Grooms on the Cupcake

With Terry Goddard and Janet Napolitano around, you'd think gay marriage would have a chance in Arizona. Think again.

That's right, the ACLU threw in with the know-nothings.

The paperwork speaks for itself, and it is a disgrace.

I used to office down the hall from the ACLU. The director was a friend of mine. I took his money in poker games. But no one bluffed him, not in the game, not in the courtroom.

Attorney Michael Ryan on  gay marriage: "I think it's coming because it's the right thing."
Jackie Mercandetti
Attorney Michael Ryan on gay marriage: "I think it's coming because it's the right thing."

The new head of Arizona's chapter of the ACLU, Eleanor Eisenberg, is spineless. When President George W. Bush visited Phoenix, she was arrested. Understand, she hadn't organized and led any civil disobedience. She'd just gotten in the way and didn't move quickly enough to suit the cops. Nonetheless, I called her up to interview her. The police ought to leave protesters like her alone. The woman refused to come to the phone. I was informed that her attorney had told her not to talk to the press.

I like that. The head screamer at the ACLU allows herself to be muzzled by her own lawyer after a protest bust.

According to attorney Ryan, significant elements of the liberal community fear that if his suit is successful, Arizona will follow Hawaii and Alaska and pass constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriages. Other fellow travelers are simply intimidated.

"What I've learned," says Ryan, "is that there is a real fear of the conservative right wing, and not just over philosophy. There is a palpable fear that they will somehow harm people. Their [conservative] passion arouses a certain element. It makes people fearful [that] they can't be themselves."

What the ACLU and Terry Goddard and Janet Napolitano and the other nattering ninnies ought to grasp is that a same-sex marriage license in Arizona might be nothing more than a matter of leadership. Remember, the voters of this state have twice passed measures to decriminalize pot.

Goddard and Napolitano blew an opportunity.

"That would have been quite a splash if Goddard had filed a response, You know, they're right. Grant the relief,'" Ryan says, laughing.

Of course, that isn't what the attorney general did.

Instead, Goddard's office vigorously opposed Ryan's special action, and the attorney general made a point of telling the morning newspaper how safe family values were in his hands.

During oral arguments last week, and in page after dreary page, Goddard's office alleged that current laws prevent same-sex marriage and that in the entire universe only homosexuals and lesbians were precluded from marrying the person they love.

Goddard's staff claimed these laws protect the institution of the family.

There is no explanation of how two men with a marriage license threaten anyone's family; it's just a given.

Frankly, the state's position is so brain-dead that it degenerates into pure argumentativeness. How many grooms can dance upon the head of a cupcake? Tradition tells us, only one.

Attorney General Goddard goes on at length to make the tortuous argument that the current laws are meant to foster procreation: "The statutes satisfy these standards because they are rationally related to furthering the legitimate government interests of encouraging procreation . . ."

What the hell does that mean?

Would Goddard grant a license to Melissa Etheridge, an avowed lesbian in a committed lesbian relationship, because she chose to become artificially inseminated by -- of all possible choices -- David Crosby, and thus was procreating?

"The legitimate government interests of encouraging procreation"?

In Goddard's own marriage, he has not procreated.

Terry Goddard and his wife adopted a baby.

Which is precisely what Harold Donald Standhardt, a single man, and Tod Alan Keltner, a single man, want to do.

And God bless them.

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