The Houston Chronicle reports that elderly heterosexual couples were key players in the defeat of Arizona’s referendum that would have banned civil unions and domestic partnerships. This may seem benevolent or progressive or kind or strange, but a more careful look reveals that the vote had little to do with elderly straights’ support of gay rights. The defeated referendum, in addition to writing the same-sex marriage ban into the state constitution (Arizona already has a law on the books banning it) would also have banned civil unions and domestic partnerships between any two people, gay, straight or otherwise. And in AZ, many in the senior set tend to prefer domestic partnership to marriage, the better to max out their retirement benefits. So the old-timers took notice and went to the polls.
At last, the key to our domestically blissed-out future: appealing to the retirees’ pocketbooks. I can see the ad campaign pairings now, in which single seniors join forces with gay icons: Jack Nicholson and Martina Navratilova hit the slopes; Barbara Walters and Nathan Lane work the room; Hugh Hefner and k.d. lang have a pool party; Bea Arthur and… um, Bea Arthur… sing “Bosom Buddies” from Mame.