(Update: With 95 percent of the precincts reporting in California, Prop 8 was passing with 52.1 percent of the vote to 47.9 percent. The California Secretary of State said 5,195,136 Californians voted in favor of the measure banning same-sex marriage; 4,779,297 voted against it. The latest results were current as of 8:14 a.m. California time , which is 11:14 a.m. EST.)
(CNSNews.com) – According to the California Secretary of State, Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage in California, has passed by a margin of 51-48 percent.
Voters in Florida and Arizona also passed constitutional amendments saying that only marriage between one man and one woman will be recognized in those states.
As of 4 a.m. California time, with 90 percent of the precincts reporting, there were 4,846,706 votes in favor of traditional marriage and 4,522,259 votes against. (See update above)
Even before the vote counting is finished, conservatives were claiming victory, while those who voted against the proposed constitutional amendment were still hoping the votes would end up going their way.
“We are gratified that voters chose to protect traditional marriage and to enshrine its importance in the state constitution,” said Ron Prentice, chairman of ProtectMarriage.com, in a news release early Wednesday.
“Proposition 8 has always been about restoring the traditional definition of marriage. It doesn't discriminate or take rights away from anyone. Gay and lesbian domestic partnerships will continue to enjoy the same legal rights as married spouses. Our coalition has no plans to seek any changes in that law,” Prentice added.
Prentice said the new amendment will take effect immediately. “Just as it was before the (California) Supreme Court's ruling, only marriage between a man and a woman will be valid or recognized in California, regardless of when or where performed.”
Prentice said the vote on Prop 8 is being closely followed across the nation and around the world: “California's vote in favor of traditional marriage should give the silent majority comfort that they do have a voice and can and should stand up for this precious institution in legislatures throughout the world,” he said. “Marriage is between a man and a woman.”
According to organizers, the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign has been the single largest, most powerful grassroots movement in the history of American ballot initiative campaigns.
Equality California, the group pushing a no vote on Proposition 8, had not commented on the measure’s passage as this story was posted.