Serena Freewomyn

Anti-Marriage Amendment Vote Delayed

Filed By Serena Freewomyn | April 22, 2008 5:57 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: anti-marriage amendment, Arizona, gay marriage, marriage equality, same-sex marriage

Last week I reported on an anti-marriage amendment working its way through the AZ State Legislature. Today, the Arizona House of Representatives, acting as the Committee of the Whole, moved the anti-marriage amendment (SCR 1042) forward. However, House leadership did not bring the bill up for a final House vote today. SCR 1042 will likely be scheduled for a vote as soon as tomorrow.

Cathi Herrod has deployed the entire arsenal of the Center for Arizona Policy to pressure lawmakers to vote in favor of SCR 1042, which would put another divisive anti-marriage amendment on the ballot. This is despite the fact that Arizona voters rejected a similar measure just last year.

According to The Arizona Republic:

The state budget is in the red by over a billion dollars and the list of programs that might be cut is long and harsh, potentially affecting everyone from kids to crime victims. In order to make these agonizing life-and-death decisions, legislators need to muster all of their collective wisdom and devote 100 percent of their attention.

But, gee, that wouldn't be any fun.

It wouldn't leave any time at all, for example, to fuss over non-issues like gay marriage. And from what I can tell, that would be unacceptable. In fact, residents of Arizona can rest assured that even in times of dire economic crisis, our elected officials will not be deterred from lollygagging, dillydallying and goofing off.

And one of the ways they'll do so is by trying, again, to ban gay marriage.

This may seem odd to those of you who are aware that same-sex marriage already is illegal under existing Arizona law, a law that has withstood court challenges.

Normally I don't agree with anything that gets published in the Republic. But this time I think they've hit the nail on the head. Talk about getting your priorities fucked up. Hello, budget crisis? This is really just about how much people hate the gays. We can't get married here, so why does it need to be in the state's Constitution?

Whatever, ya'll. If you live in AZ, be sure to call your state representative to voice your concern. The switchboard number is 602-926-4221 or 1-800-352-8404.

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Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | April 22, 2008 8:08 PM

Serena, I understand that the text of the current proposed amendment differs from what was defeated in November 2006 at the polls in that unlike the former, this one only purports to recognize as valid only the union of one man and one woman, whereas the former extended the ban to arrangements similar to marriage, namely civil unions.

If proponents in Arizona are playing up the fact that their "new" proposal would permit civil unions, better beware. There's clear Congressional testimony by one conservative academic (Law Professor Gerard Bradley of Notre Dame who helped author such quite similar language in the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment that the definition of marriage itself bans "marriages in all but name". I've made the Arizona Equality folks aware of this. As usual, the proponents, including the Alliance Defense Fund, will say one thing to get a measure passed and then just the opposite after it does. I'll light a candle that a last-minute legislative light will come on in Arizona.

With Barbara McCollough-Jones at Equality Arizona, I have full confidence this will fail.