Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Proponents of Prop 102 Bully and Buy their Way to a Modest Win, but, Fight for Equality is Far From Over

Pima County Rejects so-called “Marriage Amendment,” Again!

State Legislators Responsible for Putting Prop 102 on the Ballot Lose: Anti-Gay Politicking Fails to Deliver for Bee and McClure

Focus Shifts to Continued Effort to Celebrate and Support All Arizona Families with Launch of Wingspan’s “Families You Know” Campaign

“The truth is, the most important contribution to strong families is unconditional love. This is why I can’t think of a better way to expose the lies behind Prop 102 than to launch Wingspan’s ‘Families You Know’ campaign.”—Jason Cianciotto, Executive Director, Wingspan

Tucson — With 99% of precincts reporting, Arizona voters have approved Proposition 102, the so-called “marriage amendment,” 56% “Yes” to 44% “No.” Wingspan stands in solidarity with No on Prop 102, Equality Arizona, Arizona Together, progressive faith leaders, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and allied communities across the state in expressing disappointment about these results.

“We take comfort in the fact that Pima County voters rejected Prop 102, and that the two state legislators primarily responsible for putting it on the ballot, lost their respective races,” said Jason Cianciotto, Wingspan’s Executive Director.

State Senator Tim Bee, who cast the 16th vote that passed Prop 102 out of the State Senate, failed to unseat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in CD8. State Rep. Marian McClure, who supported Prop 102 in the State House even though voters in her district rejected a similar measure in 2006, lost her bid for a seat on the State Corporation Commission. “Anti-gay politicking failed to deliver for Bee and McClure, just as it has elsewhere in the country” continued Cianciotto.

Supporters of Prop 102 spent nearly $8 million dollars on a propaganda campaign that not only bore false witness against the estimated 200,000 lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Arizona, single and in same-sex partnerships, but also falsely claimed that marriage was somehow threatened despite the fact that Arizona courts have already upheld our existing marriage law.

“Prop 102 was never really about marriage,” said Cianciotto. “It was about a corrupt and immoral political strategy that raised millions for special interest extremists and distracted voters from issue that truly have an impact on marriage and families during this economic recession.”

“The truth is, the most important contribution to strong families is unconditional love,” continued Cianciotto. “This is why I can’t think of a better way to expose the lies behind prop 102 than to launch Wingspan’s ‘Families You Know’ campaign. In two weeks, we will launch an interactive, multimedia campaign that invites the diversity of families in Southern Arizona to celebrate their lives and love by creating and sharing videos, photos and stories about their families through a new, interactive Website. To watch the first family story and learn additional information about “Families You Know,” visit

For over 20 years, Wingspan has been promoting the freedom, safety, equality and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Southern Arizona. As we move forward in support of that mission, we ask all Arizonans to stand together in opposition to the divisive special interests and political leaders who wasted millions on prop 102 that could have been better spent protecting families from the harmful effects of this economic recession.

“On behalf of the board and staff at Wingspan, I want to especially thank the leaders and volunteers of No on Prop 102 here in Southern Arizona, who gave countless hours to this campaign. These heroes exemplify how a community can come together, gay and straight, to create a positive force for change,” concluded Cianciotto.

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