Going Down On the Ballot: Sex Referendums

Going Down On The Ballot: #1 Sex Referendums

This is part one of the three part series about vices you can vote on this election. Go down your ballot so you don’t miss a chance to vote on these important measures.

Sex + Politics

When you think sex and politics, usually it involves a scantily clad intern or a male Republican with a “wide stance” having gay orgies between voting on what happens in your bedroom. But the tables have turned, and now is your chance to decide on sexual laws.

1. California Proposition 35 (Sex Trafficking)

This is a bill to add heavier punishment on people who traffic human beings for sexual services. Among its effects are

  • Increase prison terms for human traffickers
  • Require convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders
  • Require all registered sex offenders to disclose their internet accounts
  • Require criminal fines from convicted human traffickers to pay for services to help victims
  • Mandate law enforcement training on human trafficking

Supporters believe the harsher terms will reduce incidents of human trafficking. Opponent question the efficacy of the approach and whether more comprehensive measures are better.

2. Los Angeles Measure B (Condoms in Porn Movies)

The money shot has been a staple of the porn industry for many years. However, there is a movement to require condom use in all porn movies shot in Los Angeles. With concerns about HIV and a recent syphilis outbreak, the porn industry finds itself against the ropes (in a non-kinky way)

Supporters cite the health benefits of the measure, while opponents cite free speech and liberty concerns.

3. Same-sex Marriage

On the domestic side of sex laws, there are same-sex marriage initiatives on the ballot. Unlike in most years where they have been a rally point for conservative to get out the vote by stirring up the religious right, three out of the four either seek to legalize gay marriage or retain existing gay marriage laws.

The state of Maine is voting to repeal the anti-gay marriage ballot initiative passed in 2009 and allow gay marriage to go on in the state. The 2009 initiative overturned a law passed by the state legislature that allowed same sex marriage.

Two states, Maryland and Washington, have passed same sex marriage laws that have been put up for a vote. Under these ballots measures, a yes vote would retain the laws and civil rights to marriage, while a repeal would strip the law from the books.



Minnesota is going the other way, with a bill that would ban same-sex marriage. The state legislature passed a bill to put gay marriage rights on the ballot. If passed, the law would ban same-sex marriage, but does not contain any ban on civil union, domestic partnerships or marrying Michele Bachmann.


4. Abortion

Abortion rights are on the ballot in two states, with one more trying to get the Supreme Court’s okay for a personhood bill

In Florida an abortion amendment would cut all state funding for abortion except as federally mandated and to preserve the life of the mother. It would also prevent the state constitution from extending any abortion rights beyond those guaranteed by the US Constitution.

Montana is pushing a parental notification bill requiring minors under 16 to get parental notification 48 hours prior to a procedure. Exceptions are made for medical emergencies, with a judicial waiver or with a waiver from a parent or guardian.

Oklahoma has attempted to push the most aggressive ballot measure of all, which would grant personhood to fertilized eggs and effectively ban abortion. It was rejected by the Oklahoma Supreme Court as unconstitutional, but supporters are trying to get the US Supreme Court to rule on it.

Are there any sex initiatives we missed? Comment below to let us know! Stay tuned for the next article in the series about gambling. 

Related on The Smoking Jacket:
Video Dump: The 5 Sexiest Political Ads
Marvin Gaye: The World’s Sexiest Politician
Missionary Mitt is All About the Ladies!