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US Presidential Election


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I don't care who you vote for, well, okay I have my favourite, (but we won't go into that,) in the spirit of democracy, I just want to encourage all those eligible to do so, to get out there and vote. No voting -no complaining!

Happy election!

Please note this has been a non-partisan notice brought to you by an Aussie orangutan.

:icon_geek:

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You beat me to the punch Des...

YEAH AMERICA - GET OUT THERE and VOTE! But today's vote is just the beginning -- there is much much more to be done in order to make this planet a more livable place, and your engagement is essential ... together with that of the rest of us. The whole world is watching you today and in the near future, America.

I too have my candidate preferences, but I ultimately believe in the human race and spirit - no matter how the election turns out.

:icon_geek:

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...I just want to encourage all those eligible to do so, to get out there and vote. No voting -no complaining!...

:icon_geek:

I decided to vote early this year for the first time ever to avoid those lines. Statistics came out today on the early voting turnout here in New Mexico, and I was shocked.

59% of the state's population are registered voters.

72% of the registered voters (according to the pundits this morning) will vote this year.

42% of the registered voters have already voted in early voting.

WOW! I'm so proud of my state.

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I was depressed after seeing about 40 "Yes on Prop 8" placards by the freeway off & on-ramps tonight on my way in to work. (This is the anti-Gay Marriage proposal on the ballot here in California.) I had to fight the urge to drive on the shoulder and knock all the signs down.

I'm so mad about this I could just spit. How these knowitall, self-righteous, religious bastards got this into the election, I'll never know. Several newspaper exposes made it clear that all the funding was from the Mormon church, along with the Knights of Columbus (part of the Catholic church), along with a couple of right-wing religious nut millionaires.

I think Connecticut and Arizona have similar measures. God help us if these go down; it's gonna be a tight race on this one in California.

I voted for Obama, but he's not an ideal candidate in all ways. He's idealistic and unquestionably charismatic, but he's got a huge mess to clean up from Bush & his cronies. That'd be a tough job for even a super-experienced politician. At least Obama is a bright guy, so I feel like we've got a chance. Even Biden isn't bad, if he could just keep his damned mouth shut.

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I think a similar measure is up in Florida also.

Pec, I was raised in SoCal in a beach town just outside of LA and returned for a number of years before getting my head on straight and got out. But I still have an affinity for the state. I feel your anger too. From what I've heard, the race is too close to call and the separation in the polls is within the margin of error.

I can't vote there, but you've got my well wishes.

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It's nice to be proven wrong for a change. I know I said I thought this country was still too racist to elect a black president. Either one of two things happened. Either people were just so sick and tired of the politics of hate and division that they finally paid attention -OR- as Winston Churchill said, 'You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.'

Net, Net, there are two great pieces of news:

I can say, President Barak Obama.

I can also say to George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the specter of Karl Rove: You're Fired!

Now, the hard part starts; rebuilding civility and public consensus, healing the bitterness of a very partisan decade, all while fixing the major problems we face at home and abroad. The democratic party has been given a new lease by the landlord, but if they muck it all up, they can be tossed just as easily. Given the mood of the electorate, their honeymoon will be a short one. Lets hope they take the high road the President-elect has outlined and don't do something so stupid they alienate the electorate in the first weeks of the new administration.

Still, I guess we can all celebrate for a day, so, in the spirit of the moment, I say:

Woo Hoo! :icon_geek::stare::spank:

Rick

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As administrator of the Forums, I thought it better to post my comments on the US election as my personal thoughts in my Blog

However as an Aussie, I congratualte the American people on a wonderful result for democracy.

:icon_geek:

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I have to admit, even I got a little choked up when I was having dinner tonight with my partner, and NBC jumped in and called the election in favor of Obama. I was surprised it happened so quickly, and that he won by such a large margin. Very much an emotional moment.

Getting NY, Florida, Massachusettes, and pretty much the entire West coast was what won the battle. But there's a lot of angry people in mid-America who aren't happy about it.

At least it wasn't a close election like 2000. It's clear that Obama won both the popular vote and the electoral vote, so it wasn't a subtle victory.

Now, I'm just curious to see if we're going to wind up with a Democratic congress, and how the anti-gay marriage bills do. (I'd also like to see former comedian/talkshow host Al Franken win as senator from Minnesota, and that's a very tight race.)

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From The Onion:

Carrying a majority of the popular vote, Obama did especially well among women and young voters, who polls showed were particularly sensitive to the current climate of everything being fucked. Another contributing factor to Obama's victory, political experts said, may have been the growing number of Americans who, faced with the complete collapse of their country, were at last able to abandon their preconceptions and cast their vote for a progressive African-American.

