Wednesday, November 08, 2006
"First and foremost, I'm exceptionally proud to be an Arizonan today. This outcome speaks volumes about Arizona's commitment to families. Arizona voters saw through Prop 107's rhetoric and knew that the intent of 107 was to take away domestic partner benefits from thousands of Arizona families."This is the first state to say no to enshrining bigotry in its constitution.
-- Kyrsten Sinema, chair of Arizona Together
After an evening of watching seven other states -- Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin decided to prevent gay and lesbian couples from marrying (some banning civil unions or legal arrangements approximating similar rights to marriage), one state got it.
And Arizona gay grassroots activists are letting everyone know that they did it by themselves.
The big national gay organizations have been notably absent there, and the campaigns have been smart about attracting voters from both conservative Phoenix and liberal Tucson with targeted messages and tactics. "We did this with no national help," says Jordan, "this grassroot's effort was local."See the complete results here.
Many. many congrats to the folks at AZTogether and No On Prop 107.
From Blender NerdGirl:
As a member of AZTogether, I am proud to report: Arizona has defeated the Proposed Marriage Amendment!***
AZTogether and No On Prop 107 were successful tonight in taking down the evil and meanspirited AZ Prop 107 that would have amended the AZ constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, and ban all domestic partnership benefits.
We are the first (and red) state to defeat such a proposition. Hopeful this will stop the domino effect across the nation.
Thank you to anyone who helped support this effort.
We won the Pima County (Tucson) vote by 30,000 votes. This carried the election throughout the state and the prop failed by 31,000 votes! Thank you to No On Prop 107 for bringing in the Pima county vote!
We are now going on the offensive and hope to take the Know Your Neighbor campaign statewide to fight for full equal benefits. Any donation to this effort are much appreciated and can be made at www.NoProp107.com.
Stay strong: we are proof that even red states can turn this all around if we stick together and talk to people locally to raise awareness nationally.
Thanks also to former Sen. Kolbe for showing up to support the community.
Gay.com on some of the other amendments.
Colorado voters were favoring the same-sex marriage ban by a 56 percent to 44 percent vote with 77 percent of precincts reporting. They also defeated a measure that would have created a domestic-partnership registry for unmarried couples, by a 55 percent to 46 percent vote.Wisconsin's amendment results (59 percent to 41 percent) were shocking, since that was the state many predicted would defeat the amendment. Alas, it didn't happen. South Dakota was close, but no cigar -- 52-48.
In Idaho, 64 percent of voters condemned marriage equality.
South Carolina slammed same-sex marriage 78 percent to 22 percent, with nearly all votes counted.
Tennessee voters were favoring the marriage ban 80 percent to 20 percent, with 41 percent of precincts reporting.
In Virginia, with nearly all precincts reporting, the vote was 57 percent in favor of the ban Tuesday night.
The real message here is that civil rights should never be determined by popular vote. As Callie said in the chat thread earlier -- about a quarter of voters in Tennessee weighed in on that amendment -- that small slice of the entire state's population decided the legal fate of all gay and lesbian couples in Tennessee. That's BS.
[UPDATE: Read voter reactions to the passage of VA's amendment at the Virginia Pilot Online.]
And one more word about Virginia, which passed a heinous amendment that bans civil unions, domestic partnerships, and places legal arrangements between unmarried partners at risk. That state should pay dearly for its decision to make gay Virginians second-class citizens. The gay exodus will escalate shortly, and the Commonwealth will pay a steep economic price for its choice. That business community already knows it, as does Governor Tim Kaine.