Reaction Comes In on Passage of CA Proposition 22

July 7, 2008 - 8:25 PM

Los Angeles, CA ( - Supporters hailed the passage of a ballot measure defining marriage in California as a union between a man and a woman while opponents said gays and lesbians turned a corner on the road to equality.

With all precincts reporting, Proposition 22 garnered 901,461 "yes" votes, or 58 percent of the total, versus 639,111 "no" votes, or 41 percent of the total votes cast on Tuesday.

Glenn A Baldwin, executive director of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, called the vote outcome a disappointment but not a defeat for the gay community.

"It's the beginning, not an end," said Baldwin, who hoped the measure written by state Senator "Pete" Knight, R-Santa Clarita, would be defeated. "In the battle against Proposition 22, we turned a corner on the road to full equality for gay and lesbian families," Baldwin said.

On the other side of the controversial issue, the group Concerned Woman for America welcomed passage of the measure.

"I am thrilled that Californians sent a clear message to our children on what marriage is," said Beverly LaHaye, chairman and founder of Concerned Women.

Liz Luedtke, the group's California director, said marriage is a bedrock of our society. "Marriage is the backbone of a strong society. I am proud to be a Californian...we did the right thing to protect families and children," Ludtke said.

The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc., a gay advocacy group, said supporters of Proposition 22 must now show that the initiative is not aimed at harming lesbian and gay families.

"Throughout their campaign, they insisted that the initiative was not about attacking gay people," said Jennifer Pizer, managing attorney of Lambda's western regional office in Los Angeles. "Now that the measure has passed, will its backers make a meaningful commitment to support essential legal protections?"

Pizer wouldn't comment on whether the advocacy group would go to federal court to block implementation of the ballot measure.

Proposition 22 states: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Homosexual marriages are not allowed in California, and the defeat of Proposition 22 would not have changed that.

However, if another state recognizes homosexual marriages in the future, California also might have to recognize those marriages if the measure had not passed.