Saturday, September 20, 2008

Proposition 102 -- The Arizona Marriage Amendment

The Ballot Propositions & Judicial Performance Review Publicity Pamphlet came in the mail. I will have a few comments on the other Ballot Propositions and the Judges in another post. However, looking at Proposition 102, I had some observations on the Arguments "Against." The entire Publicity Pamphlet is on-line at in the Arizona Secretary of State's office site. The particular portion pertaining to Proposition 102 is as follows:

First of all, the "Against" people are not just individuals. There are about eleven different named organizations. Apparently, according to the opposition, it is alright to be a member of an organization and oppose the Amendment but it is not OK to be a member of an organization and support the Amendment. These opposition organizations are not just local "grass roots" types of people. We are talking about major, national, very well funded organizations, some of which are from out-of-state. A list of the opposition organizations follows:

Human Rights Campaign, Washington D.C.
League of Women Voters of Arizona
The Arizona Advocacy Network
Equality Arizona
Arizona National Organization of Women
American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona
Arizona Transsexual Alliance
Phil Gordon for Phoenix
Southern Arizona Stonewall Democrats
United Methodist, Tucson

The first of these, the Human Rights Campaign, is a national organization claiming over 700,000 members. All of these organizations have Web sites and represent to have huge following. Another example from the League of Women Voters of Arizona's Web site:

"The League of Women Voters of the United States was founded in 1920, as the culmination of the 72 year struggle to gain women’s right to vote and to help prepare women to exercise their newly acquired right. Today, the League has over 1,000 local Leagues, over 130,000 members who work to encourage political responsibility through informed and active participation in government and to act on selected governmental issues. It is a national organization for men and women over 18."

This organization bills itself as "non-partisan." Another example, Wingspan, an organization which lists more than 55 commercial support organizations in the Tucson area. It is amazingly interesting that the Tucson Daily Star felt impressed to run an article attacking the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for supporting Proposition 102, while at the same time dozens of Tucson organizations were contributing thousands of dollars to the opposition. Where is the story about the funding of the opposition? It is blatantly hypocritical to attack the LDS Church for supporting Proposition 102 and at the same time, ignore the well funded national organizations opposing the measure.

When the California Supreme Court heard the Marriage Case, there were hundreds of organizations that made appearances in the lawsuit. It is completely and fully understandable why the churches feel compelled to participate in this debate. The opposition is neither local nor locally funded, it is national, if not international and heavily funded. The list of organizations that appeared in the lawsuit is monumental. It includes dozens of international organizations, many from the Far East. Why do you think all of these international organizations are interested enough in the definition of marriage to spend money hiring attorneys to attack the California law? I am not a conspiracy theory person. This is not a conspiracy theory. Here is a very partial listing:

Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County, Asian Pacific Bar Association of Silicon Valley, Japanese American Bar Association of Greater Los Angeles, Korean American Bar Association of Southern California, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego, Philippine American Bar Association, South Asian Bar Association of Northern California, South Asian Bar Association of San Diego, South Asian Bar Association of Southern California, Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California, Asian Equality, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, API Equality, API Equality-SF, Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice, Asian Law Alliance, Asian Law Caucus, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance-Alameda, Asian Pacific Islander Family Pride, Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Asian Women's Shelter, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Chinese Progressive Association, Filipinos for Affirmative Action, Gay Asian Pacific Alliance, Institute for Leadership Development and Study of Pacific Asian North American Religion, Korean Community Center of the East Bay, My Sister's House, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Asian/ Pacific Bar of California, API Equality-LA, Asian American Institute, Asian American Justice Center, Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian American Psychological Association, Asian American Queer Women Activists, Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian, Bisexual Women and Transgender Network, Asian and Pacific Islander Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance-Los Angeles, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress-Los Angeles, Asian Pacific Islander Pride Council, Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council, Asian Pacific Women's Center, Center for the Pacific Asian Family, Asian Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership, Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty, Gay Asian Pacific Support Network, Japanese American Citizens League, Khmer Girls in Action, Korean Resource Center, Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance, Organization of Chinese Americans San Francisco Chapter, Satrang, South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow, South Asian Network, Southeast Asian Community Alliance, Southeast Asian Community Center and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Do you understand why all of these organizations oppose the Marriage Amendment? Think about it.

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