California didn't quite have the guts yesterday to join Massachusetts in same-sex marriage. A bill to permit it failed 37-36. One Republican and seven Democrats abstained. A majority of 41 votes would have been sufficient to pass it.
The San Francisco Chronicle has the vote tally and a wrap-up of the rhetoric on all sides.
It was pretty much a party vote, with Republicans solidly opposed. Nearly a quarter of the Democrats joined them to scuttle the bill. This version would have amended the state family code to define marriage as between two persons.
Some hid behind the 61% voter support for DoMA Proposition 22. That non-binding ballot initiative passed in 2000, with the gist of "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
Others were plain about their emotional basis for their votes. For example, Assemblyman Dennis Montjoy, Republican-Monrovia, was blunt in saying, "What the homosexuals in the state of California and in the United States want is not rights, they want acceptance. They want my children to be told that homosexuality is OK, that it is natural. I'm here to tell you that it is not OK, and it is not natural, and I will not have my children taught that."
He is in a position to legislate his emotions. It appears most California voters would agree with him.
Now there is a race by both sides. The cons want to put a DoMA constitutional amendment on next year's ballot. The pros are looking for resolution through court suits challenging the constitutionality of the ban on same-sex marriages.
This defeat was but a diversion.