November 6th, 2008
05:25 PM ET

Ellen on Prop. 8: "Saddened beyond belief"

Statement from Ellen DeGeneres
Host, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"

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.

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.  In the meantime, I will continue to speak out for equality for all of us.

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Mike, NC

    Nate, you are probably a black supremacist and a sexist as well, aren't you. Who are you to say if a gay or lesbian person is "sick in the head"? You, along with all other strait people in the world, have no idea what it is like to be persecuted for carrying out your feelings of love for someone. Who are you to take our rights away? By the looks of your grammar and spelling, YOU are the one who was neglected as a child, you are the one who is sick in the head. Don't put your foot in your mouth by spewing ignorant words on a public blog. People like YOU are getting out of hand.

    And Cindy-I usually agree with all of your posts, but the court is not pushing any ideals on anyone, simply opening the arms of willing churches to allow the joining of a loving couple. It has NOTHING to do with all of you strait couples. Tell me, how much has your life changed since California allowed gay marriage a few months ago? None. Why change the lives of the GLBT community by taking it back? It is wrong.

    November 7, 2008 at 9:47 am |
  2. Chad, TN

    This discrimination is so complete and total- not all people belonging to all races and most religious beliefs but overall there is a distinct stigma against gaysand lesbians. We know what discrimination truly means and feels like as do many minorities in this country, and people with disabilities, and women.
    I am in a family of right wing republicans and basically have nowhere to turn in my own family, I did not make that coice, it is who I am.
    This is a Civil Rights Issue and we must not allow this to continue in our great country, but also we must still cherish the things about this country that makes us the best in the World!

    November 7, 2008 at 9:38 am |
  3. Steva

    My personal beliefs are that I think homosexuality is wrong, but I don't think the government has the right to tell you who you can and can't get married to.

    I feel that it is up to the church organizations themselves to determine how they want to rule on this issue. We as people can make a choice–whether to support it in our churches according to our beliefs or not to support it according to what we believe. It's simple, if you don't agree with your church affiliation on the issue, walk away–there are other churches.

    These people have their rights, just as we do.

    November 7, 2008 at 7:35 am |
  4. Tracey

    If a majority votes against something then shouldn't that be it. Isn't that the point of a vote. Gays didn't like the outcome so they go off and whine and moan because the majority of the people voted against them – that's what happens. Ask Republicans. They lost. Maybe they should go to Court and have the decision overturned on grounds of bias. Get over it. You lost. The people have spoken.

    November 7, 2008 at 7:07 am |
  5. Kenneth Pont

    As a someone who spent all their childhood growing up under the boot of the Church in Utah, where my parent were devout members and so I was forced to "drink the Cool-Aid", while I am disgusted with what the Mormons would do, I am in no way surprised they would dare meddle in California politics for the Mormon church still has a death grip on the politics of the State of Utah.

    November 7, 2008 at 5:40 am |
  6. grant czerepak

    In the America priorizing religious Morality over secular Polity is Constitutionally criminal.

    November 7, 2008 at 1:04 am |
  7. Betty, Virginia

    Hang in there Ellen... this will change in our lifetime. The number of us non-gays that believe in gay rights is growing with every generation. One day people will shake their head in disbelief about this treatment of our gay citizens just as we do now when we think about slavery and women not having the right to vote. So dry those tears, the number of those with such narrow views drop in every generation. Have faith in our youth which neither fear you nor misunderstand you.

    November 6, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  8. Max, Dallas, TX

    You're exactly right, Ellen. So long as there are those out and open and ready to fight, and their allies, we'll see justice.
    You're a beautiful person with enormous talent and such a big heart. These bans are not only a legal affront, but a personal misdoing. For those who voted Yes on Prop8- do they know what they've done to their fellow countrymen and women? Do they understand they are denying rights to sons and daughters, mothers, brothers, sisters and fathers? It will be a good day for America when all this nonsense is over, and people stop thinking they ought to dictate the lives of others.
    All the best to you and your lovely wife.

    November 6, 2008 at 10:06 pm |
  9. Steve

    I am a family man with 3 children and a loving wife of 20 years. I voted for Prop. 8. I do not want to see my children being taught in school that is is right for a man to marry a man or a woman to marry a woman. If you want to live your life that way keep it in private but don't push your lifestyle on others. By the way the vote speaks for itself. The outcome of the election with an Obama win doesn't seem to cause McCain supporters to walk the streets in protest. You did not win the vote...