Citizens with eyes, ears, and the ability to wake up and realize what truly matters in the end are also believed to have played a crucial role in Tuesday's election.

According to a CNN exit poll, 42 percent of voters said that the nation's financial woes had finally become frightening enough to eclipse such concerns as gay marriage, while 30 percent said that the relentless body count in Iraq was at last harrowing enough to outweigh long ideological debates over abortion. In addition, 28 percent of voters were reportedly too busy paying off medial bills, desperately trying not to lose their homes, or watching their futures disappear to dismiss Obama any longer.

LINK

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Obama won and the gay marriage amendment foundered, so it came out half right.

The gay marriage initiative lost 8 years ago in CA by a substantial 61% - 39%. Yesterday, it lost by 52.5% to 47.5 %. That shows an incredible change in voter sentiments in only 8 years, and suggests in a very short time, the majority of voters will support gay marriages.

This time around the supporters of banning gay marriage muddied the waters by claiming it would be state law that gay marriages would be taught in the schools. That supposedly was the issue that won them the election. The fact it is pure bunk, a lie, didn't dissuade the religious fanatics from paying for and running that ad, people who were fighting a cause I still don't understand the rationale behind. It isn't allowing gay people who love each other to marry that is destroying the institution of marriage; it's the huge number of straight people who are divorcing that are doing the institution in.

The issue could still be headed for the courts. The equal protection language in the CA Constitution prohibits discrimination against one group of people, which this initiative certainly promotes. We'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.

The 18,000 gay couples who married while it was legal to do so are also in limbo. Whether their marriages remain or are discredited is another matter for the courts to decide.

C

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Thanks, Cole. I actually feel a little better with you reminding of us of the statistics. And it gives me a hope that maybe things will eventually get better.

My partner mentioned to me a few minutes ago that the religious right spent $70 million (!) to push Prop 8 forward in California. That's an incredible amount of money on such a simple issue: should any person be allowed to marry another?

Maybe The Dude can weigh in on how the anti-Gay marriage proposals fared in other parts of the country, since I'm sure he covers this as part of his journalism career with Sirius.

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I'm definitely not the dude, but.....

Florida

In Florida, the ballot measure amends the state constitution to limit marriage to opposite sex couples and ban civil unions.

The amendment also could be used to deny partner benefits to unmarried couples who live together.

The amendment says, ?Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.?

Constitutional amendments in Florida require a 60 percent majority. The marriage amendment won with 62 percent of the vote. Thirty-eight percent were opposed.

Florida already had a law restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples, but supporters of the amendment say the law could be overturned in court.

Arizona

In Arizona, where a simple majority is needed to amend the state constitution, 56 percent of voters approved limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

It was the second time Arizona voters were asked to change the state?s constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Voters rejected a similar state constitutional amendment in 2006. That measure would have also stopped the state from recognizing civil unions of same-sex couples.

Arizona law already prohibits same-sex marriages. Supporters say the amendment will ?protect the sanctity of families? by preventing judges from overturning the 1996 state law.

Arkansas

Arkansas, which already has a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, now will limit adoptions and foster care of children to people who are legally married.

The ballot measure passed Tuesday by a wide margin - 57-43 percent.

The measure grew out of a state Supreme Court ruling last year that overturned a Child Welfare Agency Review Board policy that banned gay people from serving as foster parents.

In its unanimous ruling, the court said that ?the driving force behind adoption of the regulations was not to promote the health, safety and welfare of foster children but rather based upon the board?s views of morality and its bias against homosexuals.?

The Arkansas Family Council - the same group that spearheaded Arkansas? constitutional ban on same-sex marriage - collected enough signatures to place the adoption referendum before voters.

Connecticut

In Connecticut, a potential anti-gay measure was also on the ballot. Connecticut voters turned down a call for state constitutional convention.

Under the state constitution, the question automatically goes on the ballot only every 20 years.

Earlier this year, the state Supreme Court ruled that Connecticut?s civil unions law failed to provide equality. The first same-sex marriages in the state are slated to begin Nov. 12.

By chance, the automatic ballot question came up this year, raising fears that if voters agreed to a constitutional convention it would have been used to ban gay marriage.

The Family Institute of Connecticut had gone on record calling for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Story link

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I think what puzzles me most is that each state can pass contradictory laws (contradicting other states, that is) and not even recognize the legitimacy of the law in the other state. If nothing else, if a couple married legally somewhere where they were residing (I don't fully agree with just going somewhere for a weekend) should not lose that marriage just because they move to some other state, or worse, just travel through it. It's bizarre.

