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Nov 4 poll is doubly crucial for California's gays

November 4, 2008
California's fight over the initiative to ban gay marriages (popularly called Prop 8) has intensified.

Proposition 8 on the November 4 ballot in California would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state.

A 'No' vote would allow same-sex couples to continue to legally wed.

A 'Yes' vote on Prop 8 would ban same-sex marriage by constitutional amendment, overturning a state supreme court ruling in May that allowed same-sex couples to legally wed.

In a landmark judgment, the California supreme court had struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage on May 16. Chief Justice Ronald M George declared that any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation will from this point on be constitutionally suspect in California in the same way as laws that discriminate by race or gender, making the state's high court the first in the nation to adopt such a stringent standard.

Already the fight over the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in California is the costliest campaign about a social issue in US history. Spending by both sides has topped $50 million. Pro and con ads are flooding state television.

In a poster on 'No on Prop 8', Gurkirpal Kaur Dhillon is seen with her grandchildren. 'My grandkids, Mira and Kabir bring so much joy to my life. Our desi traditions have flourished with my son, Inder and his partner, Ken. But Prop 8 threatens to take away our right to a happy home by banning my son from marrying his life partner. Please help us protect our family and the rights of my grandchildren.'

Image: Inder (left) and his partner Ken. Inder's mother in fact is part of a poster against Prop 8
Text: Rujuta Paradkar

Also read: Homosexuals are a minority group, says Delhi high court
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