Pam Spaulding

Arizona: marriage ban supporters continue to fill their coffers

Filed By Pam Spaulding | October 04, 2008 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Arizona, marriage amendment, Prop 102

The fundie coffers are filling at an alarming rate in John McCain's home state, the only one to turn away a marriage amendment at the ballot box.

Supporters of a measure that would change Arizona's constitution to ban gay marriage have raised $6.9 million, 17 times more than opponents have raised, according to figures released Thursday.

Supporters of Proposition 102 say the money they've gotten signifies broad support against gay marriage among Arizonans. Opponents say the measure is a waste of time and money, considering the state voted down a similar measure in 2006 and gay marriage already is illegal in Arizona.

Either way, the money gives backers of the ban an edge over opponents, said Fred Solop, a political pollster at Northern Arizona University.

This iteration of the ban is going to be more palatable to voters, because it was rewritten to apply solely against same-sex couples; the 2006 measure would have barred recognition of both gay and heterosexual couples living together. Where do things stand in the polls? It's close, but clearly an uphill battle.

A recent statewide poll of 976 registered voters found that 49 percent of those surveyed would support the proposal. Forty-two percent said they would vote against it, and 9 percent were undecided.

The poll was conducted Sept. 25 through Sept. 28 by KAET-TV and Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin:

Today, our opponents are furious that they lost, and they are pouring millions of dollars into the state to upset the will of the voters. They threatened and coerced the legislature to put this on the ballot because they didn't want to spend the money to mount a petition campaign. In other words, there has not been a single Arizona voter who signed on to have this put on the ballot. The legislatures actions amounted to a several hundred thousand dollar gift to put this on the ballot for free.

...[I]f things don't change soon, then Arizona will lose something else: our historic 2006 victory. And if that happens, then the victories in Florida and California won't be secure. If Arizona loses in 2008 what we won in 2006, our opponents will learn a very important lesson. If they don't like the answer they got this year, all they have to do is come back again in a couple of years, spend millions of more dollars, and wear us down until they finally get what they want.

I am optimistic that we can defeat this proposed amendment in Arizona. Our internal polling shows that we don't have to match our opponents dollar-for-dollar in funding. We don't even have to come close. They've spend millions of dollars in the past two weeks, but the polling numbers haven't budged by a single percentage point since we fielded our own poll last June. They've spent millions, the votes for their side haven't budged one iota. Which means that so far, they've been wasting their millions.

...So we need your help. Please give as generously as you can. Because this has implications not just for Arizona, but for California and Florida as well. If we really want to secure our victories, it is imperative that we tell them that no really means no.

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Thanks for the post, Pam. We really need to focus on all the states fighting these amendments (I know here in Florida we are fighting an uphill battle).

I think it's sooo important to point out that they've already beaten this amendment once. They can do it again!