Three steps forward, two steps back

America took a few strides forward with last night’s election, with Obama taking approx. 52% of the popular vote. Although there are precincts across the country yet to report, he is projected to obtain at least 338 electoral votes. This is monumental for reintroducing reason and common sense to the country.

Yet, while the majority of Americans are struggling to keep walking forward, there is a chain around our waists, and at the other end of the chain, the religious right does their damnedest to pull us backwards. Glancing through the ballot measures highlighted on CNN’s election page, I noticed that Arizona was not the only state who gave in to fundamentalist prejudice and sense of entitlement to impose morals onto everyone. I’ve already made it clear in previous posts how I feel about the attempts to ban gay marriage, so I’ll spare you the rant now. Let me just say I am exceptionally disappointed in the results of a few measures last night:


Arizona Proposition 102: Ban on Gay Marriage

This measure would amend the state constitution so that only a union between one man and one woman would be valid or recognized as a marriage in the state. A similar measure was on the ballot in 2006 but failed

Yes 56%

No 44%

99% precincts reporting


Arkansas Initiative 1: Ban on Gay Couples Adopting Children
This measure would prohibit unmarried “sexual partner[s]” from adopting children or from serving as foster parents. The measure specifies that the prohibition applies to both opposite-sex as well as same-sex couples.

Yes 57%

No 43%

96% precincts reporting


California Proposition 8: Ban on Gay Marriage

This measure would amend the state constitution to specify that only marriages between one man and one woman would be recognized as valid in the state. If passed, the measure would trump a May 2008 ruling by the California Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage.

Yes 52%

No 48%

91% precincts reporting


Florida Amendment 2: Ban on Gay Marriage

This measure would amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. In order to amend the Florida constitution, 60 percent of voters must vote in favor of the amendment.

Yes 62%

No 38%

99% precincts reporting

With that said, let me present a few ballot measure with promising outcomes:


Colorado Amendment 48: Human Life from Moment of Conception

This measure would amend the state constitution to define the term “person” to include “any human being from the moment of fertilization.” This definition would be applied to all aspects of the state constitution, including the provisions that ensure that no person has his or her life, liberty, or property taken away without due process of law. Thus, the measure would essentially have the effect of banning abortion.

Yes 27%

No 72%

87% precincts reporting


Michigan Proposition 2: Allow Stem Cell Research

This measure would amend the state constitution to permit human embryonic stem cell research with certain restrictions. The embryos must have been created for fertility treatment purposes; they must have been otherwise discarded; and they may not be used more than 14 days after cell division has begun.

Yes 53%

No 47%

99% precincts reporting

South Dakota

South Dakota Initiative 11: Abortion Limits

This measure would prohibit all abortions in the state except in cases where mother’s life or health is at risk or in cases of rape or incest for pregnancies of less than 20 weeks. A similar measure that did not include exceptions for rape or the health of the mother was on the ballot in 2006, but was rejected by voters 44 to 56 percent.

Yes 45%

No 55%

100% precincts reporting


Washington Initiative 1000: Allow Doctor-Assisted Suicide

This measure would allow terminally ill, competent, adult residents of the state to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician. The person requesting to end his or her life must be medically predicted to have six months or less to live.

Yes 59%

No 41%

54% precincts reporting

It appears there are some states that can make decisions without the tedium of religiosity standing in the way of progress.

Finally, congratulations to President-Elect Obama. While it is true that only time will show us what your presidency will bring, I believe you represent a great deal of change, and hopefully progression among the more narrow-minded set of our population. It is wonderful to feel such a sense of hope.