Keeping tabs on Renton's most notorious opponent of LGBT equality
“Allies for Marriage and Children?” What could be wrong with that? After all, children are our future. Well, I will tell you what is wrong. Things are not always what they appear - - especially, when it comes to politics. The small gains achieved in the fair state of Washington could all disappear with just one revision of the State’s Constitution. It happened here in my State of Virginia. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage **and civil unions** in Virginia passed easily (See: Wash Post Article - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/07/AR2006110701648.html)Even though same-sex marriages and civil unions were already illegal in Virginia, zealots were reacting to the New Jersey Supreme Court action requiring that state to provide gay couples with the same rights as heterosexual ones. These are the same rights that are now enjoyed in Washington. However, the Virginia extremists included language in the amendment saying Virginia would not create a legal status for unmarried couples that sought to "approximate . . . the effects of marriage."It was hoped that once Virginians understood that the amendment would also ban civil unions and domestic partnerships, they would vote against it. Virginia's Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, campaigned against the measure raising concerns about the amendment's effect on the state's business climate.Voters who supported the amendment appeared to be unconcerned about -- or unaware of -- these concerns. In many cases, supporters said that their belief in traditional marriage overrode any concerns about potential impacts. "I feel [same-sex couples] should have rights as far as benefits are concerned, but I feel marriage should be between a man and a woman," said Chris Murray, 36, a mortgage broker from Fairfax County. He said he realized that there was a chance the amendment would lead to the loss of legal rights for same-sex couples, but "you can't vote 'maybe' or 'kind of,' " he said. The pathos is that even those good souls who really believe they are doing God’s work, they too, are being used as pawns for political gains. Which brings us to the election in Renton. Referendums on defense of marriage amendments have been used as a "get-out-the-vote" tactic by Republicans and social conservatives. (See: Wickipedia Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_marriage_amendment) When voters see that a particular legislative initiative appears on the ballot, they are thought to feel more motivated to turn out to vote, enhancing ballot numbers for other candidates and issues of their party. The presence of these amendments on state ballots has been credited as providing a boost to Republicans in the 2004 election, and the 2004 Ohio amendment in particular has been cited as aiding President George W. Bush's reelection campaign by motivating evangelical social conservatives in the state to go to the polls. President George W. Bush's close political consultant, Karl Rove, has been an enthusiastic proponent and organizer of defense of marriage legislation.After the 2006 general elections some activists argued that defense of marriage amendments were starting to lose their potential to mobilize conservative voters. Kevin Cathcart, director of Lambda Legal pointed to the narrow defeat of Arizona's Proposition 107, which would have rendered civil unions as well as gay marriage unconstitutional. Nevertheless, that same election saw 7 such amendments pass; these included bans on civil unions as well as Virginia's amendment, which goes still further.Let’s be clear about the issue. “Allies for Marriage and Children” is a shill. It joins a long list of “red herrings” like Defense of Marriage; Sanctity of Marriage; Focus on the Family” and others. It reminds me of Humpty Dumpty who said, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.” And thus, black is white.
Thank you jimw, for taking the time and effort to show us why it's important to counter the efforts of people like Cheryl Haskins. I used to live in Virginia, and I'm well aware of its anti-gay constitutional amendment. What happened there demonstrates that we in Washington State cannot take our domestic partnership protections for granted.
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