Thursday, September 21, 2006

107, contra

Today, a brief look at the opposition to Arizona Proposition 107...

No on Prop 107 is big on graphics, while I might question the choice of hellfire red as a background. The best contribution is a series of links explaining the deletrious effects of the proposal on all Arizonans, both gay and straight. I suppose I understand why they’ve chosen to frame their arguments in terms of straight people in unmarried relationships, senior citizens, and single parents, but I find it rather sad that people might vote this crap down only if they think it’s unfair to straight people--not simply because they might want to address civil inequalities that don't actually apply to them. GLBTQ issues finally come front and center in the fourth bullet point on the list, “Faith Communities,” but I wonder why they don’t simply make this point the centerpiece of their campaign, because it distills the issue perfectly:

What this amendment WILL do, if it passes, is take one group's definition of sin and force it on others through civil laws. The so-called "marriage protection" amendment is backed by the ultra-conservative Christian group the Center for Arizona Policy. Even within Christianity there is not agreement about the sinfulness of same-sex relationships, and yet this group seeks to define for everyone else in the state of Arizona a narrow and exclusive view of love and the will of God. Efforts and attitudes such as those behind this proposed amendment misrepresent and misuse the Christian faith in particular, and faith traditions overall.

Oddly, “LGBTQ Community” is the last on the list of potential impacts. Again, I’m thrilled for the support, but chafing mightily at the apparent attempt to underplay 107 as a gay issue. It’s completely a gay issue. Its proponents would not be attempting to force the state to disavow any recognition of unmarried couples if not for the threat of gay folks marching down the aisle; I never heard any grumblings about, for example, Arizona being forced to recognize common-law marriages (essentially, the state caving in the face of long-term unofficial heterosexual cohabitation, which I think the Bible calls “fornication, ” also, last I checked, a grievous sin) from other states. That it needs to be painted as an equal-opportunity offender in order to drum up opposition among the majority of voters is a sad irony.

Grumble. Arizona Prop 107 is a decent satire site. I wonder how many clicks it will take the True Believers to notice the SS officer’s hat in the logo, or to ask if Fred Phelps really has been booked for the victory party.

And that’s about it for dedicated websites. Arizona Stonewall Democrats are sponsoring a forum in Phoenix on September 26... the Daily Star printed a good op-ed piece on September 6 ... Arizona Together (the group sponsoring the No on Prop 107 website) is briefly profiled in the Echo, again playing up the unmarried hets angle.

Anyway. Get out the vote. Tracking the rhetoric between now and November 7 should be interesting. Hopefully it will not also be an exercise in despair.

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