Talk:California Proposition 8/Archive 6

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Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7

Text of amendment

No one seems to have responded one way or another to the suggestion that the text of the constitutional amendment/revision be included in the article. Since I don't know the wording, I cannot add it myself, but it seems like a logical thing to do, since the article on the 14th amendment to the US constitution also includes the text of the amendment, and since it would clear up the issue about whether or not the constitution was actually changed.--Bhuck (talk) 13:38, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Such texts would be too long to add to an already congested article. Wikisource would be the way to go. --haha169 (talk) 19:30, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I just read the text of the Proposition in its entirety, and its already in the article:
  • Sec.1: Title (California Marriage Protection Act)
  • Sec.2: Added to the State Constitution to read: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
That's it. --haha169 (talk) 19:33, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
You are right. I guess "History" is not where I was expecting to find such information. I have moved it to the lead, as I think that is more appropriate.--Bhuck (talk) 09:18, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
If there are no other revisions made by the amendment, then it looks like Haha169 has done it! (I'm not sure where the idea that the entire text of the state constitution would need to be included came from.) However, since the intent of the amendment is likely to have such a broad impact, can we be sure that there are no other passages that were revised other than one addressing marriage? Rangergordon (talk) 07:52, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
The CA Constitution probably did not significantly address marriage before. This amendment would probably be considered to be an amendment to the part upon which the Court based its decision earlier this year, which I believe is the part that has to do with liberty and rights. JBFrenchhorn (talk) 13:52, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

should we signficantly trim "Protests against Proposition 8 supporters" section?

The point of moving material to subarticles like the one made for this section, and "Lawsuits to Overturn Proposition 8", is in part making the parent article a more readable and manageable creature, it also helps cut down on excessive duplication between parent and child articles. So, it's my intuition that this 4-paragraph section might need to be cut down, and perhaps signficantly revised to previde more of an overview intro to the "Protests against..." subarticle. Whaddaya'all think? --Joe Decker (talk) 19:17, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

I'd also like to see some trimming in paragraph four and perhaps three of the lead, focusing it on the Proposition itself, and letting various post-election events not dominate the story as those items are largely being spun off into separate articles. I'm hesitant to take a whack at this particular part of the problem without more discussion because it's a big change and could easily be seen as POV pushing, the POV I'm trying to push is trimming the article size.  ;) --Joe Decker (talk) 20:53, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Great ideas, I say go for it (or post it to talk first, then do it). Someone could trim the Demonstrations section too. (By the way, good work on the Lawsuits article.) MrBell (talk) 23:42, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you! How about something like this to replace the fourth paragraph to push a bit of emphasis back to the Proposition itself?

Passage of the Proposition was met with numerous responses, including several lawsuits to overturn Proposition 8, mass demonstrations across California and the United States, as well as incidents of targeted protests, boycotts and vandalism against supporters of the Proposition.

I've didn't write up, but of course can provide a few references for the comments there.--Joe Decker (talk) 23:51, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Sounds ok to me.--Bhuck (talk) 15:06, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I changed this small sections title to Boycott against Proposition 8 donors as there is nothing in the section about protests just boycotts. I also removed the "Main Article" under the title becuase the main article that section comes from is the California Musical Theatre article.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:07, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Description of Roman Catholic and Mormon position

