Thursday, October 23, 2008

Props 8, 4, and K

The good news is that the latest polling shows Proposition 8 down 44-52 in California. This is encouraging, because recent polls showed Prop 8 edging ahead. It's likely to come down to persuading people who say they are against same-sex marriage that it nevertheless shouldn't be banned:

Despite opposition to the ballot measure, the state remains split over the underlying question of same-sex marriage, said Mark Baldassare, director of the poll. In a separate question in the survey, 49 percent of those questioned opposed allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry in California, while 47 percent were in favor.

"I've said since August that it could be a close election because the state is so split on the same-sex marriage question," Baldassare said. "About 20 percent of likely voters oppose same-sex marriage but say they'll vote 'no' on Prop. 8."

The bad news is that Proposition 4, which would endanger teens' health and safety by requiring parental consent for all abortions, is ahead 46-44 - with fully 10% undecided. As with Prop 8, the campaign for Prop 4 is a dishonest one, as the LA Times notes in its editorial against the measure:
The supporters of Proposition 4 have managed to frame their campaign around two ideas, both misleading, that hold particular appeal for voters. One is that, in addition to allowing girls to seek court permission for an abortion, it will give those who justifiably fear telling their parents an "out" by allowing them to notify another adult relative instead. This would indeed give the measure more credence, if it were true. But in order to use it, the girl would have to accuse her parents, in writing, of child abuse, with the accusation to be forwarded to law enforcement authorities. It's the equivalent of telling girls they can get an abortion by walking into a police station and having their parents arrested.

The campaign also assumes a kinder face by saying that this is about protecting girls from adult sexual predators; newly knowledgeable parents would put an end to the sex crimes. But a study released in September by UC San Francisco found that few girls have relationships with significantly older males and that the percentage of those who do does not appear to change with notification laws.
For better or worse, I'm not aware of any polling data on San Francisco's Proposition K to decriminalize sex work. But check out this fairly balanced examination of the measure and the debate at Huffington Post. Notably, the measure has split the city's two LGBT Democratic organizations, named after Harvey Milk (for) and Alice B. Toklas (against) respectively. I'm not sure about Alice, but I'm pretty sure Harvey would have supported Proposition K. (Speaking of which, can you believe Sean Penn is playing Harvey Milk?!)

1 comment:

Paula Silinger said...

Check out a new celebrity-filled "No on Prop 4" video just released from the Feminist Majority Foundation, the publisher of Ms. Feel free to post it onto your website!