Monday, June 05, 2006

How Pathetic is the Religious Right?

Protect Marriage Illinois has submitted some 345,000 petition signatures to the state legislature in order to get a referendum banning gay marriage on the November ballot. The referendum would not be legally binding for lawmakers, however it could be used as ammunition for more aggressive marriage amendment tactics.

One of the groups affiliated with PMI is the Illinois Fascist Institute. One Peter Labarbera is the executive director. (Which leads to a little side-thought I had. What if the Language Fartist were to marry him? "LaShawn Barber Labarbera." Perfect!)

Peter Labarbera is quite a character. He came to Chicago a couple of years ago to visit the International Mister Leather event in order to gather "evidence" (of what he never says). "As you can imagine, this idea didn’t go over too well with my wife," said Labarbera in a description of his little shopping spree.

Peter LaBarbarian

I paid my two-dollar entrance fee and passed by a femmy “leather” guy who was happily greeting visitors with the line, “Welcome to the WalMart of porn!” At the vendors’ area, I found booth upon booth--there were over a hundred--selling whips, handcuffs, electric “torture” devices, leather “hoods,” etc., a veritable cornucopia for the deviant. The man was right: there was also tons of the most disgusting pornography imaginable for sale at reduced prices, right there are at the glitzy Hyatt Regency!


Perhaps I will send some of my evidence to the Tribune Company’s executive staff, so they can see what they promoted to the public.

And perhaps he did just that. Or — just perhaps — he held on to the "evidence" and, under his wife's disapproving eye, pretended to box it up and put it in the basement on a convincingly hard-to-access shelf but exactly where he knew he could pry the lid open just enough to extract some of his favorite evidence on those long weekends when the wife visits the inlaws...

But I digress. The Chicago Free Press reports that Fair Illinois, the group checking the signatures on the marriage petition "say their objective of keeping the referendum off the ballot is well within reach. As a rule, about 70 percent of the signatures filed on voter petitions are legitimate. The rest are invalid for various reasons—they are duplicates, for instance, or the signers aren’t registered to vote or list incorrect addresses." As it turns out, even this optimistic estimation leaves the petition 41,611 signatures short. But it gets better.
So far, volunteers are finding a rate of accuracy that is far below 70 percent. “If 40 percent of these names are valid, I’d be surprised,” said Rick Garcia, political director of Equality Illinois. His organization joined forces with Lambda Legal and the ACLU to create Fair Illinois.


“These petitions are so phony,” said Cathy Calderon, who ended a 20-month hiatus from volunteering in order to be part of the Fair Illinois effort. She held up an invalid petition that was circulated by a person who used two different names—one a man’s name, one a woman’s.

“The gall of these people,” Calderon said. “They think they’re going to put one over on us. It’s not going to happen.”

Which, I'd say, finds PMI at the end of their rope. Their members are proven liars who must cheat in order to force their views on all, the remnants of a disgraceful movement in its final gasp, their names forever on record as endorsing this failed rapture of bigotry, to the everlasting shame of their descendants.

Oh yeah — and I think Chimpy McSmirksalot chimed in today on the matter of gay marriage, too.


Carl said...

Safe to say they blew that and will now have to swallow hard?

Fantod said...

I think they're gonna choke on it.