    November 6, 2008 at 9:59 pm |
  10. Allisa

    As an American and a Californian I am saddened by and disappointed in the voters of our state. I had many conversations with co-workers trying deperately to understand how they could support prop 8. Their response was that it was their religious belief that marriage was between a man and a woman. One said they were voting to protect the family. I asked why they thought their religious beliefs should decide how other people live their lives. How could they justify taking away the rights of other people. They had no answer. I have always thought that marriage was the joining of two people on a spiritual level not just a sexual level. Finding one's soulmate has nothing to do with mating. As for families, I too support families. The difference is, I support ALL families.

    November 6, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  11. Mary from Florida

    My understanding of separation of Church and State is that the Government cannot dictate to a Church, that they must recognize "Bless" this union, although some choose to anyway. That should have NO bearing on the State recognizing the marriage. My heart goes out to you Ellen.

    November 6, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  12. Annie Kate

    I thought we had finally come far enough to where gay marriage was no longer an issue and marriage would be an option at last. I'm sorry to see that we haven't. Ellen, keep on speaking out and hopefully the country will make progress on this issue in the near future. The road to happiness should be open to all people and eventually I believe the majority of Americans will come to accept that premise and will vote to extend the right of marriage to all.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    November 6, 2008 at 9:40 pm |
  13. lawrence

    I voted no – but believe me – I wrestled with this and believe me – it was hard. I have many dear friends and relative who are gay – but I believe that you simply cannot redefine the word 'marriage'....but ultimately morality should not be legislated...it's a difficult issue.

    November 6, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  14. Vvi, WA

    Ban on gay marriage is totally ridiculous, especially it was valid since May. It returned and got banned. What a system?!

    November 6, 2008 at 7:43 pm |
  15. Jim

    He who created Gold created the rules- Don't like it? take it up with HIM
    on Judgement day. You refuse to listen &Obey HIS laws Then Prepare to
    see the results of calling evil good & good evil- you want the Devil to be your ruler -then you shall have it- prepare for Hell on earth- You have been warned for years -Now Judgement falls & like a woman in labor the judgements will increase in frequency & Intensity.

    November 6, 2008 at 7:28 pm |
  16. Carla ...Salem, Oregon

    You are right, Ellen. One day people will say that a ban on gay marriage is ridiculous. Our country will one day see the truth.


    November 6, 2008 at 7:27 pm |
  17. Wendy

    How logical is it for a MAJORITY to decide what's best for a MINORITY?

    November 6, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  18. Cindi

    It is amazing to me how much our world has changed. I know that we need to love our neighbor and respect eachother. But, God did not intend same sex people to be couples. That is why he created Adam and Eve. Jesus does love all of us but we need to come to him with our sins and faults and ask for forgivness and change the way we are living, he did not intend for us to live in a culture of same sex couples.

    November 6, 2008 at 7:22 pm |
  19. Vanessa


    Your argument is shallow. True, majority rules... but look at the bigger picture and learn from history. We've made mistakes before, and passing prop 8 is a mistake.

    There were once laws that prohibited interracial marriages, where the majority felt it was okay. Today, we've learned that no matter your race, you are human and deserve human rights.

    If you look further back into history, for instance the ancient Greeks, homosexuality was not shunned upon either....

    It's just sad that chickens (prop 2) have more rights than gays and lesbians in California!

    November 6, 2008 at 7:18 pm |
  20. Max

    I think MARRIAGE is OVERRATED – possibly GAY people will be FAR further AHEAD with CIVIL UNIONS ...

    AS long as the LEGAL rights are the SAME!!!!

    (But what do I know???? I don't THINK God arranges marriages for PEOPLE nor does GOD guarantee any UNION whatsoever ...)

    November 6, 2008 at 7:13 pm |
  21. Melissa, Los Angeles

    @ Nate and Cindy are you saying if the voters had voted for blacks to be enslaved again, all Jews should be sent to concentration camps, women are no longer able to vote, interracial marriage is now illegal etc. because the "majority has spoken" that it is all ok?!

