I'm a fighter, not a lover.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Thanks for voting. Here's your sticker.

I took part in my first Utah election day this morning and had a slightly shady experience, but nothing worth noting. Ultimately, I was able to cast my ballot and am ready for it all to be over with, both in terms of the presidential election and local politics. Tonight, I will go where the beer lives.

It is amazing though, the feeling that I am left with, if only fleeting, after coming out of that flimsy booth and walking back into a cold November. It's like I just did something important. I even have this silly little sticker to prove it. (Incidentally, I am pretty sure that Massachusetts does not provide voters with stickers. I laughed when the ballot judge handed me one. It makes me think back to heading to the dentist as a kid and getting a "prize" and a fluoride sticker after having my teeth cleaned.)

Now, Utah has worked hard to earn a reputation as an entirely conservative state. Me, on the other hand... I grew up in a very liberal area, though not necessarily in a liberal family, and attended a college where as the average straight white guy, between women and gay men, was essentially the minority. It is safe to say then, sometimes Utah and I just don't agree.

One of the craziest items on the ballot in terms of Utah politics, is proposed Amendment 3. Essentially, if passed, Amendment 3 would strictly limit marriage between man and woman, but goes further, essentially taking away any rights in any other non-married couple (not just gay couples). Several states' ballots today included a marriage amendment, but, from what I understand, only Utah included the second part, ensuring if passed, no rights between non-traditional partners (again, be they homosexual or simply just not married). Only Nebraska currently has a similar state law and interestingly, all three of Utah's Attorney General candidates, including Republican incumbent Mark Shurtleff, oppose Amendment 3 here in Utah.

Here is the kicker of Amendment 3: It is already written in Utah law that marriage can only exist between man and woman and it's not written in state law just once, but two separate times! Why not a third?

The Don't Amend Alliance worked hard to disseminate its message of, "It goes too far," referring to the second part of the proposed Amendment, while those in support of Amendment 3 argued that if not passed, it could harm the sanctity of marriage. I have spent the last month or so in awe that so many people want to take basic rights away from others based on sexual orientation and wondering how that justification differed from race-, economic-, or religion-based prejudices. Today though, after voting and having spent the last week being inundated by the television commercials and city billboards of the Yes on 3 Coalition (made up of Utahans for a Better Tomorrow, the Constitutional Defense of Marriage Alliance, Yes for Marriage and the Traditional Marriage Crusade), I really just thought about the incredible waste of money this whole ordeal was for the supporters of Amendment 3. After all, it's already written into law that a union can only exist between man and woman, so, in effect, the huge advertising and campaign costs that these people gladly dished out was aimed only to further discriminate against homosexuals in Utah.

Nonetheless, as I said, I am just ready for this all to be over. I think I may celebrate the end of this election season (for good or for bad) with the eclectic sounds of Devotchka at Ego's.


Blogger David said...

Mmmmmmm.... Conservatives.
When will people just give up being pissed off about other people's relationships and just learn to fix what is broken in their own fucked up existance. Gay, straight, black, white, lesbian, asian, Morrissey, skier, snowboarder, snowlerblader... Well, maybe discriminate against the snowlerbladers.

Election coverage also available at Mischief, Mayhem & Pornography.

4:28 PM


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