Arizona to McCain: Drop Dead

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It's not surprising that John McCain, in his attempt to win over skeptical social conservatives, is campaigning for a losing gay marriage ban in Arizona. What's surprising is that there's a losing gay marriage ban in Arizona.

The amendment may need McCain's superstar help. An Arizona State University Cronkite-Eight Poll released last month found voters are poised to reject the measure. According to veteran ASU pollster Bruce Merrill's statewide survey, 56 percent of respondents said they'd vote no, 30 percent said they'd vote yes and 1 percent was undecided.

Since marriage definitions in other states are expected to pass, can anyone explain why this one might fail? And how weak does McCain look if he stumps for a losing gay marriage ban the same year his state loses one to three Republican congressmen to the hated Homocrats? (One of those seats, by the way, belonging to out gay Republican Jim Kolbe. Viva irony!)

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  1. It doesn’t surprise me at all that the gay marriage ban is failing in Arizona. I lived there (Tucson) for over a decade, and was involved in local politics as a Republican and later as a Libertarian. The historically dominant strain of Republicanism in Arizona is the libertarian leave-me-alone mind-your-own-business strain a la Goldwater, and not the Religious Right fascist strain. Although the theocrats are always battling for increased influence.

  2. Arizona is a strange nut – here in Tucson, where political things mostly taste of a generic/whining leftism, there are few issues that anger more thoroughly than the gay marriage canard and similar Valuesvoters nonsense. It is occasionally possible to see an older set of protesters on Grant boulevard with signs railing against abortion (baby murder!), but most people are likely to be anti-Minuteman and pro-choice. It will surprise me if the golf-and-snifter set in Phoenix fails to rally behind this bill, but there are precedents for seemingly aConservative initiatives finding purchase in Arizona polls: this is a state that legalized marijuana for sale and purchase for a 9-month period in 1994. Which can only lead to the conclusion that we are a truly goofy group of granola-crunching bong-friendly metrosexual elk hunters…

  3. Don’t forget that Arizona is the only state in the nation to flip the bird at the FedGov and reject Daylight Savings Time.

  4. It’s probably failing because opponents have focused on possible side effects that would harm seniors, students, and unmarried parents.

    The key is that the wording would ban anything that even smells a little like marriage — civil unions, domestic partnerships, etc. Claiming that it will force people onto state welfare rolls, harm children, is an attack on religion and faith, etc.

    http://www.azsos.gov/election/2006/Info/PubPamphlet/english/Prop107.htm

  5. Eh, Indiana doesn’t observe daylight savings either. Like the first two commenters I spent time in Tucson and like MarkV I’d say that they’re more of the “get the government out of my life” types. I’m a fan of any state where I can ride my motorcycle helmetless to the convenience store and buy guns, booze, and porn from the drive-thru window (not kidding).

  6. Hawaii doesn’t have DST either. Although, that has more to do with their proximity to the equator than to any anti-fed sentiment.

  7. I was born and raised in Arizona, and I think Mark V hits it right on the head – this is the state that gave birth to Goldwater and Sandra Day. It still has that Wild West feel, with huge property lots and a palpable belief that good fences keep good neighbors. Yes, there are Mormons (and a burgeoning Catholic population) but when push comes to shove, most Arizonans don’t want to mess around with someone else’s life any more than they want someone else messing with theirs.

  8. Thanks to Madog’s link, here is one of the “libertarian” arguments against this measure:

    “I am proud of the nearly 16,000 city of Phoenix employees. They work hard every day to protect our safety, maintain great *community parks,* operate outstanding *public libraries,* and help create *livable neighborhoods,* just to name a few key city services. City employees are the reason Phoenix is consistently ranked as a top run city. [emphasis added]

    “It is important that we provide the very best workplace for our employees, and provide good health benefits so our employees can focus on doing their jobs well. This ensures Phoenix will attract and retain the best people to provide the very best service.

    “Accordingly, I respectfully request you vote no on Proposition 107. It puts at risk local government’s ability to provide domestic partner health coverage. It will make us less competitive in attracting and retaining the best employees. Our people must remain our best resource.

    “Thank you for considering a no vote on Proposition 107.

    “Greg Stanton, Phoenix City Council, Phoenix

    “Paid for by ‘Arizona Together Coalition'”

    So I suppose the libertarian message is this: If you want to attract “the best people” as civil servants, you have to offer them *extra benefits.* That way, our civil servants will be better able to have community parks, public libraries, and livable neighborhoods.

    Libertarians, vote “NO” on this proposition!

