Hot button social issues highlight state ballots
Social issues so volatile that the presidential campaigns sidestepped them will be on the ballots in several states next week, including measures that would criminalize most abortions, outlaw affirmative action and ban same-sex marriage in California, one of only three states that allows it.
In all, there are 153 proposals on ballots in 36 states.
There's even more at stake next Tues, besides the Presidential elections. There are some people that think that your vote DOESN'T matter. It has always been my belief that your vote DOES matter. ESPECIALLY on these ballot questions that affect lifestyle issues in your particular state. I'm encouraging ALL of you to go to the polls next Tues, and in particular those states addressed in the actual article, to have your voice "heard" on these ballot questions and issues.
Gay rights also is an issue in Arkansas, where a ballot measure would prohibit unmarried couples from adopting or being foster parents. Conservatives backing the idea say it's aimed at same-sex couples, who are able to adopt and be foster parents in most states.
Abortion is a dominant campaign topic in South Dakota, which has an initiative that would ban the procedure except in cases of rape, incest and serious health threat to the mother. A tougher law without the rape and incest exceptions was defeated in 2006; a recent poll on the new version showed a dead heat.
Colorado has a "personhood" amendment on its ballot that would define human life as beginning at fertilization. It doesn't explicitly mention abortion, but activists on both sides in the campaign view it as a blunt challenge to abortion rights - so blunt that the National Right to Life Committee, Colorado's Roman Catholic bishops and some other anti-abortion groups have declined to endorse it on strategic grounds.
Some of those skeptical of the idea believe it would run aground in legal challenges. Abortion-rights activists contend it would - if approved - potentially lead to the banning of certain types of birth control.
Colorado and Nebraska have proposals that would ban race- and gender-based affirmative action, similar to measures previously approved in California, Michigan and Washington. The man spearheading the movement, California activist-businessman Ward Connerly, says the candidacies of Obama, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin prove blacks and women no longer need affirmative action.