I have reverted a change by Mr Bell. I believe the discussions of the Roman Catholic position should not be chopped into separate bits, separated from each other in the article. The comparison between the LDS church and the RC church is useful here, because in both cases the leadership of the church took the same position, but in the case of the LDS, the follow-through by the grass roots was much more unified, while in the case of the RC church, like with positions on birth control, etc, there are many people further down in the hierarchy who choose to act differently than their hierarchy tells them to do. When considering the reactions following the election, and why the LDS church gets more attention, it is important that such a comparison be apparent. Especially in the case of the RC church, it is sort of an ecclesiological question we are dealing with here: what is the nature of the Church? Is it the teachings propagated by the bishops, or is it the community of the faithful (i.e. also the laity and clergy who disagree)? Simply ignoring the fact (or pushing it into a separate section) that the bishops' recommendations did not get unanimous applause throughout the entire membership is misleading.--Bhuck (talk) 12:44, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Good point. I didn't think about the fragmentation. Should there be links (or {{seealso}} at the start of each paragraph) to the religous positions that would better illustrate the comparison (such as Homosexuality and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Homosexuality and Roman Catholicism, or Christianity and homosexuality)?
On a different note, what does everyone think of the statement "the website claims that LDS "wards and stakes" tracked donations from LDS members and were assigned donation goals by the church?" Is there a more reputable source for that claim (the current link appears to be a blog)? MrBell (talk) 19:21, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't know about the links. In general, the links describe the churches' official position (Homosexuality_and_Roman_Catholicism#Dissent_from_official_position is an exception). The difference between the two churches is that in the LDS, there seems to have been widespread grassroots support, while with the RCC the bishops said their bit, but whether or not people responded to it was a matter between them and their confessor (who may have privately held a different opinion himself as well). I don't think the comparison can be particularly well illustrated, other than the fact that if you look at the lists of who gave time and money, it does not seem to be proportionate to "market share" of church membership.
Members of the LDS church did not unanimously support Prop 8. The official church response to the outcome of the election states that the leadership expected this in advance. See [1]. For a perhaps notable example see [2]. The idea that everyone marches in line is inaccurate.—Preceding unsigned comment added by BlueDigDog (talkcontribs)
I don't know if there is a better source for the statement made by the Mormon blog, but is anyone really disputing that claim?--Bhuck (talk) 21:06, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Well said, we'll keep the links out. As for the claim, I guess I'm disputing it. It's a blog with an agenda. MrBell (talk) 23:02, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
When I get a free moment I'll see if I can find an appropriate RS. You are correct to keep the "wards and stakes" line out of the article short of a more reliable source--and it's my fault the line was in there. --Joe Decker (talk) 05:50, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Ah, without having looked at the blog, I had assumed from the name that it was a blog coming from within the Mormon community. After reading this (which explicitly rebuts the charge of having an agenda--other than being informative--but self-testimony is not always as credible as others' claims), I have come to a different conclusion. Still, I would think that the subject is one about which it would be strange if NO reliable information existed (were the Mormons keeping all this a secret?).--Bhuck (talk) 13:34, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
This is also a blog, but one which seems to be genuinely from within the Mormon community, and it has links to a letter from the First Presidency, which unfortunately is couched only in very general terms. Still, it is a start.--Bhuck (talk) 13:43, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Here is an article from The Advocate, which, although one cannot claim that it is a voice from within the Mormon community, at least it is not a blog.--Bhuck (talk) 13:59, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Great research, Bhuck. I guess I don't have any qualms about stating the fact that the First Presidency issued a letter[3] and bishops spoke from pulpits encouraging participation. I am a bit concerned about statements claiming there were monetary goals or bishops asked for specific donations based on previous tithing records (see the Advocate article, 3rd paragraph[4]). If that really is the case, by all means state the facts. Based on the explanation above, I agree that if secrets are being kept we should be suspicious (which fuels the Prop 8#FPPC Complaint allegations). But like with everything, "Zero information is preferred to misleading or false information."[[5]] MrBell (talk) 21:45, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
We could claim without qualms something along the lines of "Media within the gay and lesbian community have reported that bishops and stake presidents set specific monetary goals for their membership, in order to fulfill the call made by the First Presidency to 'do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time'." That could then be supported by a link to the Advocate article and a link to the First Presidency letter itself. There is the danger that we are being overly limiting when we say that it is just media within the gay and lesbian community which has reported this--perhaps other media have as well, but at the moment, we do not have any evidence for this, so Wikipedia:BURDEN would seem to imply that such a limitation is in order until additional evidence of such reporting surfaces.--Bhuck (talk) 20:12, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree with your explanation. If the consensus is that it's noteworthy then feel free to add the statement. Hopefully it doesn't incite another anon IP POVs barrage. A few questions I've been looking to answer (assuming the monetary goals do exist):

  • Were the goals issued from Utah or just decided upon by local congregations?
  • Did all bishops/stake presidents have/set goals (did congregations in liberal areas have the same goals as those in more conservative areas)?
  • Much like the Roman Catholic church discussion above, did the congregations have disagreements with the hierarchy? MrBell (talk) 23:00, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the reference to the First Presidency letter was already there, though without a link, so I just added the bit about what gay and lesbian media reported in that regard. As for the questions you pose, I am afraid that they will be very difficult to answer. My impression is that it was local leaders deciding on the goals. In the blog-o-sphere, I have seen comments that some members were upset with the position, and so they refrained from going to church until after the election, so as not to subject themselves to unwanted pressure. I doubt that anyone with any position of authority took a stand against the position of the hierarchy, and that even those without much authority did not do so publicly. Probably the goal-setting did not occur everywhere--again the blog-o-sphere contains reports that one bishop was not aware that there was a letter to be read aloud until a congregant pointed this out to him; upon verifying the information, the bishop read the letter. Another blogger reported that he thought it would be good if people outside the state of California also got the letter read to them because their money could help, too, but seemed to think that the First Presidency had not been clear about whether the letter was to be read worldwide, or just in California. Probably the goals that were set would differ more based on the prosperity of the area than on the liberalness or conservativeness, particularly since the Mormon Church might not be representative of the surrounding political climate to begin with. But those are just educated guesses--I don't think we have many published sources in this regard.--Bhuck (talk) 11:15, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

New survey on Prop 8

No time for me to edit right now, with spring semester classes just starting, but there is another survey out that may provide some alternative perspective to that CNN Exit Poll. [6] There have been a number of news stories about the survey, but no time to read them right now. --Ramsey2006 (talk) 03:12, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

If we include the report, our information should probably come from one of the news sources you mention, as it's a primary source. Linking directly to the report as one of the references in such a discussion certainly wouldn't hurt though. :) Thompsontough (talk) 20:28, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Two thoughts:
  1. What if we just created a new page on Prop 8 exit polls? Or,
  2. Reduce the poll data to just simple cited statements like "CNN reported that factors 1, 2, and 3 were the major (define major?) vote getters for (insert side here)." Then another sentences about the above poll and others and we see fit. MrBell (talk) 00:40, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
We aren't talking just about exit polls here. The polls taken after election day were not technically exit polls. I think we should use some kind of heading about "Demographics of Supporters and Opponents" or so. Aside from ethnicity, religiosity, age and political orientation seemed to play a large role. Here and here are some more interpretations of the various numbers. This is clearly a complicated subject matter. I think it is a very relevant subject matter to the topic of the article itself (who voted how?), so there could certainly be more than three sentences in the article about this. If we started getting to the point where it became a quarter of the entire article or filled more than a screenful of text or so, then a sub-article could be warranted, while in this article we summarized the sub-article in about 8-10 sentences.--Bhuck (talk) 10:55, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Well said, I agree. MrBell (talk) 16:20, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Possible Vandalism

