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home : latest news : state May 26, 2016


9/17/2013 2:28:00 PM
Education campaign for gay marriage launched in Arizona
Nelda Majors, left, and Karen Bailey, who have been together for 55 years, explain Tuesday why they want the right after all these years to marry, including parental rights. Backers of a proposed 2016 ballot measure to legalize gay marriage hope that stories like this provide the margin for victory  at the polls.  (Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer)
Nelda Majors, left, and Karen Bailey, who have been together for 55 years, explain Tuesday why they want the right after all these years to marry, including parental rights. Backers of a proposed 2016 ballot measure to legalize gay marriage hope that stories like this provide the margin for victory  at the polls.  (Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer)
Former Attorney General Grant Woods explains Tuesday why he believes changing Arizona demographics will result in approval of a proposed 2016 ballot measure to legalize gay marriage in the state. (Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer)
Former Attorney General Grant Woods explains Tuesday why he believes changing Arizona demographics will result in approval of a proposed 2016 ballot measure to legalize gay marriage in the state. (Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer)

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services


PHOENIX -- Hoping to create a change in attitudes, various civil rights groups are taking the first steps to convince Arizonans that letting gays wed would be a good thing.

The education campaign being launched comes just five years after 56 percent of those who went to the polls voted to put an amendment in the Arizona Constitution defining marriage in this state as strictly between one man and one woman. But supporters of rescinding the ban contend there are Arizonans who can be convinced -- if not now, then by 2016 -- to support repeal.

And they say there already is evidence of a sharp change in public attitudes.

"For example, Wisconsin in 2006 passed a similar amendment,' said Paul Guequierre, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, one of several groups involved in today's event. "And yet this past year (they) elected their first openly gay senator in history.'

In fact, Democrat Tammy Baldwin is the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate from anywhere.

But Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, said supporters of gay marriage are reading far too much into last year's election of Baldwin, a seven-term member of Congress who edged out former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson.

"I would not say that the voters of Wisconsin elected that senator because of her sexual orientation and that reflects a change in attitudes,' Herrod said. "People judge candidates on the basis of their qualities, where they stand on the issues.'

And Herrod already is laying the groundwork to make the debate more personal for voters than just questions of equal treatment under the law.

"In the state of Massachusetts, parents no longer have the right to oversee what kinds of books that 6-year-olds had to read in school,' she said. That refers to a federal court ruling which concluded parents have no right to object when elementary school youngsters are given books showing non-traditional families, even if that conflicts with parents' religious views.

"Regardless of where you are on the marriage issue, talking to your children about same-sex relationships should be reserved for the parents when a child's only 6 years old,' Herrod said.

Arizona's own political landscape is mixed.

Voters in at least parts of Arizona have shown that issues of sexual orientation do not matter.

As early as 1996, residents of parts of Tucson and Southeast Arizona reelected Republican Jim Kolbe to Congress even after he was forced to reveal his sexual orientation after being threatened by some gay organizations to "out' him. More recently Pinal County voters returned Sheriff Paul Babeu to office last year, aware not only that he was gay but even after a photo emerged of the underpants-clad sheriff taking a picture of himself to post online.

And a far-reaching 2006 ballot initiative to ban both gay marriages and civil unions was narrowly defeated. But that led to the scaled-back 2008 measure confined to the issue of who can wed, which won strongly.

The key is going to be moving the needle enough so that gay marriage supporters feel confident that a 2016 ballot measure would not be a waste of time.

A statewide poll earlier this year of 700 adult heads of households found that 55 percent said they would support allowing gays and lesbians to wed, with just 35 percent opposed.

But translating that to support at the ballot box might be something else.

The survey showed that those who identified themselves as registered Republicans remain sharply opposed, with just 36 percent in support of repealing the measure. The key could come in getting Democrats and independents, both groups firmly backing gay marriage, to turn out on election day.

While supporters of repealing the constitutional amendment are unveiling their own education campaign, Herrod has promised an equally vociferous response from the other side.

It may come down to a question of timing.

So far 13 states have approved laws allowing gays to wed. And Herrod conceded there has been no significant fallout to the point where any state is already considering reversing course.

But Herrod argued said the full effects have yet to be felt.

"We're less than a decade into states redefining marriage,' she said.

"The long-term impact on children, the long-term impact on society and the culture from redefining marriage is yet to be learned,' Herrod continued. "We're in an experimental phase, with the children being the experiments.'