  9. Mad Max,
    Running at strawmen eh? Maddog’s link was to “opponents” of the proposition which happen to be a city government. From a libertarian point of view, the government has no right to determine what is and is not marriage, it’s only place in a relationship is to uphold contractual obligations between individuals. Just because “city government” happens to espouse a view that coincides with the libertarian view does not mean that libertarians support said city government or the “civil servents”.

    In similar fashion, a common libertarian view is that home schooling and school vouchers are acceptible. This just so happens to coincide with beliefs held by religious theocrats but it does not mean that libertarians support morality laws proposed by said theocrats.

  10. Yes, Arizona is still has that “Leave me the hell alone” attitude.

    Buskowsk!man – I live in Tempe and I am not hearing a whole lot of support for this measure here. I see more ani-Prop. 107 stuff than I do pro.

    Malcolm J. – Indiana does indeed observe DST now. They started this year. However, people are still pissed because they chose New York(eastern) over Chicago(central) as the city they wanted to be on the same time as.

    Nick

  11. Totally irrelevant, but some of Indiana is ET, some is CT, now all of it observes daylight time. The counties closest to Chicago are and have been CT. Some counties at the southwest corner of the state switched from ET to CT when the state signed on to DST. Nobody switched from CT to ET.

  12. I also lived in Tucson until very recently. Both liberals and conservatives there tend to have a pretty stong libertarian streak (particularly as relates to pot and guns). The Phoenix area is a bit more conservative socially, but not really all that much. Tempe is a University town. Scottsdale is more country-club Republican than anything else. And even though Mesa is overrun with Mormons, they (the Mormons) as a group seem pretty happy to live and let live (compared to, say, the Baptists that I grew up among in Georgia, for example).

    So no, I really don’t find this suprising at all.

  13. 56 percent of respondents said they’d vote no, 30 percent said they’d vote yes and 1 percent was undecided.

    What about the other 13 percent?

    If they responded “not voting”, and pollsters didn’t thereby exclude them, than it seems that Arizona is sceduled to have an unusually high turnout.

  14. Arizona has a history of voting for people like Steve May, a gay-conservative-Mormon-Republican.

    We had the only gay Republican in congress (iirc), Jim Kolbe.

    Now if we can just build a wall on the border…

    with California.

  15. with California.

    LOL. Why, Wingnutx? You’re cutting off my escape route if Governor Moonbeam wins!

  16. Bee,

    Are you serious? You live in California and don’t know why we would want to keep illegal Californians out?

    Nick

  17. “Running at strawmen eh? Maddog’s link was to “opponents” of the proposition which happen to be a city government. From a libertarian point of view, the government has no right to determine what is and is not marriage, it’s only place in a relationship is to uphold contractual obligations between individuals. Just because ‘city government’ happens to espouse a view that coincides with the libertarian view does not mean that libertarians support said city government or the ‘civil servents’.

    “In similar fashion, a common libertarian view is that home schooling and school vouchers are acceptible. This just so happens to coincide with beliefs held by religious theocrats but it does not mean that libertarians support morality laws proposed by said theocrats.”

    I suppose that if a ballot argument for school vouchers said that that it was an public investment in higher teacher salaries, then libertarians would want to re-evaluate their attitude toward vouchers, at least in that particular instance.

  18. And even though Mesa is overrun with Mormons, they (the Mormons) as a group seem pretty happy to live and let live

    The Mormons as a group understand that most of the Religious Right do not and likely never will view them as being true Christians. This leaves open the possibility that they will be the next targets once the Pat Robertsons of the world get what they want, which in turn tends to make them somewhat ambivilent about backing intrusive social planning too closely.

  19. Had the great priveledge of being an Arizonan (Chandler) for a few years. Still keep my Az Concealed Carry permit in my wallet, now that i live n that ghastly Tommorrowland, Cal. So far, its not contraband.
    For a while (before I moved to Az) McCain had my sympathies/ interest. Actually living there, & watching him up close, disabused me of such. Ill be happy to give him the benefit of saying: well, maybe he got kicked in the head once too often while being hung by his heels in the Hanoi Hilton.
    the vile & rank opportunism he grabbed after the killings at Columbine HS- personally workin the crowd (with an eye on the future) to get any three people & one firearm called a “gun show” (so Fed registration laws would kick in) sets up his pandering to go after gay folks re: domestic partnership.
    Aye John: We Know Ye Too Well”
    Fuckin pity. Id like someone who knows such horrors as war in high office. As such, McC aint him.

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