    November 6, 2008 at 7:12 pm |
  22. Timothy Gibson

    I am sick with the door that has been opened. To know that a majority can violate the civil rights and the constitution of the minority is beyond belief. Yet, to know that it is our elected officials who allow this type of fear mongering and insertion of church into state at the cost of the very people who pay taxes. I am violated and no longer safe on the streets, what next, camps and death squads. Hitler has come home to California, it is no longer the golden state but the state of discrimination where an illegal immigrate has more civil rights than a natural born citizen.

    November 6, 2008 at 7:11 pm |
  23. Mary, Dublin, Ireland

    I really cannot understand the logic in the arguement that allowing same sex couples to marry somehow "devalues" the idea of "traditional" marriage. Surely any two people in a loving relationship who want to proclaim they're love to each other and the world celebrates marriage!

    November 6, 2008 at 7:10 pm |
  24. Carson

    Nate wrote: "Marrage is about creating a family, producing offsprings. People like Ellen are sick in the head, their parents failed to raise them with the right facts. Sometimes you have to punish a child just to get it to lissen , or atleast get their attention. But white people dont beleave in chestizing a child which contributed to this free will way of thinking. We need to get these people some help because its getting out of hand."......"Oh, an did I say: ' The Voters have spoken '".

    Nate, you obviously aren't a child of history and know nothing of it. For centuries marriage was about property and the accumulation of wealth. Just ask the catholic church why they stopped priests from marrying a few centuries back.....because they were losing to much property and money to spouses and children.

    While I might agree that society has gotten a bit lax in disciplining its children, that has nothing to do with beliefs. Have you ever heard of one developing their own identity and free will? Or, are you just looking for little puppets to do your bidding? Remember Hitler, his minions subscribed to his ideology and did what he said.

    I don't know if you are a person of color or not (given that you reference white people), but do you really want to harken back to the days of slavery, segretation and more bigotry? "All men are created equal...", not just straight men....ALL men. There are some things that should be and ARE higher than the will of the voters.....human rights. Otherwise, the USA would still have legal slavery.

    I'd be careful on who you call sick in the head, because that mirror might just be reflecting back upon you!

    November 6, 2008 at 6:59 pm |
  25. Fadi

    I agree with Nate.

    We were created male to marry a female, and a female to marry a male.
    Why? To have children.
    Why? To carry humanity on through time.
    If we were created so that humanity would become extinct in one generation, then we would not have had to reproduce (for lack of a better word).
    If it was not meant for a man to marry a woman, then we would have at least asexually reproduce.
    Scientifically AND religiously, it makes sense.

    The voters have indeed spoken.

    November 6, 2008 at 6:57 pm |
  26. Fenella

    I never really understood why such significant rights, such as the right to marry, should be put to the popular vote. Why should it be up to individual people to decide if gay people can marry, if women are persons, if black people can vote? You can call that democracy if you want, but it seems extremely limiting.

    November 6, 2008 at 6:55 pm |
  27. jay

    How sad our country can be, this ban is for morons lets give them everything except a title!! Only those of religious faith could be so thoughtless and hurtful.

    November 6, 2008 at 6:52 pm |
  28. Wisdom

    I like Ellen...

    I thought this would pass... however I never thought over a million democrates would vote for it. The def of Marriage is a heavy topic on both sides which I find surprising with the other current area's of concern... like Iraq, economy, etc

    November 6, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  29. Pamela Detlor

    There was a time when interracial marriage was banned as it was "Against God." The ban was only lifted in South Carolina 10 years ago. Ironically, a biracial man is about to take office as President of the United States. I hope and pray that one day soon "Prop 8 for hate" will be a distant smudge on humanity.

    November 6, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  30. Johnna

    This country was founded on the principle of equality for all. Not equality for all, unless your gay. One step forward, thirty-two leaps backward. If gay people were the majority, how would heterosexuals feel if they weren't allowed to marry. I don't buy the excuse that the Bible says it's wrong. If Jesus truly loves all, he loves all. Yes, that means gay people, too.

    November 6, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  31. Renee

    Ellen, my family has always loved your show. Your sitcom was so funny and real. We love you just the way you are - witty and happy. We all need happiness in our lives. Don't change yourself for anything. Speak out and take action. Good for you for having the courage to be real and for sharing yourself with your audience.