It reminds me a bit of a situation many years ago. One Canadian province banned the use of studded tires, but they extended that to anyone entering their province, even if only there for an afternoon, for shopping. They started levying huge fines on the visitors. The other province then passed a law requiring studded tires, causing the same sort of havoc to the visitors from the other province. It is laughable, if it weren't so serious and pathetic.

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(11-05) 18:16 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- A day after California voters approved a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the incendiary issue returned to the state Supreme Court, where gay and lesbian couples and the city of San Francisco filed lawsuits Wednesday seeking to overturn Proposition 8.
Here's a link to the article on the San Francisco Chronicle website.

An interview on KTVU Channel 2 this evening discussed how Proposition 8 violates the equal protection clause of the California Constitution (the interview isn't online yet). Proposition 8 also violates the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that “separate but equal” is not equal. A corollary would be a referendum to limit marriage to people of the same race. For Proposition 8 to be valid, the equal protection clause of the California Constitution would have to be revised. A religious point of view has been enshrined in the California Constitution.

Here's a link to a KTVU newscast that includes a lot of additional coverage.

A link with interviews of people in the SF Castro district.

The California Attorney General discussing his plan to defend existing same-sex marriages; and also to defend Propostion 8 when it's challenged because he's required to do so by law.

Colin :icon11:

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There's near-riots going on in West Hollywood tonight, with angry crowds protesting the Prop. 8 decision, and it's apparently spilled out into Hollywood. The news reports have some live coverage, and it's getting pretty ugly.

A good friend of mine (who's not gay) editorialized about it on his website this week, and said, "this reminds me of the whole 'separate but equal' thing of black people in the 1950s, where they had to have separate water fountains and restrooms from white people. Pro-segregationists argued, 'well, they're still drinking the same water.' Now, people are using the same argument for gays: 'well, a civil union gives them the same rights as a marriage.' But it's not a marriage. Separate but equal doesn't work for anybody."

I think eventually, this is going to have to go to the Supreme Court, and I hope by then we have enough liberal justice members to rule in our favor. I agree with Trab that something as basic as marriage should not be subject to state law, but should be part of the constitution.

Still, it'll take a long time for this to get resolved -- I bet ten years on the outside. I just hope I live to see it happen someday.

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It is most distressing to hear of the riots.

I looked at Colin's links, that I could with my slow connection, and what struck me was the comment that other minority groups could now become subject to the initiative process. While it is unlikely that atheists would be banned as suggested by that commentator, the very fact that such a thing might be possible causes me the thought that the initiative process is just another form of mob rule.

The problem seems to me to be that the initiative process can bypass the elected representatives and be made law without scrutiny.

Trying to keep the legislature answerable to the electorate is one thing, bypassing the legislature seems to be defeating the purpose

of elected representatives as well as avoiding the due process of the court system. Challenges to the initiative process itself would seem justified.

What a downer to an otherwise inspiring election result!

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Okay, I've been waiting and thinking hard about what I would like to say here. Some of you may not like at all what I am about to say, but here goes.

In my modest opinion, and as dearly as I would love to see legal gay marriages or civil unions, I think we (the American gay community at large) were trying to fly before we learned how to walk or run. What do I mean by that you ask.... well my answer is this.

Did any of you realize there is no federal law preventing discrimination in the workplace, housing, or education based on sexual preference or gender identification!!!!??? That's right... NONE. In other words, If your employer chooses to fire someone simply because they are gay, there is no federal law prohibiting that. IT'S PERFECTLY FARKING LEGAL IN MOST STATES!!!!! :icon11::aak[1]: Granted, 14 or so states and some cities have legislation prohibiting such discrimination, but it is a haphazard patchwork that often has no teeth. Right now, in most states, including my own, gay and transgendered Americans have fewer protections against discrimination than African Americans had prior to 1964.

Federal Legislation with the acronym ENDA has been proposed as late as last year, but was defeated by one vote in the Republican controlled Senate, and never taken up by the House because of a PROMISED veto by Emporer George II.

So basically, what I am saying is we put the cart about 100 miles out in front of the horse on this issue. Let's get some basic human and civil rights and protections, then go for the gold rings.

I say all this with much love and respect for all of you, but I really thought it needed to be said.

Hugz,

Rick D

P.S. Basic info on ENDA can be seen here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_No...crimination_Act

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