Are All of the Secretaries of State Against Us?
Seriously, this is an honest question. It seems that every time the right to civil marriage for same-sex couples comes up to a public vote (by the way the ONLY civil right to truly be voted on,) they word the initiatives to confuse voters. How do they do this?
The only one that is relative close to favoring the LGBT community is the “everything but marriage” referendum coming out of Washington State. In the case of Washington State, the wording seeks APPROVAL to keep the law in tact.
For example, in California's Prop 8 battle a lot of people were confused by the wording. Up until October of last year, the title of the measure was “affirm only marriage between one man and one woman will be recognized by the state” (or something to that effect.) After October 22nd, the wording switched to “Eliminates the right of marriage to same-sex couples” (again something to that effect – couldn't verify it because the SoS's office took it down – SORRY.) Anyway, unfortunately there were a lot of people that thought Yes meant No.
I see the same thing happening in Maine! What is the wording of their “People's Veto?” “Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?” The answer to us all is obviously no. However it is highly possible that people will be in the same position as they were with Prop 8, thinking Yes means No.
The SoS has full authority of how something will be worded on the ballot. So my question, as the title says, “are all of the Secretaries of State against us?” is a valid question. Suppose we changed the wording to a more affirmative question: “Do you want to retain the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?” This wording allows the voter to know and understand that their vote of YES actually means YES! The way it is worded now, No means Yes (to marriage equality.) How do we know which part of the measure is actually being rejected? There are two issues in this ONE proposition.
Suppose California Secretary of State Jerry Brown worded it differently to state, “Retain the right of same-sex marriage to enter into the institution of civil marriage.” Yes means Yes, and No means No. Plain and simple.
The reason I say this is because I continue to hear people say that Prop 8 failed, this is nine months after the fact. And the fact is Prop 8 did not fail, it passed. Again, No meant Yes. Why are we allowing our Secretaries of State continue to write these bill measure titles to the likings of the haters and not in our favor unless they are truly against us?