    November 6, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  32. Cindy

    Obviously gay marriage and gay rights in general are a big issue in this country. And seeing the propositions that were passed banning gay marriage and gay adoption the 4th and in the past then it seems the majority of the people do not believe in these things and do not want them in their states. If the majority rules then no court should force anything on anyone.


    November 6, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  33. Nate

    Oh, an did I say: " The Voters have spoken ".

    November 6, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  34. Nate

    Marrage is about creating a family, producing offsprings. People like Ellen are sick in the head, their parents failed to raise them with the right facts. Sometimes you have to punish a child just to get it to lissen , or atleast get their attention. But white people dont beleave in chestizing a child which contributed to this free will way of thinking. We need to get these people some help because its getting out of hand.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  35. Jason Green

    I too was very sad by the results of Proposition 8. I truely believed that Americans were more educated to know that Marriage between same-sex partners has no effect on the sanctity of Marriage between a man and a women.

    I am a gay male in a very stable, secure and loving relationship. We are raising my 13 year old daughter and are doing everything we can to teach her the value of another humans life, and rights. How are we to promote peace in other countries or in the United States when our own government promotes hate by segrigation? Americans, we are so much better than this!

    Alameda California

    November 6, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  36. Lilibeth

    Hi Ellen, I'm so sorry about this. My brother-in-law is in the same boat. He and his partner married 2 months ago in L.A. They're very upset as well. We are all equal, no matter what...whether we are white, black, man, woman, gay, straight. You know, Barack's win gives me hope. If that was possible in our lifetime, anything is possible. For now, we will all continue to speak to out for equality until this ban goes away.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  37. Betty, VA

    The only reason I can think this would be an issue would be religious reasons. I would think it would be for God to judge not man. That being said, whatever happened to the separation of church and state?

    What I find even more disturbing is a right being taken away. Once it happens once, it opens the door to happen again. We as a people should consider what this can mean to our own personal future.

    It is not for me to judge how people live. To the gay couples in my country. which is also your country, I hope you find peace, love and understanding. Not all of us are against your right to happiness and security. Trust in God that future generations will be less afraid of you and what they believe you stand for.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  38. Sue, Billerica, MA


    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men[people] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    So are these law makers telling you that as a gay person you only get the first 2 of 3 rights in the declaration of independence... of life and liberty but not of pursuit of happiness?

    "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    First, we should petition the US government to change Men to People, and second, we should petition the government that the right to marry the adult that you love is the key to happiness for even the bible says it is not good for one to be alone, and to deny someone that bound of matrimony is to deny them happiness. Some gay group needs to petition congress on this matter rather than letting each state enact its own bans and propositions to ban etc... ask President-elect Obama to consider this.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  39. Nate

    Good for you Ellen. Continue to speak. One by one more will start to listen. We'll get there someday and you've definitely helped pave the way and inspired me to be the person I am today. I'm a young, working professional in Wisconsin who is very open at work about my life and partner (and am lucky to be at such an accepting, open company).

    My hope is that by being myself and living my life openly and honestly I can be a small part of a much greater cause to help bring visibility, equality and acceptance to everyone in the country.


    November 6, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  40. Barb, Des Plaines

    Voting to take away the rights of other Americans? An all time low. It's time for the emancipation of allo Americans.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  41. Sue, Billerica, MA

    It is sad indeed. Sad that we no longer allow banning of books but we allow banning of gay marriage. Its really the same thing these bigots are afraid of, that some ideas scare people and fear makes people justify all kinds of intolerance and atrocities. Too bad our judicial system doesn't see the same folly in being afraid of gay marriage as being afraid of books and words and ideas. It seems unconstitutional to allow people to ban something based upon using their religion to fuel their fears, and seems to destroy the very foundations of separation of church and state. Marriage should be a union held together by love between 2 consenting adults, and that should be the only criteria. My heart goes out to you and all gay people to have to endure in this day and age being the last vestige of government sponsored bigotry through banning.

    November 6, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  42. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I was angered beyond belief yesterday to know that my friends who had married are now in limbo along with 18,000 other couples. It infuriates me that those who voted against it based on moral and religious grounds are the same people who are divorced themselves. What right do they have to enforce their hypocritical religious beliefs into how others should live?

    November 6, 2008 at 5:33 pm |