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USA: More Outrageous Propositions...

Tue 28 Oct 2008 In: Comment

Although most US and international LGBT media attention is focused on the same-sex marriage controversy in California, LGBT activists are also fighting same-sex marriage ban referendums in Florida and Arizona. In Florida, their state legislature passed a state legislative ban against same-sex marriage in 1997. In 2004, several same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses, only to be rebuffed, while Tampa City passed domestic partnership ordinances. According to the Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times, most Floridans oppose same-sex marriage...but also oppose a federal constitutional ban against same-sex marriage, and support civil unions and relationship equality for LGBT couples. Equality Florida is currently leading a campaign against "Amendment 2", a deceptively worded so-called "Marriage Protection Act" that will ban same sex marriage and any state recognition of same-sex unions and strike down business protections for both LGBT and unmarried straight couple domestic partnerships. According to EF, even unmarried, nonsexual cohabiting "Golden Girl" households would face scrutiny and discrimination, as well as unmarried parents of any sexual orientation in Florida. Liberal corporates are opposed to Amendment 2, while Florida also prohibits inclusive adoption, due to a ban passed by their state legislature in 1977, during Anita Bryant's rabid antigay campaign in that state, which cost it millions in citrus revenue due to boycotts. Unfortunately, however, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the discriminatory legislation in question. EF also belongs to a Coalition for Fair Adoption as a result. As for antigay supporters of the proposed same-sex marriage ban, they've organised amongst Democrats, youth, senior citizens, African-Americans and Latinos. Moreover, there are discernable tentacles from the direction of Washington, and the US Christian Right's Family Research Council has provided them with propaganda. In Arizona, Proposition 106 became the first referenda against same-sex marriage to achieve a voter majority, back in 2006. However, this state already has a statutory same-sex marriage ban (euphemistically called a "Defence of Marriage Act.") The federal (LGBT) Human Rights Campaign opposed it, as did the Arizona Human Rights Fund, and Arizona Together Coalition. It was close, though- 51.8%/48.2%. However, Arizona's Christian Right and its allies didn't give up. Resultantly, Proposition 102 will once more attempt to amend Arizona's constitution, supposedly merely to reiterate its state DOMA. This anti-democratic measure would actually mean that neither the state legislature or judiciary could ever repeal this ban, once in place. Opponents of Arizona's ban include Episcopal, United Methodist, United Church of Christ and Metropolitan Community Church ministers, local Planned Parenthood affiliates, the Human Rights Campaign, AFL-CIO Arizona (trade unions), PFLAG Phoenix and Americans United for Seperation of Church and State. As for antigay supporters of the ban, they include the Center for Arizona Policy, which is a state affiliate of the Colorado-based antigay pressure groups Focus on the Family and Family Research Council. Arizona's Catholic institutional organisations and Mormon Church also support the prohibition of same-sex marriage. In Florida, fortunately, Amendment 2 will have to clear a sixty percent majority to be passed into law. As for Arizona, will its libertarian impulses prevail over local and national US Christian Right activism and puppetmasters in Colorado Springs and Washington? Recommended: 1. Florida: Equality Florida (progay): Equality Florida (adoption issues): Adoption Talking Points: Fair Adoption Coalition: Yes 2 Marriage (antigay): 2. Arizona: No on Proposition 107 (progay): No on Proposition 102 (progay): Human Rights Campaign: Arizona Together Coalition (progay): YES for Marriage (antigay): Yes to 102 (antigay) : Center for Arizona Policy (antigay): Family Research Council: Craig Young - 28th October 2008    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Tuesday, 28th October 2008 - 11:03pm

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