By Garth Bardsley
Election '08 marked a dark day for gay rights. Since several states passed ballot initiatives limiting the rights of same-sex couples — including Proposition 8 in California — protests have erupted from coast to coast. Celebrities have been quite vocal about the issue, from Christina Aguilera telling MTV News, "I think [Prop 8] is discrimination," to Joe Trohman of Fall Out Boy saying, "It's interesting how forward-thinking we come off by electing Barack Obama, but then how in the dark we still are by voting 'yes' on Prop 8." Pete Wentz, Whoopi Goldberg, Keith Olbermann and even Spencer Pratt have all weighed in on the issue.
The effect that the large African-American voter turnout in California had on the passing of Proposition 8 continues to be debated throughout the media. A report from The Associated Press states that seven in 10 black voters in California supported the prop, along with 52 percent of Latinos. Other reporters and bloggers have been more reticent to indict any one racial group, saying the divide was more generational. The Web site FiveThirtyEight writes, "If nobody over the age of 65 had voted, Prop 8 would have failed by a vote or two."
MTV News hit the streets in California, talking to African-American and Latino voters who favored Prop 8. Here's a sampling of what they had to say:
"I like to describe myself as a fiscal Democrat and a social conservative," says Meron Begashawa, a black American. "I find the economy and health care and the war more important than social issues, so I voted for Obama on that, and I voted 'yes' on Prop 8."
"I come from a very traditional Hispanic family, so marriage is very sacred to us," said Nicole Ponton. "It definitely was a difficult vote for me, just knowing that I have friends who will be affected by this vote, but definitely my religion and my family, culture and history came into major play."
Kai Kelley said, "I voted 'yes' because I feel like it's going to affect the kids in some way, and I believe [marriage] should stay tradition, like man and woman."
No doubt in the ensuing days we'll continue to hear from people in the public eye about the issue (MTV News' own Kim Stolz will be speaking at a rally in New York City on Saturday, as a part of a nationwide day of protests), but what about you? How do you feel about Proposition 8, and why do you think the vote turned out the way it did?