The IP removed a good portion of this article with no explanation. If this was something already discussed and a consensus was agreed on, my apologies. I believe my edit to be in good faith.--Amadscientist (talk) 03:09, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

See also section links

Has including a link to Homophobia already been addressed here? TIA --Tom 16:51, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, inconclusively, during an early edit war —EqualRights (talk) 17:03, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. That appears to be discussing the category rather than the see also section, and it looks like the category is not currently included. --Tom 17:54, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
I am going to remove this from see also, similar to not having the category. If there is a connection, spell it out in the article with citations. Thank you.--Tom 21:18, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Please revert your deletion of See also links. Categories have specific uses and inclusionary criteria that are distinct and unique from a See also section. The See also section is essentially a waiting room for article links to be added or recently removed from the main text but reasonably are helpful to our reader's understanding of the subject. Homophobia certainly would be seen as related to this article's subject. It would be nice if it were incorporated but it can sit in the See also section until that happens and doesn't need a cite to do so. -- Banjeboi 14:28, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I guess that is the point. How is it seen as related? --Tom 14:42, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Well, just to take a shot in the dark here, many activists claimed homophobia was the basis for opposition to same sex marriage rather than the stated concerns. -- Banjeboi 02:25, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Is that in the article? --Tom 17:54, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
The point isn't if it is in the article. See also is for links that reasonably should and could be in the article. You asked how is homophobia related, well, I just wrote a perfectly suitable example of how it is related. See also is not held to the same standard as a category link. It's good to remain neutral but it's also good to help our readers understand a subject and See also is a part of the article that helps with that. -- Banjeboi 18:00, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
Well I am glad that statement isn't in the article unless it could be properly sourced. Based on this, best to keep it out of the article for now. --Tom 18:41, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
And you would be wrong. I never said that statement should be in the article but that homophobia is a reasonable wikilink that could be in the article which is what See also sections are for. -- Banjeboi 19:33, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Not sure what you are referring to about me being wrong? You have yet to show that homophobia is a reasonable wikilink. You made a statement that wasn't based on fact. How did you come up with that? You said that is was a perfectly suitable example, but I diagree since it is not based on fact. --Tom 19:48, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

So just to be clear here, you don't see any relationship between homophobia and the contents of this article? -- Banjeboi 20:58, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
any relationship? I believe that some people voted for this Proposition out of ignorance and hatred of gay people. Would that constitute homophobia? Of course. But to what extent? My question is if this is being added to the article to insinuate that people who favored this are homophobs(sp) as you pointed out above. Have RS covered the relationship between homophobia and this Prop? I will try to find out more about this relationship and see what RS say. Anyways, cheers, --Tom 23:53, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Category discrimination

Has then been discussed as well? Thank you, --Tom 21:24, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, see the archives. Discrimination was a basis of the In_re_Marriage_Cases court decision, as was widely reported. —EqualRights (talk) 03:17, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
The category also mentions inclusion for perceived discrimination as well. --Tom 14:17, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

CNN exit poll

As the CNN exit poll has come under fire sue to its methodology I suggest the addition of the David Binder research poll. The CNN poll is widely acknowledged as overestimating the African American vote in favor of the proposition and I would not want any viewers of this page to be mislead by the poorly conducted CNN poll. This research lists the most important factors in determining the vote as party ID, ideology, and religiosity in that order. What does everyone think? SpeedyLA (talk) 06:37, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Come under fire by whom? Can we include other polls as well if needed for balance?--Tom 13:50, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
If the CNN poll has come under fire (link?), then I think at least one statement would be of value: discussing the initial scurry to find the reason behind the prop's passage, such as the African American vote or other factors, etc. Thoughts? MrBell (talk) 20:30, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Here is a link to the study that I mention. It has been widely circulated since the passage of prop 8. SpeedyLA (talk) 01:13, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

PPIC also did post election polling that differ from the CNN exit poll - EmeryvilleEric (talk) 19:07, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

I went ahead and added a sentence concerning what I posted above with a reference to the pdf report I linked. I tried to address MrBells concern that it should be put into context by explaining the scurry to find a group to attribute prop 8's passage to. I didn't see any specific reference to African americans in Emery's PPIC report so I did not reference that. What do you all think? SpeedyLA (talk) 22:05, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

I think the African-American vote concern has been pretty effectively dealt with, though more tinkering is fine. Overall, the CNN poll section is lightyears ahead of where was in November and December. Whew! I thought the massive edits would never end. Now it's much more balanced, more encyclopedic in tone, and it even more relaxed (notes include info, but don't detract from flow). That to say, well done. Peace. --Wikibojopayne (talk) 23:26, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I tried to phrase it in such a way as to make it acceptable to everyone while keeping it on point and relevant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SpeedyLA (talkcontribs) 08:18, 10 February 2009 (UTC)


