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July 27, 2008

Significant Change To Wording Of Proposition 8

The Advocate announced today that the California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, has significantly changed the wording of Proposition 8 (the anti-gay marriage amendment). The change could help defeat the amendment in the November election.

According to The Advocate,

The original wording of the November ballot initiative read, "[Proposition 8] amends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

The new language says that the initiative "Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry." It further explains that banning gay marriage could prevent the state from gaining tens of millions of dollars in potential sales tax revenue.

Some activists think the language change, which spells out the removal of the right for same-sex couples to marry, could help to defeat the measure, according to Waymon Hudson at Bilerico.com. He notes that some polls have shown that changing the language to denote the removal of rights can add up to 10 percentage points to the "no" votes.

In light of the fact that the most recent poll of likely voters (see my July 18th posting) showed a slim majority of 51% opposed to Prop 8, this could be enough to assure its defeat. And, of course, deal a heavy blow to this latest homophobic and discriminatory attempt by the religious right to wipe out our rights.

Wouldn't it be great if the Arizona Secretary Of State, Jan Brewer, would do the same here. Our polls show that even though most Arizonians oppose gay marriage, an even larger majority don't want to see the state constitution changed. This kind of wording could have a substantial effect here as well.

If you would like to express your feelings on this to our Secretary Of State go to: azsos.gov/info/contact_us.htm)
I sent the following message through that link:

Aside from the anti-citizen rights immorality of Proposition 107, the Fiscal Impact Statement, as it appears on your sight, is a gross misdirection of the truth of the impact of this amendment on the Arizona economy.

Clearly, there can easily be a dramatic increase in health care costs (via AHCCCSS and other state provided programs) due to the loss of medical insurances already provided to various city, state, county and private business employees throughout the state. It also doesn't take into consideration the tax base and human resource losses of graduate students and highly specialized/higher income business, government and university employees (or even businesses themselves) going to other states that are more tolerant of individual rights and freedoms.

To allow the legislature to make a blanket statement that "Proposition 107 is not projected to have a state cost" is not in the best interest of all Arizonans. Or, even more importantly, in the interest of full and honest disclosure.

As Secretary of State you have an obligation to make sure that all "official" statements regarding propositions put before the voters are true and accurate. Please exercise that right.

To read the Advocate story go to: advocate.com)