Two things I want to pass along:
1) This boilerplate article on the passage of Prop 8 mentions this as a reason for the initiative’s success:
Research and polling showed that many voters were against gay marriage, but afraid that saying so would make them seem “discriminatory” or “not cool,” said Flint, so proponents hoped to show them they were not alone.
Perhaps more powerfully, the Proposition 8 campaign also seized on the issue of education, arguing in a series of advertisements and mailers that children would be subjected to a pro-gay curriculum if the measure was not approved.
“Mom, guess what I learned in school today?” a little girl said in one spot. “I learned how a prince married a prince.”
As the girl’s mother made a horrified face, a voice-over said: “Think it can’t happen? It’s already happened. . . Teaching about gay marriage will happen unless we pass Proposition 8.”
Many voters said they had been swayed by that message.
2) AC makes an important point in the Live Election Blogging comments section. Don’t the couples already married in CA get to stay married? Wouldn’t the ban on ex post facto legislation not allow their marriages to be revoked?
The short answer, as I currently understand it, is that we don’t know for sure. In my frustration over the whole debacle, I made it seem as if it is a fact that those marriages will be dissolved. But it is not a fact; it is only a possibility. Now that the Prop has passed, no new marriages licenses will be given to same-sex couples. The status of the currently married same-sex couples will head back to the courts. As explained from some sources:
A measure to once again ban gay marriage in California was passed by voters in Tuesday’s election, throwing into doubt the unions of an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who wed during the last 4 1/2 months.
However, my gut says that the already married couples would be successful in their efforts to keep their marriages, based on three factors: (1) the CA courts have traditionally sided with the equality movement; (2) CA Attorney General Jerry Brown supports the idea of allowing the couples to keep their licenses, and his influence will be important; (3) Even some opponents of gay marriage must conceed the gross injustice of revoking licenses from already married couples (I pray).