April 21st, 2008
Arizona became the first state in the union to defeat an anti-marriage amendment in 2006. Thats when voters gave the thumbs down to Proposition 107, which sought to enshrine marriage inequality into the state constitution, with 48.2% voting “yes” and 51.8% “no” (PDF: 220KB/18 pages). Now legislators in the Arizona House appear poised to approve a measure to put another anti-marriage amendment on the ballot for 2008. Some of those legislators who are reportedly leaning towards approving the measure represent districts which voted against the 2006 proposal, bucking the wisdom of their own constituents.
Let’s take the 30th legislative district as an example. The 30th spans the eastern part of Pima County (including Tucson’s eastern suburbs) and dips down to cover the northern half of Santa Cruz county and a small bite of Cochise County. This is a lightly suburban and rural district.
The way the Arizona House is set up, there are two representatives for each legislative district. Voters are asked to choose two names from a slate of candidates, and the top two vote winners are elected to seats in that district. For the 30th district, voters in 2006 chose Marian McClure (R, 36%) and Jonathan Paton (R, 34%) over Clarence Boykins (D, 30%). McClure and Paton are two of the legislators who are expected to vote to place the 2008 anti-marriage measure on the ballot.
You might think that those voters in the 30th really like their conservative Republicans, and in Arizona that’s often the case. But things aren’t always so straightforward here in the independent-minded West. A careful analysis of all the individual voting precincts which make up the 30th reveals that Arizona voters are perfectly capable of thinking for themselves and don’t need party labels or outside pressure groups to tell them how to vote.
It turns out that those very same voters who sent McClure and Paton to the statehouse also chose Janet Napolitano (D, 62.6%) over Len Munsil (R, 37.4%) for governor, and they preferred Gabrielle Giffords (D, 51.5%) over Randy Graf (R, 48.5%) for the U.S. Congress. Rep. Giffords now represents Rep. Jim Kolbe’s (R) seat. Kolbe, you may remember, retired in 2006 after continuing to represent his district for some ten years after coming out as gay.
And those voters did not like the idea of having inequality written into the state constitution, with 52.5% voting against Prop 107 and only 47.5% voting for it. This means that voters in this suburban and rural district defeated Prop 107 by a wider margin than did voters statewide.
If McClure and Paton had been paying any attention to their own constituents, we wouldn’t be hearing about their intentions to vote next week against their own district’s wishes. But right now, it appears that they intend to ignore the very voters who sent them to the statehouse, and they will instead vote to permanently disenfranchise thousands of Arizona citizens — those same family members, friends and neighbors who the voters of the 30th district stood up for in 2006. Arizona is definitely changing. It’s time for our legislators to start paying attention.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.