Note #4: why is this "controversial"? are there any sources that dispute the information? almost every group of people listed, including church-goers, Republicans, Democrats, Jews, etc, reported lopsided numbers. why, then, is it controversial that African Americans reported 70% yes? the word "controversial" should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mattcarl (talkcontribs) 16:28, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Generally, "controversial" is some agenda pushed by the minority. Since the majority of normal people support the amendment, the term "controversial" shouldn't be used. (talk) 03:05, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid that that your definition of "controversial" is incorrect. An agenda pushed by the minority? Global Warming is controversial, yet it is definitely not being pushed by the minority. In any case, 49-51 can't really be defined as a majority...more like a close vote. --haha169 (talk) 18:57, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Mattcarl: The controversial aspect of Note #4 meant that the CNN exit polling methods were controversial, not 70% figure. (Although technically, if the method is controversial, so is the figure...) --haha169 (talk) 19:00, 14 February 2009 (UTC)


Lead is not comprehensive enough. I remember writing one before, but it seems to have been shortened dramatically by supposed improvements and reverts. So I want to bring the issue here.

I think that the lead needs what it currently has, but it misses these important factors:

  • The fact that Yes beat No,
  • The fact that No is holding protests,
  • The supreme court case.

Currently, the lead does not explain the article any further than Chapter 3, and that needs to be changed. --haha169 (talk) 20:19, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I think your "important factors" are definitely valid and would do a better job that what's there now (I'm not a fan of the arguments taking up so much space in the lead). I think a lot of people have tried to make headway but got tripped up over a few words (like you said, supposed improvements and reverts). Do you have anything written that needs some feedback? MrBell (talk) 06:43, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Not at the moment. The last lead I wrote for this article is rather outdated. I'll start writing one, though. --haha169 (talk) 18:49, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I have a start here:

Proposition 8 was a California ballot proposition that changed the state Constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman and eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry. The proposition did not affect domestic partnerships in California.

The campaigns for and against Proposition 8 raised $35.8 million and $37.6 million, respectively, becoming the highest-funded campaign on any state ballot that day and surpassing every campaign in the country in spending except the presidential contest. The proponents argued for exclusively heterosexual marriage and claimed that failure to reverse a Supreme Court ruling from May 2008 that recognized a right of same-sex couples to marry would damage society, require changes to a school curriculum to discuss same-sex marriage, and threaten the free exercise of religion. The opponents argued that eliminating the rights of any Californian and mandating that one group of people be treated differently from everyone else was unfair and wrong.

After the election, the California State Supreme Court saw numerous lawsuits from gay couples, as well as governmental entities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the County of Santa Clara. The lawsuits claimed that revoking the right of same-sex couples to marry was a constitutional revision rather than an amendment, which requires the prior approval of 2/3 of each house of the California State Legislature. Campaign for California Families and have seeked to intervene and defend the Proposition. The Supreme Court accepted the lawsuit, expecting to reach a ruling during 2009.

Despite the legal battle taking place in the Supreme Court, November 15, 2008 saw mass protests across the state and nation. The headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah was surrounded, and Times Square hosted demonstrations. Domestically, local police were forced to close parts of Hollywood, Sacramento, and San Francisco, as well as San Deigo Temple and Oakland Temple. Accusations of hate crimes have arisen from these incidents, citing the burning of a Book of Mormon, and vandalism of religious buildings.

The first two paragraphs is word-for-word from the article, and I added the second two. --haha169 (talk) 19:05, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Good, but it feels like this needs some work: "The headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah was surrounded, and Times Square hosted demonstrations."
"surrounded" feels like it was a siege, and "hosted" implies some sort of assistance. Unfortunately I don't have any better suggestions. tedder (talk) 19:22, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree, that "surrounded" and "hosted" are a bit problematic. How about "Thousands of demonstrators gathered at the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah and at Times Square in New York City. Within California, local police closed parts of Hollywood, Sacramento and San Francisco on account of the protests, which also took place at the San Diego Temple and Oakland Temple."?
Also, the word-for-word bit from the first two paragraphs should do something to fix the in-line objection about a singular school curriculum. Perhaps "The proponents argued for exclusively heterosexual marriage and claimed that failure to reverse a Supreme Court ruling from May 2008 that recognized a right of same-sex couples to marry would damage society, require changes to what was taught in schools about marriage, and threaten the free exercise of religion."?--Bhuck (talk) 09:14, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the third paragraph is a positive addition. I've added it to the lead. I think Bhuck's fourth-paragraph wording is well-written. Regarding the second paragraph, the phrases "damage society" and "unfair and wrong" are too vague. Without doing original research, is there any way how to better interpret what these phrases actually mean? MrBell (talk) 17:29, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
The second paragraph already exists in the article, so it would have to be changed from there. I copied the first two directly; the second two are mine. --haha169 (talk) 00:52, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Btw, I liked the addition of campaigning in the lead. I accidentally forgot about that important subject. :P --haha169 (talk) 00:54, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
I implemented the draft version as discussed with the exception of the third paragraph, which Mr Bell had already implemented. Regarding his concerns that "damage society" and "unfair and wrong" are too vague--I agree that "damage society" is vague, which is why, way back when, I made a wikilink to society, so that it would be a bit clearer just what was being damaged. Maybe if we wikilink to decadence we will have captured that which is meant by "damaging"? Of course, even then it will be vague, and I don't personally believe the claims of the prop 8 supporters, so it will probably be the case that I find their claims here to be vague, and that is just the way life is. With regard to "unfair and wrong" -- here, way back when, I had made a monster link to the 14th amendment. I think the concept of "equality under the law" and "not treating one group especially disadvantageously" are what is at issue here. So maybe having shifted the wikilink to be just about "mandating that one group of people be treated differently" (which is NOT what the 14th amendment does--the amendment says that this is "unfair and wrong" or at least "illegal and unconstitutional") created this vagueness.--Bhuck (talk) 09:00, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree with what Bhuck proposed with decadence: "In a society, it describes corrosive decline due to a perceived erosion of necessary moral traditions." It's all about perception from both sides of the issue, right? Subsequent statements in that article declare that perceptions vary and decadence is debatable, which passes the responsibility to the decadence article to prove what it really means. Would that permit the reader the chance to make up their own mind about what decadence is and if it applies? (We're not trying to prove that society is decadent, just that Yes on 8 claims decadence.)

