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Propositioning The Electorate

Despite what it would appear from the media coverage, California’s Proposition 8 isn’t the only ballot initiative in the country in 2008, it’s just the one sucking up all the oxygen in the media’s circumambient atmosphere. There are similar measures on the ballots in Florida [Amendment 2] and in Arizona [Proposition 102]. The proponents keep telling you that they support “traditional marriage” but they never tell you whose tradition it is because the Bible is certainly rife with examples of polygamy, and it was decades before the “Pilgrim Fathers” allowed ministers to be the official witness at weddings in Massachusetts. These “traditions” seem to be the creations of fevered minds, not American history.

A particularly nasty piece of work on the Colorado ballot is the Colorado Equal Rights Amendment. This is an anti-choice amendment masquerading as equality. Lying comes easily to these people, and they call an amendment that takes away rights, an equal rights amendment, because they don’t think it would pass if people understood what it really meant. Actually, one of the rights that could easily fall victim to this amendment is the right to use contraceptives.

There’s an election, so there is another ballot measure on the South Dakota ballot to take choice away from women. This time it is called Initiated Measure 11, but it is the same zombie anti-choice law it is in every South Dakota election. If this one fails, as the others have, I have no doubt they will begin to gather signatures for a go at the 2010 election. They have no intention of accepting a “no” as final.

Don’t just vote on the top of the ticket.  Those “boring” propositions can have a more immediate and devastating effect on your life than the marquee Federal offices that you see first.  It makes no difference who you elect if you allow whackos to re-write your state’s constitution.


1 Mustang Bobby { 11.04.08 at 8:37 am }

I heard the young lady behind the Amendment 48 in Colorado being interviewed on NPR. She is 21 at the most and very earnest and passionate about her beliefs. While I admire that in someone who is so devoted to a cause that she is able to get it to a state-wide vote, it sounds like the breathtaking scope of the unintended consequences of this amendment either didn’t sink in or they don’t matter to her. In spite of the fact that she says she had a lawyer work out the language of the amendment, I have a hard time believing that they really grasp what would happen if the State of Colorado does truly declare that a fertilized egg is entitled to all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. The questions are endless; first of which is how does anyone know the exact moment of fertilization and therefore the obtaining of the rights? Second, if the foetus somehow endangers the life of the mother or indeed kills her, is the foetus liable? Does a pregnant woman get to use a carpool lane on I-25? And on and on.

This absolutist mindset, regardless of which side of the spectrum it comes from (and I’ve heard some equally loony ideas from the far left, too), is the scariest thing out there.

2 Bryan { 11.04.08 at 1:11 pm }

I’ve worked with [and to be honest, played with] the law too long not to recognize the danger of words in laws. The scariest part of Florida’s Amendment 2 is “substantial equivalent” – that can mean whatever you want it to mean.

How do you determine age? What is the birthday? Is it then illegal for women of childbearing age to drink because of the possibility of “serving alcohol to a minor”? There are just too many complications for something like this to ever work.

You have to wonder how much better off the world would be if these people showed as much concern for the children who are born, as they devote to those than aren’t.