Arizona Senator John McCain
I take no joy in naming Sen. John McCain as this week’s Creep. In fact, I think McCain largely isn’t creepy, which is why his endorsement of an anti-gay marriage amendment in his home state is so unnerving.
Largely considered to be a sane and relatively pro-gay Republican, McCain’s endorsement is political pandering at its worst.
According to Advocate.com, not only did McCain meet with the anti-gay group Protect Marriage Arizona to pledge his support, he also signed the petition then and there to put the measure on the ballot.
It’s not a secret that McCain is seeking the 2008 presidential endorsement (it’s also not a secret he deserved said endorsement in 2000 way more than George W. Bush) and many are writing off McCain’s support for the Arizona marriage amendment as little more than politicking. Hey, they say, the guy’s got to appeal to those high divorce rate red states, after all, and you know how they hate the queers in Alabama.
I reject the idea that the way to win elections is to appeal to voters’ baser instincts. Whatever happened to “united we stand, divided we fall?” You’d think a war hero like McCain would be above pandering to prejudice for votes.
McCain is on record against the Federal Marriage Amendment – which is now renamed the Marriage-Protection Amendment, though another name change is in the works and it will soon be called the “Hide Marriage Under the Mattress and Get Your Shotgun Out, the Homos are Coming Amendment” (HMUMGYSOHCA for short).
But McCain is also on record as being a believer that marriage is only between one man and one woman. Hey, a lot of people do. But that doesn’t mean we’ve got to write discrimination into every state constitution.
In Michigan, we’ve already seen the far-reaching consequences these amendments have. The anti-marriage amendment voters passed here last November is being used to try to strip health benefits from gay and lesbian families. Arizona families are going to be in the same boat should the amendment in their state pass. It reads, “To preserve and protect marriage in this state, only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage by this state or its political subdivisions and no legal status for unmarried persons shall be created or recognized by the state or its political subdivisions that is similar to that of marriage.”
According to a KAET-TV poll in January, support for the measure “dropped to 33 percent from 54 percent if the measure also would deny benefits to domestic partners of gay employees.” Protect Marriage Arizona’s proposed amendment seeks to do just that. And John McCain has given it the thumbs up.
Give him the thumbs down by sending him a message via his Web page at http://mccain.senate.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=Contact.Home or by calling his D.C. office at 202-224-2235.