Proposition 8 is not a strictly Californian issue. It is an initiative of national consequence and its underlying strategic principles are redefining the same-sex marriage debate in DC. To restate the obvious, the results of the Prop 8 vote flew in the face of political convention. The population of a relatively liberal and historically gay-friendly state voted for a heterosexual definition of marriage. To many, it signaled a break between popular ideology and the viewpoints of elected officials.
The result of the Prop 8, along with the passage of similar ballot initiatives in Florida and Arizona, has lead many gay marriage opponents to believe that they’ve found their adversaries’ Achilles’ heel: when put to the question, populations will vote against legalizing homosexual marriage. With momentum in DC gathering for legalization, this idea has already begun manifesting itself. As Tom reported this morning, a group called “Stand 4 Marriage D.C.” has applied for a marriage definition referendum with the Board of Elections. If the application is approved, they will need to collect over 20,000 signatures to have it placed on the ballot next year.