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Sunday, January 16, 2005 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA

The Sanctification of Marriage in Arizona


The Repubos that run the state of Arizona want to put an initiative on the ballet in either 2005 or 2006 to amend the state constitution to say that marriage is between a man and a woman. (The Repubos prefer 06 and the Dems 05 because of the elections in 06.) Unfortunately, Reps Warde Nichols and Marc Anderson's planned amendment would go much farther than just blocking gay couples from marrying - it would eliminate all forms (civil unions, domestic partnerships, etc.) of legal partnerships now in force in some cities under state law and would disallow all marriage benefits to unmarried couples.


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The two Repubos say, of course, that they are defending the "sanctity of marriage", and that the amendment they propose would discourage "unconventional unions." But they've actually added a third reason for pushing the bill. They want to eliminate any benefits to unmarried couples that "cost taxpayers money" - thereby helping balance the state's budget. Gee, and I thought the American way was that the people who paid money to the government in taxes should reap any benefits equally with other good taxpaying Americans. I thought America had embraced its diversity, understanding we are all unconventional in some way. How wrong I am, apparently.


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Let's take one more look at the "sanctity of marriage" issue - not from the usual perspective (divorce, prisoners, pedophiles) but from the standpoint of the various religions seeking to keep gays and lesbians unmarried.


Let's say I was a Catholic man and wanted to marry a Mormon woman. I couldn't marry her in the Catholic Church because they won't marry anyone who isn't a Catholic. They take this so seriously that recently they fired the leader of the Phoenix Diocese's Office of Child and Youth Protection, Jenny O'Connor, because she married outside the church.


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Mormons look at this exactly the same way, so our couple wouldn't be able to marry in a LDS temple or stake either. Mixed marriages aren't allowed by Orthodox Jews or Jehovah's Witnesses either. Why? The Sanctity of Marriage does not allow for a man and a woman to be "unevenly yoked", as they put it. This translates - you can't marry outside the faith and remain in good standing.


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My question is, why haven't the Catholics, or the Mormons, or the Jews, or the JWs put forth an amendment to the state constitution outlawing any but their faith to be issued a marriage license?


Baptists should be included in that group as well. Many Baptists ministers will refuse to marry two people if one or both of them is divorced and the severed mate is still alive. How come the Baptists aren't pushing for an amendment banning divorced people from marrying?


Don't think they wouldn't like to. Remember, if you're not a Catholic, you're going to hell on a sled. If your not a Mormon, same deal. JW's too, well, no hell, but you'll be destroyed. And ask a Baptist what will happen to you if you aren't saved. Since these religions want to sanctify marriage by keeping sinners (read "anyone who doesn't believe the way they do") from marrying, where's the push for the amendments?


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It's simple really - there aren't enough members in any of these wacko faiths to carry it off. Believe me, they would if they could. But...what an easy target the gays are. All these faiths can all ban together to get rid of the gays and the average American will clap his hands for the effort.


No honest American, no believer in the Constitution would EVER sign a petition or vote for such an un-American amendment. People need to wake up and understand what they're doing. It isn't about marriage, it's about bigotry. Pure and simple.


If this becomes law, forget about the gay couples and their children who would be hurt beyond these people's understanding, the elderly who don't marry in order to keep their Social Security, which they depend on to eke out a quiet living, would not gain benefits as a domestic couple. Neither would anyone else not married whether the law allows them to or not.


Who gets to define what an "unconventional union" is? In the past, they thought a mixed racial marriage was "unconventional," but the courts said no. That's one reason these people want to get this bill passed before the marriage issue reaches the courts. They know what would happen. After all, ourside of their God given sexuality, there is nothing uncovential about a gay person's lifestyle. Oh, I forgot to mention, the new amendment would also disallow courts from hearing any cases involving marriage. Nice capper, hey?


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My question is, what's next? Do we require queers to wear a big red "Q" on their sleeves? Mayhaps we should rip them from their homes and put them together in a ghetto, all of their own. Certainly we shouldn't allow them to adopt children, hold a job, teach in our schools, or own property. I'm sure if we think hard enough on the issue we'll come up with an "ultimate solution." Then life in America will be truly sanctified.



# posted by Marcia Ellen @ 7:33 PM
Comments:
Great post! I'm an old Con law student and civics teacher, and you've hit the nail on the head! I love your extended metaphor re: the religious thing. Also admire you for being out in Arizona! I lived there, couple of times actually, and I know it's nature well. Probably more viciously reactionary on some issues than my own state, Georgia. You're doing a great job! Hang in there! (I also like your illustrations! I need to learn how to post pictures...)
 
Thank you Hoyama. What's happening in America scares me. It's so similar to what took place in Germany from 1925 to 1933. I do a lot of historical research for the poetry I write. I know what made this country great and we are so heading in the other direction, away from freedom and equality.
 
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