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Gay marriage bans pass in three states

California's Prop 8 passes with 52 percent; activists vow to fight the ban

While progressives cheered on Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s US presidential win on Nov 4, bans on gay marriage passed in two states and will also likely pass in California.

As of 10:23 am EST, Proposition 8, which would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California, was winning 52 percent to 48 percent, with 95 percent of precincts reporting. If the measure passes, it would amend the state’s constitution to overturn a May 2008 decision by the California Supreme Court that legalized gay marriage. You can follow the results at the LA Times website.

The fight against Prop 8 was one of the most costly ballot initiatives in US history. The measure had a number of high-profile opponents, including Hollywood celebrities and high-tech companies who donated large amounts of money to fight the ban. Read more about how the vote came down to the wire.

CNN exit polls suggest that voters who are young and had never attended church were more likely to oppose the ban. Voters around the San Francisco Bay Area rejected Prop 8, especially in San Francisco county, where 77 percent voted against the ban.

Elsewhere in the US, state ballot measures — essentially what Canadians would call referendums — rejected gay marriage.

Bans on gay marriage passed in Arizona and Florida. Arizona voted against a ban in 2006, but this time, the measure passed with 56 percent support. Florida also supported a ban, with 62 percent of voters in favour. The measure needed 60 percent support in that state to pass.

And in Arkansas, gay couples will be banned from adopting. Initiative 1 bars unmarried couples from adopting children or serving as foster parents. The initiative has 57 percent support in the state.