On Nov. 4, voters across the nation elected Barack Obama and change in the White House and solidified a Democratic majority in Congress. But voters in three states approved propositions amending their state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage, and voters in a fourth passed a measure intended to prohibit gay couples from adopting children.
The groups formed to promote the initiatives raised money the old-fashioned way — with individual contributions of a dollar and individual contributions of half a million, with business and non-profit donations of $25 and $1 million. Anti-gay campaigns raised more than $30 million in California, $7.8 million in Arizona, $1.5 million in Florida and a still unknown amount in Arkansas.
In the weeks after the losses at the polls, GLBT activists delved into campaign finance reports to identify the deep pockets involved in the campaigns, especially in California, where Proposition 8 was passed to roll back marriage rights already won in the courts.