Ballot Measure Results Mixed for Values Issues

Since the media have been giddily obsessing over the Obama victory and Democratic gains, you might not have heard about some key ballot issues around the nation. CMI has compiled a brief list of outcomes that we believe have cultural significance.

First, results that upheld traditional moral values:

Traditional marriage wins big – Constitutional amendments upholding marriage as between a man and a woman passed in California, with 52 percent of the vote, Arizona, with 56 percent and Florida with 62 percent. Florida law stipulates that any constitutional amendment must have 60 percent support from voters.  

Traditional families upheld – Arkansas voters passed an initiative prohibiting unmarried, cohabiting couples from adopting or fostering children, 52 percent to 48.

Prostitutes lose in City by the Bay – San Francisco citizens defeated, 58 percent to 42 percent, a measure that would prohibit local authorities from investigating or prosecuting anyone selling sex.

Sexual predators targeted – South Carolina voters passed, 52 percent to 48 percent, a measure to raise the age of consent from 14 to an age set by the state legislature.

Now for some other results:   


Abortion restrictions fail – California voters, by 48 to 52 percent, rejected a measure requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortions. Colorado voters declined to define a person as human at the moment of conception, 27 percent to 73 percent.  Voters in South Dakota refused, 45 percent to 55 percent, to charge doctors with a Class 4 felony for performing abortions for any reason other than rape, incest or to protect the woman's health or life.

Physician-assisted suicide spreads Washington became the second state to legalize physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill, 59 percent to 41 percent.

Embryonic stem-cell research approved – Michigan voters approved government funding of embryonic stem-cell research by 53 to 47 percent.


Two wins for pot – Massachusetts voters approved decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, 65 percent to 35 percent. Voters in Michigan approved the growing and use of marijuana for specified medical conditions, 63 percent to 37 percent.

Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.