I think "equality under the law" with a link to the 14th Amendment is a better fit than "unfair and wrong." (The phrase sounds too charged, like it's coming from your 3rd grade teacher for hiding a frog in someone's desk.) Illegal and unconstitutional might work too if linked properly (to 14th Amendment? In re Marriage Cases court interpretation?). MrBell (talk) 16:30, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

How would folks feel about me modifying "The Constitution, as proposed by the measure, would include a new section (Section 7.5) to Article I, placing it between the state Equal Protection clause and nondiscrimination in business and the professions" to use something more present tense? With that change and with an attempt to simplify the sentence structure, I propose "The measure added a new section (7.5) to Article I, placing it between the state Equal Protection Clause and nondiscrimination in business and the professions". Also, do we need the last clause, starting with placing...? I'm wondering if it's important enough to rate a first paragraph location. --Joe Decker (talk) 07:14, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Sounds good. Present tense is the correct way to go. As for the statement "placing it between..." I'm not sure, but I'm leaning toward its removal. The statement doesn't appear to add much to where Section 7.5 was placed, so you might be right about just needing the first paragraph location. Also, the mention of the "Equal Protection clause and nondiscrimination" feels like a ploy to get both sides riled up about the issue, even though both sides are already biting and clawing. (But that's just my POV.) MrBell (talk) 16:19, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Cool. I'll make the tense change right away, and give the deletion of the clause another day or so for folks to respond to here, just in case that deletion is controversial. I agree with your sense that the clause has a POV feel. --Joe Decker (talk) 16:54, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Current Lead

There have been significant changes to the lead that have not been discussed. I was under the impression that an older version[7] was sufficient, but apparently not. Per Wikipedia:Lead section guidelines: "The lead serves both as an introduction to the article below and as a short, independent summary of the important aspects of the article's topic." It appears to me that some of the recent edits are beginning to stray from that recommendation. What should be included in the lead? I opine the following:

  • The first sentence should state in definite terms what the Prop was and did: amended (or another term) the CA Constitution to restrict/limit definition of marriage (or just marriage) to man and woman and eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry (official ballot guide)
  • Stmt about highly politicized, funding, etc.
  • Demonstrations after election
  • Now in Supreme Court

Anything else? The lead shouldn't be too intense; let the article handle the details. We can wikify after we get a wording consensus (e.g. [[heterosexuality|man and woman]] or whatever). MrBell (talk) 01:27, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

The lead is arranged more or less the way you proposed, but in more detail:
  • a paragraph about the initiative itself
  • a paragraph about the campaigns/arguments for and againt
  • a paragraph about the aftermath and future of the prop
Perhaps we could trim it back to two paragraphs, but I think this deserves more than one given the huge amount of attention it received (and confusion it caused) even before it appeared on the ballot. I'm probably on your side when it comes to semantics like [[same-sex couples|opposite-sex couples]] as we have in the current version. Thompsontough (talk) 22:56, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

"The California Supreme Court has seen numerous lawsuits to overturn Proposition 8 from gay couples and government entities" Is that statement correct? Has the Supreme Court actualy seen these cases? That leads the reader to believe there has been actual court time to make a decision. Is it possible that the wording is just incorrect? Should that not read; Numerous lawsuits have been filed within the California Supreme Court by gay couples and government entities challenging the proposition's validity and effect on previously administered same-sex marriages. The court has yet to rule on these suits.--Amadscientist (talk) 07:56, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Good point. Sounds good to me. Anyone else? MrBell (talk) 16:57, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you to everyone for their recent edits. I feel it has been constructive. What is the consensus now with regard to the lead? MrBell (talk) 00:28, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

