Serena Freewomyn

Marriage Bill Fails to Pass AZ Senate

Filed By Serena Freewomyn | June 26, 2008 5:30 PM | comments

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

Just a quick update on the marriage bill that was working its way through the Arizona state legislature. Yesterday the SCR-1042 failed to pass by 14-11, with 5 members not participating in the vote. In order to pass, 16 senators would have had to vote yes.

One of those senators who missed the vote was on vacay. Senator Linda Gray (a known homophobe and anti-feminist) made a procedural move to allow another vote to be called on Friday so that the missing senator could interrupt her summer plans. This is from Box Turtle Bulletin:

When supporters of the ban realized that they didn't have enough votes -- Sen. Karen Johnson (R-Mesa) had gone on vacation -- Sen. Linda Gray (R-Phoenix) switched her vote in a procedural move to allow her to bring the measure back again for another vote. Another vote will likely be called on Friday when Johnson is expected to interrupt her vacation to support the measure.

Hold the phone ya'll. If I'm on vacay, don't fucking call me. I don't check my e-mails. And I'm certainly not coming back to work early. Homegirl needs to learn how to relax. Is hating the queers so important that you have to give up a mani, pedi, botox? What happened to a shopping spree and the tanning bed? Is homophobia really that important? Arizona already prohibits same sex marriage. So why is this even an issue?

Your action is still needed! Call your state senator before Friday's vote and let them know they've got their priorities out of whack. If you live in Arizona, please contact your state senator and urge them to vote against the bill.

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"Karen Johnson?" That b-word still in the AZ Senate? She was a pain in the ass when I lived there over 8 years ago. You're right. Homophobes don't know how to relax.

Any word on where the other vote's going to come from to hit 16, assuming that Senator Vacay comes back to have her say?

Meanwhile, and I should have mentioned this a long time ago, my colleague Ariana Flores will be in Phoenix on Saturday and Tuscon on Sunday to conduct storyteller trainings for LGBT parents and their allies through our OUTSpoken Families program.

It's the same program I brought to Indianapolis in March:

The trainings highlight the use of family themes and community-based messages to change hearts and minds. Ariana will speak to the marriage fight in AZ in particular this time around.

If you're interested or know folks who are, you can pre-register for the trainings at They're hosted by Equality Arizona in Phoenix and Wingspan in Tuscon.

Ooooh, Serena. You should totally go to the training, S.

I'll keep an eye out on Friday to see what happens.

You're right. Homophobes don't know how to relax.

That's why they spend so much time hatin' on us.

Becky Allison | June 28, 2008 2:03 PM

Unfortunately the bill was held for reconsideration by Sen. Linda Gray and brought up again yesterday, when it passed with the minimum 16 votes. From Equality Arizona:

"Integrity Lost

Tonight's debate was intense for everyone on the Senate floor and those of us watching in the gallery. But what happened to our openly-gay Senators by their colleagues was absolutely disgusting. Senate extremists strategically broke the rules of the Senate, which govern the processes for discussion and voting on bills. During a filibuster-like discussion on another bill during Committee of the Whole, Majority Leader Thayer Verschoor (R-22) and Majority Whip John Huppenthal (R-20), among others, devised a scheme with committee chairman Jack Harper (R-4) to outright violate the rules of the Senate and the rights of Senators Aboud and Cheuvront.

In the middle of their discussion, Senator Harper turned off the microphones of Senators Paula Aboud (D-28) and Ken Cheuvront (D-15) and called on the Majority Leader to make a motion. Then, when Senators Aboud and Cheuvront loudly called for a Point of Order several times, even walking to the front desk where Senator Harper sat, he deliberately ignored their calls. To add insult to injury, these people attempted to justify their actions, even after the Senate President and other Senators admonished them for deliberately breaking the rules. Tonight's actions of these and other Senators have forever tainted that body, and it's important that we all let the people of Arizona know how these individuals acted so unethically."