The race for President may be over, but in Hollywood, the battle over gay marriage rages on.
Proposition 8, which seeks to put a line in the California Constitution defining marriage as only between a man and a woman, and which was opposed by Brad Pitt, Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw, Pete Wentz and his band Fall Out Boy, Ellen DeGeneres, Chelsea Handler and T.R. Knight, was separated by less than half a million votes mid-day on Wednesday.
Over 10 million votes had been tallied, with 97% of the precincts reporting, but as of mid-day on Wednesday an estimated 3 to 4 million absentee and provisional ballots had not yet been counted, according to the No On Prop 8 camp.
However, the Associated Press and several other LGBT leadership groups have said it seems all-but-likely that the proposition will eventually pass.
While the No on Prop. 8 campaigners have refused to give up, George Takei, who married his longtime partner, Brad Altman, in a civil ceremony after a gay marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court earlier this year, seemed resigned to the proposition’s defeat.
“Last night, I was filled with pride to be an American,” Takei said in a statement. “It was a night of joy, yet, President-elect Obama reminded us of the long road, the steep road, that lies ahead for us as a nation. And indeed, as a Californian, I was profoundly mindful of the challenges ahead. The discriminatory Proposition 8 on the California ballot was winning. Our fight for marriage equality was going down to defeat. It was astounding to think that the hard won equality that made my recent marriage to Brad Altman would no longer be possible for others. The evening became bitter-sweet.”
Takei, 71, however, has also said that he’s inspired by the election of Obama to the Presidency, he will continue to strive for equality.
“The words from Barack Obama’s victory speech still resonate in my mind. What an amazing night it was – the culmination of a turbulent struggle against a disgraceful history of slavery, prejudice and racial conflict. The road ahead is long, the road will be steep, he said. Our struggles for equality for another minority, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans, will be no different,” Takei’s statement continued.
“There will be setbacks, disappointments and sacrifices to be made. Barack Obama spoke of the ‘renewed promise’ of America. It happened last night with the presidency. And equality and justice will happen for us as well. We will make it happen. Yes we can.”
And on Wednesday evening, Ellen DeGeneres, who married her longtime love Portia de Rossi this past summer in California, said she too will continue to use her voice to promote equality.
“Watching the returns on election night was an amazing experience. Barack Obama is our new president. Change is here. I, like millions of Americans, felt like we had taken a giant step towards equality. We were watching history,” Ellen said in a statement to Access. “This morning, when it was clear that Proposition 8 had passed in California, I can’t explain the feeling I had. I was saddened beyond belief. Here we just had a giant step towards equality and then on the very next day, we took a giant step away.
“I believe one day a ‘ban on gay marriage’ will sound totally ridiculous,” Ellen’s statement continued. “In the meantime, I will continue to speak out for equality for all of us.”
Though the final results still weren’t clear on Wednesday evening, the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office said he would challenge the validity of Prop. 8 if it officially passes in the California Supreme Court, according to the Associated Press.
Additionally, attorney Gloria Allred has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the first lesbian couple legally married in the state of California, challenging the Proposition’s constitutionality.