Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brewer Loses, Mostly

Remember the lawsuit filed by Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer regarding Proposition 102, which would amend the AZ Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage, in an attempt to keep voters from being informed that Arizona law already bans it? That was settled yesterday when Brewer and Attorney General Terry Goddard agreed on compromise wording that, at least to me, is more in line with what Goddard wanted than what Brewer was hoping for.
They settled their differences by agreeing to a statement that voting "no" would stop a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman, while keeping intact the current state law, which outlaws same-sex marriage.

It's entirely possible that Brewer's leash-holders in Arizonans for Marriage are correct in fearing that the approved, honest wording will confuse anti-equality people into voting "no" because they think that means voting to outlaw gay marriage. So between the reading-comprehension-challenged segment of the population and the more capable conservatives and libertarians who don't like redundant legislation cluttering up their universe and the rest of us who think discrimination is not the best thing to write into any constitution, maybe we have a chance here.

A separate group of Prop 102 supporters filed another lawsuit in response, demanding that all references to existing statutes be eliminated, but since the order was given last night to start the printing process, it probably won't matter. It is illustrative, though, of their bulldog-like tenacity on this. An amendment was already voted down in 2006, but they keep coming back, tinkering with scope and wording in the attempt to find something, anything that will appease the wingnuts while remaining palatable enough to the average unengaged voter to pass and officially relegate the homos to second-class status, just because they can.

It's too early to speculate about what my reaction will be if the proposition passes. It's very easy to harrumph that no self-respecting homo should stay in and continue to pay taxes to a state that officially and gleefully and spitefully spits on you. In the real world of established careers, job security, family ties, and that small but vitally important issue of your kid being able to stay anchored to the place where he grew up, it's not so easy to pick up everything and flip a coin to decide between opposite edges of the continent. I don't really have a dog in this fight. But living with the knowledge that more than half of my voting statemates have decided (1) to arrogate to themselves the right to decide whether my relationship is valid, and (2) that it's not, tends to wear a body down. So for now I suppose just not thinking about it is the way to go. Check back with me in November.

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