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November 6, 2008

Ballot Initiative Results

So the presidency aside (yes!!), there was some good news and some bad news on Election day this year. There were a lot of ballot measures this year in various states - some you may have heard of and some you may not have, some that we're happy about and some... not so much. Here's just a quick list of what passed and what didn't. We'll get further into how we feel about these measures another time.

It was a good day for reproductive rights...

Not only did California's Proposition 4, which would have required physicians to notify parents of a pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion, fail... but so did the draconian South Dakota abortion ban and the Colorado "Human Life" amendment (which would have defined a fertilized egg as a person!)

But it was a bad day for the gays.

All three propositions against same-sex marriage (CA, AZ, FL) pretty much passed. This is especially huge for California, where gay marriage was made legal only a few months ago. (We'll be writing about this issue again in more detail soon, specifically what we can do to fix this fucking mess!) Also passing was an initiative in Arkansas, prohibiting unmarried "sexual partners" from adopting children or serving as foster parents (which not only affects gay couples, but unmarried straight couples, single parents and of course, the more than half million children in the foster care system in the U.S. today).

Other passing measures: Maryland now allows the use of "video lottery terminals" (slot machines) at certain locations to fund public education. Michigan allows the medical use of marijuana. Washington allows doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Nebraska ended affirmative action for public employment, public education and public contracting.

Failing measures: Colorado on the other hand, voted against ending affirmative action, while Arizona shot down a proposition that would further prohibit the employment of illegal immigrants. Massachusetts also voted not to repeal their state income tax.

We'll be writing more about some of these measures in the near future.

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