The Guilty Party

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Different Folk Need Not Apply





For the second time in two years Arizona voters have a proposition on the ballot asking them to approve a constitutional amendment that puts a government definition on the word "marriage".

Here is the entire text of Propostion 102:

Be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Arizona, the House of Representatives concurring:

1. Article XXX, Constitution of Arizona, is proposed to be added as follows if approved by the voters and on proclamation of the Governor:

ARTICLE XXX. MARRIAGE

1. Marriage

SECTION 1. ONLY A UNION OF ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN SHALL BE VALID OR RECOGNIZED AS A MARRIAGE IN THIS STATE.

2. The Secretary of State shall submit this proposition to the voters at the next general election as provided by article XXI, Constitution of Arizona.


The bit in all caps (not mine) is the meat of the matter. One man and one woman. Seems pretty simple. And really don't just about all of us picture the described duet when the word "marriage" is used in print or conversation? There's a fellow and there's a gal and they share the same home and they fret over income versus outgo. They engage in reasonable, well considered discussions about who is responsible for what chores. They support each other in striving toward their dreams, both jointly held and individual. They might just participate in legally sanctioned whoopee. Oh, and quite often they introduce children into the household and some sort of education in how to live ones life is passed on.

Right. That's all quite clear.

Except that collection of mutual activities can be successfully, or not so successfully, carried off by combinations outside of the One Man, One Woman variety. It's true, I've seen it.

So what are the arguments presented by the backers of Prop 102 to support their contention that marriage needs a governmental definition? I have been to the official ballot website 2008 Ballot Propositions and read as many of the pro-Prop 102 exhortations as I could handle and it very much seems to boil down to this bit by a Mr. Richardson.

"I believe that every child is entitled to a father and a mother. We have each been granted that privilege by nature - we should not by law destroy that privilege given to each one of us. The Marriage Amendment Referendum is just what we need to protect the rights of children. Marriage is supported by law primarily to promote the protection of children. Otherwise it has little reason for being a secular issue at all."

I must be missing something here. What in the world does an amendment stating marriage is the exclusive stomping grounds of the One Man One Woman congregation have to do with making the world a better place for our children? Have the Prop 102 supporters ever witnessed the damage done to a child by a traditional marriage gone sour or especially one that never should have been in the first place? Have they seen the consequences to a child living with a stupid woman married to a lazy man? There are other combinations equally if not more toxic, I will leave it to your personal experience to add to the list.

How is it that putting something in the Arizona Constitution that shouts loudly and offensively to People Who Are Different that they Need Not Apply, something that seeks to define an entire state by the prejudices of a vocal and irrationally scared minority, makes the world a better place for children?

Sorry, but one of the easiest and sleaziest refuges of a Cause Without a Reasonable Argument is "Save the Children". I ain't buying it. My bet it was used by the lovely folks who believed (and still believe) deep down inside that people of deeper pigmentation need to be kept under control. Prop 102 is just another way of saying to a fairly sizable portion of humanity that the people who insist on seeing them as something less, something repugnant, have won. That sends a lousy message to the children of Arizona.

Go Ye Forth and Do Likewise

1 comment:

Timber Beast said...

We have the same thing in California. The latest Field Poll shows, "...just 38 percent of likely voters support the measure, while 55 percent intend to vote no." There's more on how the opposition to Proposition 8 is growing here.

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