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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS/AP) —
Supporters of what became the most expensive social issue ballot measure in the country’s history declared victory before midnight.
“Only marriage between a man and a woman will be valid or recognized in California regardless of when or where performed,” said Chip White, spokesman for the Yes on 8 campaign.
Spending by both sides on Proposition 8 surpassed $73 million, almost twice the total that was spent in the 24 states where similar measures have been put to voters since 2004. Much of that money came from out of state.
Advocates for same-sex marriage were reluctant to give up the fight. “Feel good about what you did, we ran an excellent campaign,” said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California.
Despite an avalanche of advertising in the final days leading up to Tuesday’s vote, a majority of voters said they had made up their minds on the gay marriage ban ballot initiative by the end of August.
Blacks strongly voted for the ban, while whites narrowly opposed it. Latinos and Asians were split. Voters under 30 heavily opposed Proposition 8, while voters 65 and over supported the initiative. Age groups in between were split.
The ban on same-sex marriage was opposed by voters who graduated from college and those who said they never attended religious services. Those who said they attend religious services weekly heavily backed the ban.
The amendment to the California constitution takes effect immediately, but probably will not invalidate the more than 16,000 same-sex weddings already performed in the state.
(Copyright 2008, KCBS. All Rights Reserved. The AssociatedPress contributed to this report.)