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CNN Today

California Voters Reject Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages

Aired March 8, 2000 - 2:47 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: In California, Super Tuesday voters voiced their opposition to recognizing same-sex marriages. The vote was on a ballot initiative, one of many in a state that leads the way in this tool of direct democracy.

CNN's Jennifer Auther has more from Los Angeles.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JENNIFER AUTHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): California voters overwhelmingly opposed same-sex marriages by almost a 2-to-1 margin, but gay and lesbian community leaders in Los Angeles say the passage of Proposition 22 galvanizes an already politically-active voting block.

GWEEN BALDWIN, GAY & LESBIAN CENTER: We accomplished so much! For the first time, we defined full recognition of gay and lesbian couples as a civil rights issue!

AUTHER (on camera): Gay marriages currently are not legal anywhere in the United States. California's Proposition 22 amends state law to say, even if gay marriages becomes legal in another state, they won't be recognized in California as valid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want man and wife. I don't want gay marriages.

AUTHER (voice-over): Exit polls show conservatives supported Prop. 22 by a margin of 8-1; liberals opposed it by 3-1, voters including Wilson Cruz of the hit TV show "Party of Five."

WILSON CRUZ, ACTOR: I come from the gay community of color and we remember a time in American history when black Americans had to jump a broom in order to be married, and they wouldn't stand for it, and neither will we.

AUTHER: On juvenile crime, California voters decided to lower the age by which a teen can be tried as an adult from 16 to 14.

Prop. 21 also increases penalties for convicted teenagers. Opponents say, it will disproportionately affect minorities.

JOHNNY TREMAIN, "NO ON PROP. 21": If this proposition was in effect while I was heavily gang-affiliated, I would have never gotten the chance to make the dramatic, positive changes in my lifestyle that I've made.

AUTHER: Four years ago, Johnny Tremain was behind bars. Now he's 20 and a production assistant in the film industry.

Another measure, Prop. 25, was similar to John McCain's rally cry of campaign finance reform.

RON UNZ, CO-AUTHOR, PROP. 25: The initiative puts, for the first time, contribution limits in place in California. We also provide free air time for statewide candidates that agree to voluntary spending limits.

AUTHER: California voters rejected it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I voted no. I think if you limit the amount that can be given to a candidate, then only rich people can run, like Steve Forbes or Ross Perot.

AUTHER: By far, the most money, more than $55 million, was spent by both sides of Props. 30 and 31.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NO ON PROPOSITION 30 & 31 AD)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty and 31 will increase your insurance rates...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AUTHER: Both referenda asked whether consumers should be protected from slow payment of insurance claims by making it easier to sue insurance companies. California voters said no.

Jennifer Auther, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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