Tuesday, April 30, 2013

So Who's Really "Extreme"?

Last week, we saw a burst of emotion and a new round of reflection as the Nevada (State) Senate passed SJR 13. Perhaps the biggest story last week (other than the actual Senate passage of SJR 13) was Senator Kelvin Atkinson (D-North Las Vegas) coming out on the Senate floor... And to the national media. Fortunately, he's received an outpouring of support since then.

Yet with that being said, he's now on the receiving end of trash talk from a very usual suspect. He (politically) threatened Senator Justin Jones (D-Enterprise) for supporting SJR 13 and marriage equality. And now, he's whining about "Teh Big Bad Demon-rat Hoe-mo-SEX-shul LIB'RULZZZ!!11111!!!!11111!!!!" Poor Ray Hagar, he had to listen to this BS.

[Richard] Ziser points to first-time Sen. Pat Spearman, D-Las Vegas, as the main driver in the movement he so ardently opposes. Spearman is one of five openly LGBT legislators in Carson City. Spearman, a minister, is a primary sponsor of SJR13.

To Ziser, Spearman is the poster-person for extremism in Carson City. Perhaps some of the GOPers were "extreme" during Gov. Gibbons' reign. Now Ziser sees the same extremism from Democrats.

"We are reaching for extremes," Ziser said. "We are definitely doing that on the Democratic side. [...]

Ziser also recalls that Spearman beat a Democrat in the 2012 primary who didn't support marriage equality –former Sen. John Lee, now the mayor-elect of North Las Vegas.

“And I remind you that she beat Sen. Lee,” Ziser said. “He was a socially conservative Democrat and they replaced him with an ultra liberal. I have a hard time believing that the majority of Democrats stand for the things she pushes."

Here is Spearman’s response:

"Polls show that a clear majority of Nevadans support marriage equality and it is time the voters are given the choice to remove this discriminatory ban from our state's constitution," Spearman said. "Passing marriage equality will bring a much needed boost to Nevada's economy at a time that we desperately need it while ensuring the government can no longer tell Nevadans who they can or cannot love."

And here are Richard Ziser and his anti-equality campaign in a nutshell.

And Senator Spearman is correct. The polls here in Nevada and nationally have shifted dramatically in favor of equality just in the last five years. Attitudes have changed. Many of our hearts & minds have changed. And because John Lee refused to keep up with change and reconsider his strident opposition to LGBTQ civil rights, he lost to Pat Spearman last June.

Oh, yes. That's right. A solid (63%) majority of Democrats chose the pro-equality Spearman over the anti-equality INCUMBENT Lee last June. And now, a majority (54%) of Nevadans overall support marriage equality. So who's really "extreme" here?

Equality is NOT "extreme", far from it. Rather, the "tea party" continues to embrace extremism with its strident opposition to equality. And as long as most Republicans continue to follow the lead of Ziser and the rest of the "tea party", they will be the ones seen as extreme and out of touch with most voters.

Keep this in mind next time the "TEA" fueled anti-equality campaign tries to spin away momentum for equality and civil rights.

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