michigan became the 13th state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, with 63 percent of the vote.

Massachusetts approved an initiative to decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Nebraska now prohibits the state government from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to people based on race, ethnicity, color, sex or national origin.

Washington appears to have approved an initiative allowing adults with six months or less to live to request lethal medication prescribed by a physician.

Arizonans decide to reform state laws prohibiting the employment of illegal immigrants. Under Proposition 202, only employers who know that an employee does not have legal status would risk having their business licenses suspended or revoked.

Massachusetts rejected a proposal to cut the state personal income tax rate in half for 2009 and eliminate the state personal income tax starting in 2010. A similar proposal also failed in North Dakota..

Maryland approved a constitutional amendment to authorize the use of video lottery terminals, or slot machines in the state to fund public education.

So, if you missed these on the ballet or in the news, read em and weep.


bertha said...

One step forward with Obama and two steps back with these propositions.


brenda said...

Are gays and lesbians the new second class citizens? I feel for you Bertha.


Anonymous said...

I have a hunch, Brenda, that its "feelings" for other women is what the voters in these fine states are against!

Joey C.

Anonymous said...

So, in the euphoria, some not so exciting decisions were made?

Get over it. Obama will bring back gay marriage.

Ms Calabaza said...

I second that Brenda. Hang in there Bertha. :~)

Ms Calabaza said...

I second that Brenda. Hang in there Bertha. :~)

Anonymous said...

During the debates, Barack Obama and John McCain said they are not in favor of gay why is everyone so surprised when voters agree with them? The only surprising statistic is how close these propositions were.....

Joel A. Brodsky said...

Regarding the gay marriage issue, I believe what a social commentator (I think it was George Carlin) said: “ I’m in favor of gay marriage, why shouldn’t gays have the right to be as miserable as the rest of us”.
I have always said, its not gay marriage that bothers me, its gay divorce. All gay people who want to get married should do is go sit in any divorce courtroom for a day and then decide if they want their personal and financial affairs to be resolved in that manner should they decide to separate from their spouse. Nobody, neither side, is ever happy with the results of a divorce. My advise to gays is that they have the best of both worlds with the “domestic partnership” concept that gives them rights (such as medical benefits and survivorship rights in pensions and life insurance) for their partners, without the downside of being subject to divorce laws. You don’t know how good you got it until its gone.

bob In palos said...

Joel. You are spot on! That was exactly what I was thinking.

Bob in Palos

Anonymous said...

"Feel for you" being said as one woman to another is not quite right when refering to this topic.

colleency said...

My motto: Human rights for human beings.


Secrets said...

Joel it was Chris Rock who said that.

I think everyone should have equal rights under the law. So I agree with Joel regarding the domestic partnership concept.

Massachusetts is a great state!!!!

Anonymous said...

Legal scholar Chris Rock!