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Brad Pitt vs. Joe the Plumber

"Brad Pitt vs. Joe the Plumber" Continued...

Issue: "Obama," Nov. 15, 2008

The Prop 8 campaign was the most expensive in the history of the issue, with the sides spending more than $70 million combined. An examination of fundraising stats revealed Prop 8 as a battle between the grassroots and the elite, said Focus on the Family policy analyst Carrie Gordon Earll. While Hollywood stars and corporate giants wrote five- and six-figure checks, the sheer number of $25 and $50 donations streaming in from Main Street actually crashed the secretary of state's computer.

"It was Brad Pitt versus Joe the Plumber," Earll said.

Going forward, she added, conservatives in the 20 states that have not passed marriage-protection amendments need to wake up to the stakes. "Over the past 10 years, we've seen this issue progress, examples have begun piling up of infringement on parental rights and the ridiculing and harassing of people of faith" who hold to a traditional view of marriage, Earll said. The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that parents do not have a right to opt out, or even to be notified, when their children will be taught that gay marriage is normal. In Ohio and Georgia over the last year, state and federal authorities have fired workers over their religious views of homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

"People may not be catching the bigger picture that gay marriage is not just about 'rights' for homosexuals, but about parental rights and religious liberties," Earll said. "It's about coming up against a homosexual agenda that insists on marginalizing and silencing those who disagree."

The hallmark feature of the Prop 8 battle was the coalition of religious groups working together, first to get the measure on the ballot, then to pass it. (See "The power of three," WORLD, July 26, 2008.)

Ron Prentice, CEO of the California Family Council, called the effort perhaps the first modern attempt by a coalition of very theologically diverse religious organizations to impact the culture via the vote. That coalition included evangelicals, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Mormons, and many Christian denominations. The resulting Prop 8 victory "was a very significant and encouraging win," Prentice said. "Our hope is not only to maintain the momentum, but to grow these networks so that we can continue to impact the culture with Judeo-Christian principles."

Ballot measures roundup

Marriage

Arizona

Proposition 102: Amend state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Approved

Florida

Marriage Protection Amendment: Amend state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, and ban same-sex equivalents such as civil unions. Approved

California

Prop 8: Amend state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Approved

Life

California

Proposition 4: Require abortionists to notify parents when a minor girl seeks an abortion. Defeated

Colorado

Question 48: Define "person" as any human being from the moment of fertilization. Defeated

Michigan

Proposal 2: Allow researchers to use donated fertility clinic embryos to obtain stem cells. Approved

South Dakota

Abortion Ban: Prohibit abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the mother's health. Defeated

Death

Washington

I-1000: Legalize assisted suicides for mentally competent, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live. Approved

Gambling

Ohio

Issue 6: Allow construction of Ohio's first casino, to be located near Wilmington. Defeated

Maryland

Casino Measure: Make Maryland the 38th state to allow slots or casino-style gambling. Approved

Adoption

Arkansas

Unmarried Couples: Prevent all unmarried couples from adopting or providing foster care to minors. Approved

Affirmative Action

Nebraska

Initiative 424: Amend the state constitution to ban affirmative action. Approved

Colorado

Civil Rights Initiative: Ban affirmative action programs. Pending

English-only

Missouri

Amendment 1: Make English the official language at all government meetings. Approved

Oregon

Measure 58: Prohibit public schools from teaching non-English-speaking students in their native language after one year in elementary school, or two years in high school. Defeated

Eminent Domain

Nevada

Question 1: Restrict government use of eminent domain to acquire private property for public use. Approved

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