08 November 2008

Winners and losers this week

It's difficult to find any clear conservative trends, or liberal ones, in voting on initiatives and referenda this week. There was a little of something for everyone. Even so, there were plenty of losers and winners.

Among the winners:

  • Opponents of gay marriage: California's Proposition 8, designed to reverse a state Supreme Court ruling calling two-sex-only marriage unconstitutional, apparently was narrowly approved (there are still plenty of votes to be counted, but analyses suggest there aren't enough votes left to reverse things), making California the first state to make same-sex marriage illegal once it had already been recognized. Although California's constitutional amendment has received the most publicity this week, similar measures in Arizona and Floria also were approved; Florida's needed a 60% supermajority and got it. A measure that is in many ways more far-reaching, Arkansas Measure 1, was handily adopted, making it illegal for gay couples (or cohabitating couples, for that matter) to adopt children. California voters' apparent decision means that gay marriage has yet to be made legal in any state with by voter or legislative approval; so far, gay marriage in the United States is a court-ordered phenomenon.
  • Backers of doctor-assisted suicide: Initiative 1000 easily passed in Washington, making it the second state to explicitly allow the practice. The only other such state is Oregon, whose law also was the product of an initiative.
  • Opponents of affirmative action: Nebraska's initiative to end affirmative action was approved with 58 percent of the vote. A similar but more hotly contested measure, Colorado's Amendment 46, appears to be passing. An English-only measure was easily adopted in Missouri.
  • Payday borrowers: Ohio voters upheld a law that put a 28% cap on the interest rate charged by payday lenders, those offices of legal usury that exist throughout the country to serve people who can't afford their services. As a result, at least two payday lenders, Cash America and Cashland, have said they are curtailing their operations, and others may follow. Also, in Arizona, voters rejected a proposal supported by the payday loan industry.

And some losers:
  • Anti-abortion activists: It didn't come as much surprise that South Dakota voters rejected a far-reaching proposal to ban most abortions; even if it had passed, it would have been mostly symbolic as chances are that courts would have struck it down. But a less far-reaching measure in California, a parental-consent initiative also was rejected. So too was a radical Colorado proposal to redefine personhood as beginning at the time of conception. Michigan voters also passed a measure allowing embryonic stem cell research, although there are some restrictions on where the embryos can come from.
  • Anti-tax zealots: Let's face it: None of us, even those of use whose benefit considerably from government services (and that's basically all of us), like to pay taxes. But some anti-tax efforts simply go to far, and Massachusetts voters obviously saw that Tuesday as they rejected Question 1, to phase out the state income tax, by more than a 2-1 ratio.

And some that were winners and losers:

  • Gamblers: Maryland voters OK'd a measure to allow slot machines (but they're officially known as video terminals) as part of the state lottery, while Missouri voters repealed a loss limit in casinos. By winning the right to spend more, gamblers certainly will lose.
  • The Mormon church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the most visible of the supporters of California's Proposition 8, although it was far from the only church supporting the proposal to ban gay marriage. After the election victory, though, the backlash has set in, which protesters appearing outside church temples in the Los Angeles area and Salt Lake City and others threatening a boycott of Utah (even though Salt Lake City has been gay-friendly enough to establish a "mutual commitment" registry to help gay couples qualify for employment benefits). Ironically, while California doesn't have enough Mormon voters to have made a difference in the final outcome, there have been no protests held in black and Latino neighborhoods, where voters backed the measure by as much at 70 percent.


Bot said...

How about a tax on homosexuals to pay for all their anarchy, and high medical expenses for AIDS and other STDs borne by taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

Gays are actually speeding up the return of Jesus to earth as Judge! In Luke 17 Jesus discussed two practices occurring in a big way in Genesis: "days of Noah" (physical violence) and "days of Lot" (violence against God's law - known today as sexual perversion). And Jesus predicted that just before His return to earth, there will be a mysterious worldwide resurgence of both vices on an unparalleled scale which will actually be the behind-the-scenes work of unseen powers who will brainwash many persons. So while gays are playing their predicted role (which often goes hand in hand with violence), they are unwittingly hurrying up the return of Jesus as their Judge! Speaking of judgment, Google "Obama Supports Public Depravity" before San Francisco's underground saint - San Andreas - gets a big jolt out of the faults of SF's porn-protecting leaders. After recovering, Yahoo "God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up" and "Dangerous Radicals of the Religious Right." And you thought that blogs are boring? Lou

gfe said...

Bot -- They're not the only ones spreading AIDS these days. There are plenty of straight folks doing the same thing.

Lou -- I wouldn't be so quick to assume that Jesus is talking about sexual perversion in Luke 17: Look at the sins he mentions in verse 28, and he seems to be talking about gluttony and economic selfishness in general, the same sort of things that the prophet Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 16:49) criticized Sodom for.

Steve said...

I'm glad Ohio voters saw through the lies and deceptive advertisements of the payday lending industry and voted overwhelmingly to pass issue 5! This is a very positive development for Ohio's families, particularly those who were caught in the never ending cycle of payday lending debt. Ohioans realized that payday lending is a defective and predatory product designed to trap people in debt. Voters strongly repudiated over a decade of predatory payday lending! This is a great victory for Ohio's consumers!

gfe said...

Steve -- I agree. I would hope that Congress would act next for those userers to be prohibited from lending across state lines. It's just really outrageous what some of them charge.