That refers, at least in part, to that 2007 federal court ruling from Massachusetts.

"It is reasonable for public educators to teach elementary school students about individuals with different forms of families, including those with same-sex parents, in an effort to eradicate the effects of past discrimination, to reduce the risk of future discrimination and, in the process, to reaffirm our nation's constitutional commitment to promoting mutual respect among members of our diverse society,' wrote Judge Mark Wolf.

Also involved in today's event is the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and Equality Arizona.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

You got me there, Mr. Jensen. I did, indeed, studiously ignore the fact "marriage," as a word and as a symbol, is far more powerful political propaganda.

"Civil Union" and "contractually guaranteed fiscal responsibility" aren't inferior concepts, but they have no emotional traction whatsoever.

In my defense, I count several gay-rights activists among my friends. One is definitely more interested in "driving a nail" into the coffin of "self-righteous, conservative bigotry" than in actually improving the civil protections and prospects of gays. Another is deeply and solely concerned by the stresses social rejection places on people whose gender identification is "different" from an early age. She's sold on the therapeutic value of appropriating time-honored rituals, but thoroughly dislikes using subliminal tactics to move social attitudes around as if people were avatars in a national computer simulation.

I'm truly in no position to judge the motives of activists I've never even met.


Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013
Article comment by: Edward Broker

@ The Bible: Why do hypocrites slam the Bible shut after reading Romans ch.1? I'm on God's side here! We are all sinners equal in His sight! Please read on in ch. 2! "You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things?...if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself?...You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery?... You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, 'The Gentiles [the world] blaspheme the name of God because of you.'” No wonder so many don't want to be Christians because of people like you!

Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Jane

After reading Ryan's latest post, a light bulb lit up for me!

This isn't about homosexuals desire to marry one another. This is about RETRIBUTION! Homosexuals are angry with the world and history in general because of the disgust felt for their behavior. What better way to rub the faces of all religions in the dirt than by taking the most sacred thing they believe in and defiling it in the most debauched way possible!

The homosexual lobby sees this issue as a way to codify their abhorrent behavior and bloody the noses of any religious people at the same time.

Marriage has been the backbone of civilization since mankind began living in groups. Religion is the accumulate wisdom of the ages. Certain truths get passed down from generation to generation so as to ensure the futures of our progeny. Many bad behaviors must be discouraged to do this, among them: sex with animals, close relatives and OF COURSE sex with members of the same sex!

What better way to show their hatred of society and it's many religions than to destroy one of the most basic tenets of every religion, marriage!

This movement is about more than their stated desire to brainwash our children and assuage their self-loathing, it's about expressing their hatred for society in the strongest sense.


Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: The Bible

So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other�s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.
Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God�s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too Romans Chapter One


Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: Ryan Jensen


Allowing gay marriage is another step toward driving a nail in the coffin of the intolerant fools who think their Bible-learning or their own moral superiority means gays and those who empathize with them are immoral, deviant, etc.

Being allowed to "marry" is significant in that it symbolically equalizes a bond between a loving gay couple with that of a loving straight couple. Sure, civil unions would answer many of the points Spider brings up, except for the most important one: marriage is more potent symbolically.

"`Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?� We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being." - Pope Francis


Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: Edward Broker

I'll be against gay marriage when Arizona is against straight divorce. Why is gay marriage illegal, yet anyone can get a no-fault divorce in a flash?! I'm on God's side with this! "'Why has God abandoned us?' you cry. I'll tell you why it is because the Lord has seen your treachery in divorcing your wives who have been faithful to you through the years, the companions you promised to care for and keep. You were united to your wife by the Lord. In God's wise plan, when you married, the two of you became one person in his sight. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. Therefore, guard your passions! Keep faith with the wife of your youth.
 For the Lord, the God of Israel, says he hates divorce and cruel men. Therefore, control your passions�let there be no divorcing of your wives." (Mal 2:14-14 TLB)

Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: Thank God...

...that the biblican right wing neocon faction has no real power over others, and that it will stay that way. Your self-righteous, nasty hot air is nothing more than that, and it reveals your unchristian hatred and disrespect of people different from you way better than anything I could say. That book you go by has little to do with the love and compassion Jesus really taught, so full of fear and control dogma that came straight from the minds of all too human men -- not from the divine.

Like I said, thank God the only real power you have is to spew this tripe in a forum.


Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: Satan at Work

When God created the earth he created a man in his image and he created a woman to help man. They were to marry and replinish the earth. Only females can replinish the earth and it takes a male to fertilize an egg. Thus is why we have a man and a woman marry. 2 females can not make a baby and neither can 2 males.

But Satan has stepped in to temp us and now we have 2 females/2 males who think they need a piece of paper to tell them that they are married. This is/was not God's plan. This is Satan's plan to steer us away from returning to Heaven to live with God.

Gay's choose their sexual lifestyle. (according to our Bible they have chosen wrong.) They were not born this way. If they want to live by Satan's rules then they can find other ways around the legallities. They can appoint a power of attorney, who get what, and what to do in a situation where they can not talk or make their wishes known. That is no different for a straight person.

The gay''s don't need a piece of paper that says they are married to be commited to someone. I also believe that after you are with someone and using their last name for 7 years you are considered legally married according to the courts.

Personally what they should repent their sins and start living a morally clean lifestyle. Stay in the closet as I do not want to know about what they do behind closed doors. I do not let anyone know what I do with my husband why should someone else brag about themselves?


Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: The Real meaning of what was said

Former Attorney General Grant Woods explains Tuesday why he believes changing Arizona demographics will result in approval

Translation

When we get more transplants from fruitcake land


Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: Yes, yes, yes

You are completely out of your element when you proceed to try and dictate to the world that you have a right to preach your deviant homosexual lifestyle to the world's children as a wholesome and healthy alternative to the way we have lived as a civilization for the last 250,000 yrs.

In no way is this so! Save your hysterics and hate for the parades, cuz we ain't buying it!

Take it slowly. Word by word. We aren't buying it! You might be able to convince children in Kindergarten if given the chance, but we aren't about to let that happen.

Shall I repeat it again? Keep your hatred and self-loathing to yourself!

You're so terrified of what society says about your behavior that you seek to redefine it, as though that somehow will excuse it.

Keep at it though, the more you write the more transparent you become.


Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: @ no no no

If you are "shocked and offended by is the ugly and violent stance taken by some who imagine they possess the right to DICTATE what is right and appropriate FOR another human being" ...

... then surely you are referring to those who are trying to shove down our throats a redefinition of marriage.


Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: The Bible

Proverbs 16:2 "All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes." and Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick who can understand it"

Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: I. Ronic Lee

Spider has the least spin.

Reasonable questions, Spider.

I look forward to reasonable answers with little optimism.


Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: For Itsy Bitsy

With respect, I'll toss that one right back to you!

Yes, it's true that the term "marriage" has been largely identified with heterosexual relationships being officially recognized or sanctified by an officiant of some sort, whether religious/spiritual or a Justice of the Peace type person.

And of course while those who actually believe they have the right to dictate morality for others based on their own religion will take self-righteous, indignant issue with this...I say that we're becoming even more civilized as a species by taking steps to officially recognize/sanctify relationships regardless of gender for those desiring that.

So: What's wrong with the term "marriage" for all who experience their relationship as one? Why seek at all to "downgrade" same-sex relationships into some "lesser" term? Unless you yourself, like others, don't view their rights as equal to your own?


Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: No, no, no.

Why is it that when people who believe everyone has a right to their own choice of lifestyle, guaranteed by Constitution (and you appear to be the one needing education on what it says!)...they are invariably and vehemently attacked as "left-wing liberal" and emotionally hysterical?

Let me try one more time.

NO. None of us who support every human being's free-will choice are "shocked and offended that there are other views". What we ARE shocked and offended by is the ugly and violent stance taken by some who imagine they possess the right to DICTATE what is right and appropriate FOR another human being.

Let me repeat that. Please listen: What we ARE shocked and offended by is the ugly and violent stance taken by some who imagine they possess the right to DICTATE what is right and appropriate FOR another human being.

Take it slowly, word by word.

The only "emotionally unhinged drivel" going on here comes from people like yourself, who are so terrified that your own idea of what comprises human civilization, based on YOUR religion and YOUR RELIGION ONLY, will somehow be overthrown and the world reduced to chaos. That kind of fear creates...well, emotionally unhinged drivel.

I have no fear whatsoever of any such thing, and I'm as devoutly spiritual a person as you'll ever meet. No doubt my claiming such will generate even more hysteria from you, claiming that only YOUR judeo-christian ideals are the "true" ones.

Carry on then! LOL



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