Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Posthash

Mostly good news from the elections, both in Arizona and nationwide. We got the House back and have a shot at the Senate. We in Arizona will get to go into any bar or restaurant we choose without having to worry about coming out smelling like an overflowing ashtray.

Prop 107, which would have amended the AZ Constitution to ban not only same-sex marriage but also civil unions and any other contractual relationship between two unmarried people intended to provide some of the protections of marriage, was very narrowly defeated. On the surface, it's great, at least until the next election when it inevitably creeps back onto the ballot. The underlying bits bother me.

2006 General Election (Unofficial Results)
Produced by the Arizona Secretary of State's Office
Protect Marriage Arizona
County Yes No Totals Polls Polls
Percent of
Apache 6,715 6,897 13,612 45 45 100.0
Cochise 17,588 13,962 31,550 64 64 100.0
Coconino 13,144 19,152 32,296 85 84 98.8
Gila 7,610 6,951 14,561 39 39 100.0
Graham 5,008 2,257 7,265 18 18 100.0
Greenlee 1,077 834 1,911 8 8 100.0
La Paz 1,833 1,703 3,536 12 12 100.0
Maricopa 301,876 316,264 618,140 1,142 1,142 100.0
Mohave 20,768 15,575 36,343 73 73 100.0
Navajo 12,120 9,584 21,704 70 70 100.0
Pima 94,502 127,356 221,858 409 409 100.0
Pinal 27,241 25,387 52,628 74 74 100.0
Santa Cruz 3,469 4,199 7,668 24 24 100.0
Yavapai 27,113 24,983 52,096 104 104 100.0
Yuma 11,167 8,726 19,893 42 42 100.0
Total 551,231 583,830 1,135,061 2,209 2,208 100.0%
Percentage 48.6 51.4

The proposition lost in only five counties. Granted, three of those are the population centers of the state, but hey, so much for that live-and-let-live independent mindset the denizens of the great western frontier so love to tout. Yeah, I'm a little bitter this morning. Add in the landslide victories for three rather nasty anti-immigrant propositions and I'm appalled to be a resident of this state.

Give people the chance to anonymously gobsmack somebody else and they'll take it. Think making English the "official language" of Arizona is going to stop illegal immigration? Think denying illegals bail, or preventing them from collecting civil damages in lawsuits will stop the tide? If you do, you're nuts. And if you know full well that none of those measures will do a damn thing to stop illegal immigration but you voted for them anyway out of vindictiveness, hey, you're a swell human being.


Seven other states merrily passed their own anti-gay marriage amendments. South Dakota Amendment C (no gay marriage, no civil unions): passed, 52%. Colorado Amendment 43 (no gay marriage): passed, 56%. For good measure, Coloradans also rejected Referendum I, which would have explicitly extended certain rights to gay couples, such as hospital visits and funeral arrangements.

That's correct. 53% of Colorado voters decided that gay couples should not have the automatic right to visit their partners in the ICU or to make funeral arrangements for them after they die. Chew on that for a moment.

Wisconsin Referendum 1 (no gay marriage, no civil unions): passed, 58%. Virigina Prop 1 (no gay marriage, no civil unions): passed, 59%. Idaho Amendment HJR 2 (no gay marriage, no civil unions): passed, 63%. South Carolina Amendment 1 (no gay marriage): passed, 78%. Tennessee Constitutional Amendment on Marriage (no gay marriage): passed, 81%.

Ultimately, it's all about power. Can't live with the knowledge that a couple of guys in Massachusetts wear rings that look an awful lot like the ones you and your wife sport? Then vote not only to keep Arizona gays from getting their own set, but, while you're at it, make sure they can't spend considerable sums of money to hire lawyers to draw up legal documents giving them the right to determine inheritance, share healthcare benefits, and, god forbid, make end-of-life medical decisions, oh yeah, as long as blood relations don't make too much of a stink or hospital personnel don't decide to ignore those documents on principle. That'll show those faggots, eh, buddy?

There's a mild debate simmering over on dKos about this. More than a few commenters argue that we pushed for too much too soon, that we should acquiesce and stroke the religious conservatives, caps in hand, mewlingly taking whatever small scraps of civil rights they can extend to us without gagging. We have to be patient, we have to wait until people are ready to let 10% of the population, tops, share the same rights and responsibilities that they do.

I call bullshit on that. Ellen Goodman said this way back in 2000:

But postwar generations have learned that you cannot wait until people, comfortable with their old narrow beliefs, become mysteriously ready for change.

It's those who step up, speak out, get out of the closet and do not quake at consequences who challenge old ideas with new realities. They change our world.

Seven more states are preparing to write bigotry into their constitutions, into those documents that were intended to preserve people's freedoms, not deny them. This is what my country thinks of people like me. This is what my country thinks of me.

Maybe tomorrow I'll feel more like celebrating. Today, not so much.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, this is what our country, for the most part, thinks of all of us! I'd bet you dollars to doughnuts, it will kreep back as a votable issue at the federal level by 08'. Or at least they'll try their damndest. Thank goodness the national congress should be able to completely neuter it once again....

Little consolation, but it's a start....

Anonymous said...

A.J. said ...

They are still counting 10's of thousands of early votes in AZ . Prop 107 may very well be overturned and passed.