Religious conservatives lost electoral fights to pass an abortion law in California, overturn gay-rights legislation in Maine and defeat a bond issue in Ohio that critics said could fund embryonic stem cell research. However, the right claimed victory in Texas as voters overwhelmingly approved a measure November 8 bolstering the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
Elsewhere, voters in the Dover, Pennsylvania, school district ousted all eight Republican incumbents in favor of Democratic challengers who pledged to eliminate a policy requiring the teaching of intelligent design alongside evolution.
Among the results:
* A California measure that would have required doctors to notify the parents of teenage girls seeking abortions failed, with 53 percent voting against it. Catholic and many conservative Protestant churches spoke in favor. It was one of several ballot initiatives defeated despite backing from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
* Maine voters upheld a law that bans …