I think that a recent change may need to be altered or at the very least a better citation given to changes made by User:Bhuck. I simply do not understand the way it is written or how the reference #1 now given, suits the statement.--Amadscientist (talk) 06:46, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, there were too many changes being made at once to that section. When I was comparing various versions, I overlooked your issue about the possibly confusing interpretation of "has seen"--I agree that your phrasing is better, except I prefer "with" to "within".--Bhuck (talk) 08:38, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
That actualy works for me.--Amadscientist (talk) 09:34, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I still don't see how the first citation given refers to the statement at all. Could we look into this before I make changes. There must be a true reference as the statement doesn't actualy sound incorrect, but the citation just doesn't seem to work.--Amadscientist (talk) 06:21, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

I am not sure which citation and which statement you are talking about here.--Bhuck (talk) 11:11, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
The following is the first statement in the article and the first citation;
'''Proposition 8''' was a [[California ballot proposition]] in the November 4, 2008, general election. It changed the [[California Constitution|state Constitution]] to restrict the definition of [[marriage]] to [[Heterosexuality|opposite-sex couples]] and eliminated [[same-sex couples]]' [[History_of_marriage_in_California#2008:_California_recognizes_same-sex_marriages|right to marry]], thereby overriding portions of the ruling of ''[[In re Marriage Cases]].''<ref>{{cite news|title=Opponents of same-sex marriage plot their campaign strategy|author=Demian Bulwa|publisher=San Francisco Chronicle|date=May 15, 2008|url=}}</ref>
The statement is, of course true and I see nothing wrong with it. However the citation given does not cooborate the statement.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:43, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I think what the citation is intended to corroborate is "...thereby overriding portions of the ruling..." -- I believe a while back we had people saying that a popular referendum was not a judicial instance of appeal and therefore could not really "overturn" a court ruling. The news article states that Prop 8 proponents believed the ruling would engender "a voter backlash that will quickly undo their decision to allow same-sex marriages". Perhaps this is another case where we could use quotation marks or something to avoid giving the appearance that Wikipedia believes court rulings can be overturned by popular vote.--Bhuck (talk) 09:48, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

That's your edit. Don't you know for sure? I think we are going to need something more substantial for that or placing the citation in a clearer way. It may also need more references. With all due respect.--Amadscientist (talk) 12:55, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

It is not really my edit. I just moved it further up in the article. The ref was actually added in one of the very first edits to the article at all by the original author of the article here. Perhaps the simplest thing to do would be just to remove the ref? Or would the statement then appear unsubstantiated?--Bhuck (talk) 09:39, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

I think the citation needs to be removed and a new one replacing it. It shouldn't be that difficult. I will remove it and endeavor to replace it in the coming days. I am working much slower and finding it to be much more gratifying.--Amadscientist (talk) 09:50, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Does, "surpassing every campaign in the country in spending except the presidential contest," mean it surpassed every campaign in history or just in 2009?
Also, based on Wikipedia:Manual of Style (links)#Piped links "Intuitivness," I've changed a few of the lead wikilinks. However, I still feel that they truly don't capture what the two sides were fighting for. What other ways might we express "unfair and wrong" and "damage society?" Or do we just abide by WP:NOR and let those generalities stand? MrBell (talk) 00:18, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
With regard to same-sex couple and opposite-sex couple -- I think each phenomenon is equally worthy of discussion. At some point the suggestion arose, of whether to link "opposite-sex couple" to heterosexuality. At this talk page there was an extensive discussion about that. While I believe it is biased to consider only one kind of couple to need an article, while the other kind of couple is either so irrelevant or so standard as to defy description, I can see that it is indeed true that a gay man could marry a lesbian under California law, and they would constitute an opposite-sex couple of the non-heterosexual variety. If we agree to leave the red link here to opposite-sex couple, that is ok. If we write "a union between a man and a woman", that (because of the term "union" implying sexual relations between the two) would be more fairly linked to heterosexuality, but the language seems somewhat more POV. A tricky problem here, I agree. Note that there is also no article about opposite-sex marriage, though there is one about same-sex marriage. I made a start at User:Bhuck/Opposite-sex marriage but got bogged down.
As for "unfair and wrong" and "damage society", I can live with the current phrasings and linkings. In a political campaign, one can expect that emotional, POV appeals will be made that might not fit Wikipedia criteria, and it is fair to report such appeals as long as they are properly attributed. It would also be fair to point out that such appeals indeed are not likely to stand up to objective scrutiny or are highly subject to implicit definitions of "fairness" or what constitutes an "undamaged society". Particularly with regard to "damage society" it might be helpful to be more explicit about what kind of society would be damaged--I doubt it means that an egalitarian society which did not base legal status on the gender constellation of couples would be damaged, so clearly the people using that phrase must have had a different (not explicitly specified) vision of society. One could also argue that the opponents of Proposition 8 believed that the Proposition would damage society because their vision of society is less based on such concepts of gender roles in marriage. But documenting implicit assumptions is very difficult.--Bhuck (talk) 10:47, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

After reading through the second paragraph of the lead I have come to the conclusion that it may be weighted to heavy towards the Proponents argument. I am going to make a few changes and will post them here before editing the actual page.--Amadscientist (talk) 05:31, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

I am proposing the paragraph be changed to this;

