Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Just in Time for Valentine's Day!

The Arizona state legislators are at it again, or at least the Republicans are.
A proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution, filed Monday by Senate President Tim Bee, seeks to ask voters to spell out in the constitution that "only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in this state." Bee, R-Tucson, managed to get 15 of the 16 other GOP senators to sign on as sponsors...

The move comes more than a year after voters rejected a more comprehensive constitutional amendment that not only would have banned same-sex marriage but also would have outlawed civil unions and barred state and local governments from offering benefits to the domestic partners of their employees. That measure picked up 48.2 percent of the votes cast. It was the only gay-marriage ballot measure in the country that failed.

n.b. This is the same Tim Bee who's looking to unseat Gabrielle Giffords in the US House next fall, and has enlisted Karl Rove's help toward that end. Anyway. Same-sex marriage is prohibited by statute in Arizona, but the Center for Arizona Policy folks are desperately afraid of some future court ruling that law unconstitutional, or some future legislature having second thoughts, so rather than risk the dreaded activist judges and activist legislators, they're banking on the current population being conservatively activist enough to carve a permanent diminution of the civil rights of a small chunk of the population into the Arizona Constitution.

And since the language of the new ballot initiative has been carefully pared down to eliminate any potential deletrious applications to non-gay couples or contracts, it has a pretty good chance of passing.

In a 2005 statewide survey, 54 percent of those asked said they would support a constitutional amendment to limit marriage to one man and one woman. But when questioned about denying domestic-partner benefits, support dropped to just 33 percent.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Phoenix Democrat who was one of the leaders of the opposition to the 2006 initiative, all but conceded the point during the campaign, saying that if the measure had been limited to just banning same-sex marriage, it likely would have passed.

Although one Republican refused to sign on as a co-sponsor, citing the actual pressing issues the legislature has to deal with, she acknowledged that she will probably vote for the measure when it comes up, and that sums the reason underlying whatever success the amendment sees in November. People are getting sick of conservatives raising this issue time after time after time, and a whole host of actual issues (say, the economy, immigration, the environment, education) are elbowing Teh Gay out of the forefront of Arizona voters' minds. But, like so many other things, while people probably won't go out of their way to advocate for the amendment, if it (1) does not negatively impact them and (2) does not require any extra effort beyond hefting the Sharpie toward one additional bubble on the ballot in the anonymity of the voting booth, they'll probably vote for it.

Maybe my cynicism is misplaced. Let's wade into the comments posted after the Daily Star article and take a look.

Since I had my right to drink a beer and smoke a cigarette in a bar voted away, I look forward to the chance to vote against someone elses rights.That's the way it is now, isn't it? Support a ban or tax as long as it impacts someone other than myself. Just have to make sure the other group has a small voting bloc.

The economy is bad; we're bogged down in a long-term war, and there are Islamic terrorists that want to kill Americans. So what do the Republicans do? They look for some harmless minority to attack. Gee, that's going to help matters. How very sad.

Leviticus 20:13

If you would wake up you would see that it has a lot to do with the taxes we pay and what they are used for. And I don't want mine spent on Illegals or gays. PERIOD

Barry Goldwater was a conservative. These people who make these initiates, the people who you see post there religious views here everyday are NOT Conservatives. They are Social conservatives or Neo-conservatives. They have nothing in common with real conservativism. Conservatives believe that the right to privacy is written in the constitution. If you do not believe that you are not a conservative.

Being Q is a "mental illness" and should be recognized as such. Same sex people being married goes against the laws of "GOD and NATURE". No more "SPECIAL RIGHTS" for them. They allready have enough of them.

It has always amazed me how fundies claim to live by the whole bible, but they like to highlight their "favorite" verses. These are usually verses that they use to point out someone else's (so called) sins. Isn't this the same book that Jesus admonished his followers not to be concerned about the splinter in their brothers eye, when they have a log in their own?

And so on. The comments actually fall about 2-1 against the proposed amendment, but since online boards are notoriously poor predictors of voter behavior, you'll have to forgive me if I retain a pessimistic view until the elections. But--BUT--I will tip my pixels to the best rejoinder I've yet seen to the inevitable sure, and while you're at it, why not make it legal for a dude to marry his dog comment:

Besides a marriage between a man and a dog would never last. Sooner or later he'll discover she's a bitch to live with.

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