As Sarah wrote, California's Prop 8 passed by a margin of less than 5 points. Over 18,000 same-sex couples will have their unions invalidated. Heartbreaking. There will be debate about whether high turnout among socially conservative blacks and Latinos voting for Obama contributed to the outcome. The exit poll does suggest some ethnic groups voted more anti-gay than others. Whites and Asians narrowly opposed the measure, 53-47, while African American voters were 70 percent in favor. Latinos supported Prop 8 too, but by a tiny margin, 51-49.
Blacks and Latinos made up a combined 29 percent of the electorate in California. But it's important to note that had opposition to the ban been just slightly higher among any group, or overall, it would have gone down. The fight was incredibly close, and the equality side was out-spent and out-ground gamed.
Arizona also banned gay marriage yesterday. In 2006 the state made history by becoming the first in the nation to reject an anti-gay marriage amendment at the ballot box. But now that the amendment has been stripped of language discriminating against heterosexual domestic partners, it passed, 57-43.
In Florida, voters not only banned gay marriage, but also domestic partnership benefits for all couples. In the Sunshine State, 60 percent support is required for a ballot amendment to pass. This amendment won 62 percent.
Lastly, Arkansas passed a ban on gay adoption, 57-43. Sad news for children everywhere who need loving homes, and for caring adults who want to parent.