Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Same-Sex Marriage Amendment Qualifies in California

The ignorant tight-asses just don’t give up.

An initiative that would again outlaw gay marriage in California has qualified for the November ballot, the Secretary of State announced Monday.

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said a random check of signatures submitted by the measure’s sponsors showed that they had gathered enough names for it to be put to voters.

The measure would amend the state constitution to “provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

If approved by a majority of voters on Nov. 4, the amendment would overturn the recent California Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state. It is similar to gay marriage bans that have been adopted in 26 other states.

“This signifies the fact that California voters really do favor and will come out to vote for the protection of historic marriage,” said Ron Prentice, executive director of ProtectMarriage.com, a coalition of religious and social conservative groups behind the initiative.

No, Mr. Prentice, what it means is that you were able to get the minimum number of dupes to sign your petition so it could go on the ballot. It doesn’t indicate anything other than ProtectMarriage.com’s ability to get a herd of like-minded bluenoses and busy-bodies to stand outside a MalWart in Fresno and hound people into signing up, probably doing it to get them out of their face.

To qualify for the ballot, the measure needed 694,354 petition signatures, an amount equal to 8 percent of the votes cast during the last governor’s race.

Proponents submitted 1,120,801 signatures in late April, and county clerks determined the measure qualified by verifying the validity of 3 percent of the signatures they received, according to Bowen.

I’m pretty sure that a fair number of the signatures included Helena Handbasket, Mike Hunt, Hugh Jardon, and Bertha Vanation.

Mr. Prentice refers to “the protection of historic marriage.” I’d be interested in knowing what he means by that other than a focus-tested neutral term for a marriage between a man and a woman. But “historic”? How historic does he want to get? Biblical, where women were sold to families in payment of a debt and men could have more than one wife? What about the arranged marriages that have been a part of a number of cultures for centuries? What about royal marriages where marrying outside of your immediate family was considered to be anti-monarchist? Or is he referring to the more recent history of marriage where the divorce rate is around 50%, and noticeably higher in states that are considered, ironically, to be the Bible Belt?

I realize that it gets tiresome to repeat these arguments over and over again, but as long as they keep bringing them up, we need to keep batting them down. And a Field poll published in the Los Angeles Times found that 54% of registered voters opposed the measure, while 40% supported it.

Last month the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, and the righties howled about “activist judges” and claimed that the people had to vote on the measure. If the measure fails in November, how much would you like to bet that ProtectMarriage.com will file a lawsuit challenging the vote?