They came in droves -- the Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians -- groups that had hitherto been disenfranchised and felt that politicians did not represent their views. The racial minorities pushed Barack Obama over the line in places like North Carolina and Virginia. But in California -- a state that since 1998 has had a non-white majority of at least 56% -- the mass influx of minority voters wound up more influential in a ballot initiative known as Proposition 8. Prop 8 was to amend the Constitution of California to define marriage as between only a man and a woman. The purpose of Prop 8 was to overturn gay marriage, which had been legal in California since June of this year.
The campaigns over Prop 8 have been arduous on both sides. The opponents of Prop 8, seeking to preserve gay marriage, had the massive financial and media backing of Hollywood superstars such as Ellen DeGeneres. They had the support of the political establishment in California -- both federal Democratic senators, the majority of the state legislature, and even Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger opposed Prop 8 (though Schwarzenegger expressed personal disapproval of same-s-x marriage). The proponents of Prop 8 were, not surprisingly, religious groups.