California Celebrates Marriage Definition Vote

Arizona and Florida Join in Banning Gay Marriage

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LOS ANGELES, California, NOV. 5, 2008 ( The archbishop of Los Angeles says the California vote banning gay marriages was the result of «an unprecedented coalition» that «understood the importance of maintaining the bedrock institution of marriage.»

Cardinal Roger Mahony affirmed this today in a statement to the Catholic community and others who supported Proposition 8, which amends the California State Constitution to include a definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.

«The passage of Proposition 8 was the result of an unprecedented coalition of many faith communities and other citizens who understood the importance of maintaining the bedrock institution of marriage,» Cardinal Mahony wrote.

Quoting the book of Genesis as God’s plan for the human family, he added: «Our collective efforts in the support of Proposition 8 have centered solely around preserving God’s plan that marriage between one man and one woman is to be that unchanging reality through which their mutual love becomes fruitful through bringing forth children to continue the human family.

«The raising, formation and education of these children is destined by God to take place within a traditional family of one father and one mother.»

The cardinal noted that Proposition 8 is a positive vote. Rather than pitting itself against any social group, it seeks to preserve God’s plan «for people living upon this earth throughout time,» he said. The prelate exhorted people to enliven the new constitutional definition with continuing support for marriage and families.


The Arizona Catholic Conference also issued a statement to voters «of all faiths and walks of life» who joined together to approve their Proposition 102, which will also place a definition of marriage in the state constitution. «We are especially grateful to have seen the tremendous response of Catholics who rallied around the bishops’ efforts to pass this measure,» a conference statement said.

That state’s ban was momentous because in 2006, Arizonans became the only group to reject a marriage amendment. With Tuesday’s vote, that previous rejection was overturned, bringing to 30 the number of states that protect marriage in their Constitutions. Marriage amendments thus have a perfect 30 out of 30 record.

Florida also approved an amendment which will ban gay marriages. That vote was notable because it required 60% approval, and got 62%.

California’s move was marked as the most monumental, in the face of over 18,000 gay marriages that have been performed there since May. This amendment, which gained 52% of the vote, will override the Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriages then.

Funds for the campaign for and against this proposition reached a record high for any social issue in U.S. history, generating $73 million from all states and several foreign countries.

Around the Union

In the referendums of others states, various life and family issues were put to the vote. Arkansas voted in favor of a ban on unmarried couples serving as adoptive or foster parents.

Washington voters approved a measure to allow assisted suicide, modeled after Oregon’s «Death with Dignity» law. It will permit terminally ill patients to obtain lethal prescriptions to administer to themselves.

In South Dakota, a modified anti-abortion referendum gained 45% of the vote, not enough to pass. After losing in 2006, this total ban was modified to allow abortion in cases of rape, incest and serious health threats to the mother. Pro-lifers were disappointed to see that even these modifications did not bring the referendum to pass.

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