So I'm leaning on the porch rail of an apartment downtown, looking at a vista that included the Smith Tower, Pioneer Park, and Quest Field. It is an impromptu fundraiser for R-71, supporting domestic partnerships, which is on the ballot this fall. And I thought to myself, in my best Dave Byrne interior voice "Well, how did we get here?"
And it is a bit interesting.
You see, the laws that we are voting on, supporting domestic partnerships in an "everything but marriage" context are already on the books. This involves such basic matters that married couples take for granted - sick leave to care for a domestic partner, wages and benefits, adoption, powers of attorney, insurance rights, child custody and support. This referendum is an "Are you REALLY sure?" vote pushed by people that don't believe in domestic partnerships. Actually, despite the chaff that's being thrown up by those who don't want domestic partnerships (and there is a lot of it), the main reason to vote against it is simple homophobia.
The most recent laws for domestic partners (who are mostly, but not exclusively, gay men and women) swept through the state legislature and were signed into law by the governor. Hang on, say the opponents. It is not enough for our duly-elected officials to make such a law, we the people should have the ultimate say. And got enough signatures to challenge it and put it on the ballot.
So, the people who DON'T want domestic partnerships put a measure on the ballot in order to confirm domestic partnerships because they want that measure to lose. Yeah, its a bit of a mind-twist.
And who would be dumb enough to sign a petition for such an initiative? We dunno, because the names are being held secret. And I actually think this is a good thing. The people who signed the petitions may be haters, delusional, illusional, or just plain wrong. But I don't think anything can be solved by, um, "outing" them. Oddly enough, our GOP Attorney General disagrees with me, thinks they should be released, and the matter will end up at the Supreme Court. Yeah, I'm to the RIGHT of a Republican. Told you this was a bit of a mind-twist.
We do know about the people behind this referendum (which they want to defeat) - and well, it ain't pretty (and I picked the most innocuous report about them). One is a save-traditional-marriage type on his third wife (and with accusations of abuse from a previous wife). The other is a minister from Oregon (yeah, out of state) who has had a spate of tax problems. I don't know if it bothers me that these guys are hiding behind family and cross, or that this is the best the field could offer as leaders.
And most of the learned heads think this is referendum is a foolish idea (which means that the learned heads SUPPORT it). Most of the major state newspapers AND both candidates for mayor AND both candidates for King County Executive support the referendum. You have to get pretty deep into the religious weeds to find those speaking against the measure.
So how can these guys carry the day to defeat the measure they put on the ballot. By lies, mostly. Ginning this up as a "Marriage for Gays" measure. It's not, it's pretty much "Everything BUT marriage. And even if it were, my marriage is pretty much unthreatened by gays getting married (too bad about yours). There is also a commercial about how the government is wasting its time with this instead of solving real problems (ignoring the fact that the government settled this issue - its the anti forces that are wasting more time and money). And the idea that gays get "special rights" ("special" in this case means "the same as other people"). And it's NOT a free speech issue.
But last night I got a robo-call, a push poll from some letter-jumble "survey firm" which pitched the question as "Homosexuals have put R-71 on the ballot" (They didn't, unless there's something about the sponsors that we don't know) and after sneering at it a couple times, asked my opinion. I pressed the button indicating support. Then I also told them I was a conservative pro-life Republican.
Hey, they lie, I lie.
Go and support R-71.
Update: This blog is reposted over on Facebook, and a comment from Geoff Simpson sent me to this bit of high bigotry in an mailer from up in Snohomish, sort of a grand central station of lies on the subject, debunked by the PI. (and the complete text of this vile and noxious concoction can be found at Publicola).
Oddly, for some reason, we don't get many mailers at Grubb Street anymore. Wonder why...
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