The campaigns for and against Proposition 8 raised $35.8 million and $37.6 million, respectively, becoming the highest-funded campaign on any state ballot that day and surpassing every campaign in the country in spending except the presidential contest. The proponents argued for exclusively heterosexual marriage and claimed that failure to reverse a California Supreme Court ruling from May 2008 (In re Marriage Cases) that recognized a right of same-sex couples to marry would damage society, require changes to what was taught in schools about marriage, and threaten the free exercise of religion. Opponents argued that the freedom to marry is fundamental to our society, that the constitution should guarantee the same freedom and rights to everyone and that the proposition mandates one set of rules for gay and lesbian couples and another set for everyone else. They argue that equality under the law is a fundamental constitutional guarantee.[1]--Amadscientist (talk) 06:01, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

In principle, I have no objection to that. I am somewhat worried that we not make the proponents' argument shorter or longer than the opponents' argument. The proposed change makes the opponents' argument longer. This might mean that we expand the proponents' arguments as well, which would give us space to discuss what "damage society" means at greater length. Also, I think we should perhaps say "the freedom to marry the partner of one's choice" rather than just the freedom to marry, and say "the state constitution should guarantee..." because later on, the principle of "equality under the law" may be a state constitutional guarantee, but more importantly, it is also a federal constitutional guarantee, which restricts the freedom of states to change their constitution willy-nilly. Thus, removing the link to the 14th amendment might not be so good. Also, the proposition does not mandate one set of rules for gay and lesbian couples--the legislature could revoke the domestic partnership act tomorrow without violating the constitution. I think that might need a bit of tinkering to get correctly phrased. I understand that the "separate but equal" argument is what you are aiming at here--it is just a question of phrasing. What do other editors think?--Bhuck (talk) 11:11, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Great source for the statements. I think a link to the voter guide satisfies my previous concerns about "unfair and wrong" and "damage society." Because if the two sides didn't explain their views well enough in the voter guide, then it's up to the reader to figure out what it all really means.
As for the wording, I agree that a balance should be maintained. Perhaps three statements from each side? I'm be little leery of adding too many analyses of their statements - just a few links and enough statements to clarify the catch phrases and let the reader draw their own conclusions. Overall, great suggestion. MrBell (talk) 16:51, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I felt that editing the wording for the opponents would stir up an argument, so I made NO changes there. I have no problem with the wording but....count the arguments. There are now 4 on each side. The length of each now appears to me to be more balanced. I would argue any change of the wording for the proponents would create a major problem for me as I was VERY careful to lift them almost word for word from the voter guide. To say "the proposition does not mandate one set of rules for gay and lesbian couples" is not my POV, neither are any of the statements of the opponent, but let's be fair, this is about the point of view of each side not ours. While we may have actually voted a certain way (or would have if the other two editors are not from California)the point of the article is not to present or own arguments but to record the point of view of the two sides. We are not sterilizing the opponents wording so we should not do so with the actual argument presented in the guide. Should we simply shorten both and change the opponents argument to also reflect wording from the guide?--Amadscientist (talk) 22:52, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
How about using quotation marks to make it clear to the readers that the phrasing represents what the voters' guide said and not what Wikipedia feels is necessarily a rational and objective phrasing?--Bhuck (talk) 11:57, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
That's actualy a pretty good idea. It makes it clear to the reader that the article is quoting a particular POV of the subject by another party. You're really earning that Barnstar Bhuck.--Amadscientist (talk) 14:11, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Very good idea indeed. This way the voter guide is quoted and the article can provide a little explanation/clarification (e.g. link to 14th Amendment, etc.) without pushing original research. Also, what's up with the possible Good Article status? Is the article getting close? MrBell (talk) 19:24, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

May not be seen as stable by Wiki standards untill after outcome of court cases and article chnages beome minimal. Howevr it may be worth reapplying.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:13, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
To take up my suggestion that we use quotes would require a few changes to the proposed text.

The campaigns for and against Proposition 8 raised $35.8 million and $37.6 million, respectively, becoming the highest-funded campaign on any state ballot that day and surpassing every campaign in the country in spending except the [[2008 presidential election|presidential contest]]. The proponents argued that exclusively heterosexual marriage was "an essential institution of [[society]]", that leaving the constitution unchanged would "result in public schools teaching our kids that gay marriage is okay", and that gays would "redefine marriage for everyone else." Opponents argued that "the freedom to marry is fundamental to our society", that the California constitution "should guarantee the same freedom and rights to everyone" and that the proposition "mandates one set of rules for gay and lesbian couples and another set for everyone else." They also argued that "equality under the law is a fundamental constitutional guarantee" (see [[Equal Protection Clause]]).<ref>{{Cite web | url=| title=California General Election Tuesday November 4th Voter Information Guide| accessdate=2009-15-01|}}</ref>

