No on 8 Reaches Out to Crucial Minority Voters

Minority voters could make or break California's proposed marriage ban on Election Day. As efforts to overturn the state supreme court's May ruling come to a head, the campaign to keep marriage equality is at its peak for a third of the electorate.

BY Michelle Garcia

October 29 2008 11:00 PM ET

PROP. 8 x100 AFRICAN AMERICAN (PHOTOS.COM) | Advocate.com
   

Judy Chu, the
state's board of equalization chair, talked about
remembering voters who came to the United States to
flee persecution and take advantage of freedoms
Americans enjoy. Actor John Cho added his own
experience of coming to the United States at age 6 from
Seoul, Korea.

"Really, the only
thing of substance to greet [my parents] here was a
promise, an idea of equality -- that, if not them, their
sons would have as clean a shot at happiness as the
next guy," he said. "I know that when a fan pats me on
the back, or when he cheers at an Asian American on
TV, what he’s cheering is the affirmation of the idea
of equality. For it to be possible, for it to be
permanent…it must apply to everyone."

Forty-seven
percent of likely Latino voters oppose gay marriage, versus
the 41% who say they will vote against the ban. Latinos are
the largest racial minority group in California,
making up 15% of the electorate.

Los Angeles mayor
Antonio Villaraigosa's cousin John Perez, an openly gay
candidate running for state assembly in east Los Angeles,
has been a vocal opponent of Proposition 8. He, along
with other political figures like L.A. County
supervisor Gloria Molina and Board of Education
president Monica Garci, have been pressing Latino voters to
reject the ban. Villaraigosa himself has donated
$25,000 to fight Proposition 8, and has officiated a
handful of same-sex weddings since the supreme court
decision became effective in June.

The city's
prominent Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión
has voiced its opposition to the marriage ban. "It is
not acceptable to impose these beliefs to all society
and, much less, amend the California constitution. We are
against Proposition 8," the newspaper wrote in an
editorial.

Prominent Latino
actors America Ferrera, Tony Plana, and Ana Ortiz
from the ABC show Ugly Betty appeared in a
Spanish-language PSA asking voters to vote against the
ballot initiative.

"Like all
Americans, Latinos have family members and friends who are
gay and deserve the same rights all of us have," Ortiz said
in a press release. "Prop. 8 would take away those
rights, and that's why we urge all Californians to
vote no."

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