The head of the ballot effort to prohibit gay marriage and define traditional unions in Arizona was killed in a car wreck early Monday.
Lynn Stanley, chairwoman of the Protect Marriage Arizona Coalition, died in a crash on Interstate 40 while returning to Phoenix from Las Vegas, where she was visiting two sisters.
Stanley’s death cast a pall over what was to be a joyous time for the Protect Marriage coalition. The group collected roughly 300,000 signatures to place its measure on the November ballot, said Nathan Sproul, a political consultant for the effort. Amending the state Constitution, as the Protect Marriage coalition intends, requires at least 183,917 valid signatures.
Stanley, a Scottsdale wife and mother of two, wasn’t active in politics before the anti-gay marriage amendment.
“She was passionate on behalf of the family,” Herrod said.
“We in the pro-family, pro-marriage movement have lost a true friend and champion. She’ll be terribly missed.”
While I didn’t know about this woman before today, I am certain that I would have found her as personally repellant as I find her politics. Lynn Stanley was a lot of things, but passionate about “the family” wasn’t one of them.
People who are passionate about “the family” spend their time strengthening the ties that bind them to the people that they love, not hacking away at the bonds between others. As clearly mean-spirited Lynn Stanley was, I don’t believe that spearheading an effort to deny others the right to express their committment to one another brought her any closer to her spouse, her children, or her siblings, nor do I believe that they will miss her for the role she played as a self-righteous moral crusader in the last few months of her life.
Nevertheless, Lynn Stanley’s death is a tragedy. It is a tragedy for her family, who will no doubt miss the wife and mother that she was. It is a tragedy for her church, where she will be missed as an active congregant and teacher.
It is also an opportunity, however. In the wake of this woman’s passing, men and women who truly believe in “the family” need to step up and let Mrs. Stanley’s family know that however much they might disagree with what she stood for in life, they recognize and sypathize with the pain and loss those closest to her are experiencing because of her death. That’s what “the family” is all about, and I mean it when I say that while its totally appropriate to celebrate the setback her death has caused for the awful movement she lead, it is totally inappropriate to celebrate her death itself. With Mrs. Stanley’s passing, a man has lost his wife and lover; children have lost their mother and teacher. People who are truly passionate about “the family” will understand and relate to this.
I firmly believe in the weeks and months ahead, those who love and miss this woman the most will wish that she had spent a lot more time sharing whatever love and affection she was capable of with them, and a lot less time working to make sure that a select group of people are denied their right to do the same. I believe that if Mrs. Stanley were given the chance to relive the last year of her life, she’d realize what real passion about “the family” is, and come to the same conclusion.