On Wednesday, progressives around the country were celebrating the election of Barack Obama. After eight years of the Bush administration, it makes sense–not to mention the fact that he has made history by becoming the country’s first African-American president.
However, while there may be some reason to think that the country is taking some small steps in the right direction, there were a number of defeats for progressives with right-leaning ballot initiatives passing across the country:
* In California, a measure passed defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The effort gained the support of West Michigan rightwing funder Elsa Prince.
* In Arizona, voters approved a measure defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
* In Arkansas, voters approved a measure preventing individuals co-habitating outside of marriage from adopting children. The measure openly targeted homosexual couples.
* In Florida, a measure passed defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
* In Missouri, voters passed a measure making English “the official language” and requiring that it be spoken at all government meetings.
* In Nebraska, voters passed a measure banning affirmative action. The measure was promoted by Ward Connerly.
That said, there were a few bright spots for progressives. An abortion ban in North Dakota was defeated, as was a measure in Colorado that would have defined human life as beginning at fertilization. Similarly, voters in Colorado rejected a Ward Connerly funded anti-affirmative action ballot initiative. California also passed a measure aimed at improving the treatment of farm animals.