There is still the question of whether, if we present four opponents' quotes, we should also present four quotes from proponents. Also, the arguments presented in television advertising might have differed from those presented in the voters' guide.--Bhuck (talk) 08:25, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I think your version is appropriate and presents the facts well. Perhaps there could be a forth statement added, but if that's the gist from the voter guide, then we're just presenting the facts, right?
Also, what's the opinion on the TV ads? If factual statements could be gleaned from the TV ads, then great. However, my opinion is to be hesitant to add statements other than the voter guide (TV, radio, etc.) from either side because they could be more geared toward sensationalism than facts. Thoughts? MrBell (talk) 17:06, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
The television ads of both sides may not be appropriate for the lead. A section may be a good idea but may only lengthen the introduction needlessly in that spot.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:22, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Bhucks wording seems well done but I would say the last sentence is no longer needed and by dropping it would be more balanced. The new version now incorporates the statement of "exclusively heterosexual marriage" along with the arguent about teachings in school and makes it a single argument. I think we can now add the section.--Amadscientist (talk) 02:27, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I do think that the television spots and other forms of advertising may have been more influential in determining the outcome of the vote and the way voters made up their minds than the official voters' guide itself, so I am not sure that restricting ourselves to just the quotes from the voters' guide is such a good idea, but it is the easy way out and gives us a status quo we can all agree on until someone has a brilliant idea about how to document which other arguments may have played a role. I think, for example, that the proponents' arguments about freedom of religion were certainly a major part of the public discourse about this subject, even though they don't show up in the voters' guide. And if you google "proposition 8" "unfair and wrong", you will see just how frequently this phrase appeared as part of opponents' argumentation.--Bhuck (talk) 09:48, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I am more concerned with keeping the article encyclopedic than to determine what caused the outcome. Of course television advertising played a great deal in how people voted but to go into to much detail without solid citations will only creat more problems, besides it is very much POV to say what actualy influenced Califonians into decideing.--Amadscientist (talk) 12:52, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the voter guide is the easy way out, and that doing so would keep things encyclopedic. I also agree that the TV ads played an enourmous role in the outcome of the prop., but adding our analysis might be considered original research. It sounds like, in the end, we might not be able to accurately incorportate all of the arguments in the lead. What if we create a new section to contain such arguments, and limit the lead to a brief summary that the prop. was highly contentious and the arguments many? If they exists, analyses of the effect of TV ads, radio ads, printed media, etc. could also be included.
Also, I'm unsure what the statement, "surpassing every campaign in the country in spending except the presidential contest," means? Did it surpass every campaign in history (including ballot, congressional, gubernatorial, etc.) or just the races in 2009? MrBell (talk) 17:21, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I reverted the impact on domestic partnership changes back to the consensus text. The new text referenced Michigan and what has happened in other states, but the cites made no mention of Prop 8. Michigan's constitutional amendment wording was unique and given than Prop 22 was litigated and found to not impact domestic partnerships, it is unlikely that Prop 8, with identical language, would have an effect on domestic partnerships. The consensus language should stand, unless there are legal authorities that comment specifically on Prop 8's impact on domestic partnerships. EmeryvilleEric (talk) 18:00, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

I reverted your revert. The idea that domestic partnerships weren't impacted by Prop. 8 was an argument made by the proponents of this legislation. Either it be clarified that the proponents were the ones who said this primarily as an argument in favor of the measure or it be removed entirely, since it clearly makes the lead paragraph lean in favor of the proponents' position. I reverse the burden to you to point out legal authorities that specificially comment that Prop. 8 will not affect domestic partnerships. Here is an article in the San Diego Tribune that says that it very well might: Schwanone (talk) 18:03, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand why you reverted? The revert accomplishes neither of your stated objectives.
Your wording uses a flawed legal analysis, California is not Michigan and the wording of the two constitutional amendments isn't even close to being the same. No California constitutional scholars have said Prop 8 will impact domestic partnerships, mainly because Prop 22 had the same wording as Prop 8 and it was litigated and the California Supreme Court found that Prop 22 did not impact domestic partnerships. So if the proponents say Prop 8 doesn't impact domestic partnerships, and the opponents say Prop 8 doesn't impact domestic partnerships, and the AG says Prop 8 doesn't impact domestic partnerships and the California Supreme Court says Prop 8 doesn't impact domestic partnerships, how can it be POV to say that Prop 8 doesn't impact domestic partnerships?
As to your Tribune article, you miss the point of the article entirely, it was about if Prop 8 fails, are domestic partnerships still needed. To quote from your own article:

Proposition 8 would overturn a state Supreme Court ruling in May that legalized same-sex marriage in California. The proposed constitutional amendment would not affect domestic partners.

EmeryvilleEric (talk) 19:08, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Well then. Cite a source or delete that portion of the lead. Until then, the claim made in that section is unverifiable and a matter of dispute. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Schwanone (talkcontribs) 01:36, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I'd like to propose removing the domestic partnership reference in the first paragraph in the lead. I believe it is generally factual and verifiable, and suspect that a RS can be found if one has not already been found, but I think that misses the point. I believe that we could equally say "Proposition 8 would not decriminalize marijuana," or, perhaps, more to the point, "Proposition 8 would not force churches to marry same-sex couples." The question in my mind is one of relevance, and of campaigning. Explaining every possible misconception of Proposition 8 in the opening sentence is clearly too bulky a solution, explaining only one comes across as campaigning and giving undue weight. Thus, I propose deleting it, and leave the elimination of all popular misconceptions of the Proposition to the bulk of the article text. --Joe Decker (talk) 00:32, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I second Joe's proposal. As seen in the discussions above, there are some details that need clarification and should be discussed in the bulk of the article text. Thoughts? MrBell (talk) 16:27, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm changing the wording in the lead from "right to marry" to "ability to marry." I feel this is less biased because the original wording implies that everyone has the inalienable right to marriage. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ejnogarb (talkcontribs) 19:09, 25 February 2009 (UTC)