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Prop 8: Today's Vote Could Steer National Same-Sex Marriage Debate

November 4, 2008

California voters will decide today on Proposition 8, which would define marriage in the state and likely have a major impact on same-sex marriage across the nation. The race is the most expensive and many say the most controversial on the ballot.

Yvette Martinez, political director for the "No on Prop 8" campaign, says there's some confusion over the wording of the proposition. She says her group has been trying to make people understand that a "yes" vote means eliminating a right.

"Californians can agree that it is wrong to discriminate and we are at a place where we should not be taking away rights; we should be protecting rights, expanding rights."

Supporters of Prop 8 say that if the measure fails, gay marriage will be taught in schools. Martinez believes their campaign ads are misleading.

"This has nothing to do with education; this is about eliminating the right for same-sex couples to marry. This is all about discrimination."

More than 11,000 same-sex couples have been married in California since the state Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-sex marriage in May. In an interview on MTV, presidential candidate Barack Obama said even though he was against gay marriage, he did not support Prop 8 because it would change the state constitution. John McCain also opposes gay marriage.

The last time California voters decided on same-sex marriage was eight years ago when an initiative that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman was approved by 61% of voters.

More information about the initiative at

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA