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9/19/2013 4:13:00 PM
Woods: Old voters are main obstacle to gay marriage

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services


PHOENIX -- The question of whether Arizonans agree in 2016 to allow gays to wed could depend on how many old people die between now and then, according to a former Republican state attorney general.

Grant Woods said Tuesday the issue of marriage rights for gays is a "no-brainer' for young people -- and even those in middle age.

"If you talk to people, really, even under the age of 50 right now, they really don't even understand why we're talking about this issue,' said Woods who was state attorney general for eight years in the 1990s.

"They don't even understand why we're talking about it.'

But Woods acknowledged that view is not shared by many senior citizens, especially those from his own party. And he questioned whether anything that supporters say would ever change that.

So Woods said the fate of a proposed 2016 initiative comes around to demographics. He said that already is occurring just five years after Arizonans voted by a 56-44 margin to constitutionally define marriage as solely between one man and one woman.

"It's just simple math,' he said.

"A lot of people at the upper end have died' since that vote, Woods explained. "A lot of people at the lower end have become voters.'

And he said that, in general, the younger the voter, the more likely he or she is to support the anticipated ballot measure.

Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which pushed the 2008 constitutional ban on gay marriage, acknowledged there is some basis for looking at the issue from the perspective of age.

"This is a generation that's grown up with TV show after TV show, movie after movie promoting same-sex relationships being equivalent to marriage, that redefining marriage is a good thing,' she said. But Herrod said she believes their views will change as they age.

"How often do we see, someone gets older, they have children, their views change on a number of topics,' said Herrod, who is 57.

Backers of the plan to repeal the 2008 amendment are not relying entirely on a new generation of voters replacing an older one. There's also the parallel issue of more gays in the open.

"I think the message is, 15 or 20 years ago, if you had stopped most people on the streets, they would say, 'I don't know anybody who's gay,' ' said Rebecca Wininger, president of Equality Arizona.

"Over the past couple of decades, a lot of us have come out of the closet,' she continued. "And now people are realizing that their neighbors, some of their family members, their friends, their coworkers are part of the LGBTQ community.'

In a bid to put a face on that, backers of repealing the 2008 measure introduced Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey. Scottsdale residents who met and became a couple in college.

"We chose at that time a song by Roy Hamilton called, 'The Right to Love' as our song,' Bailey said.

"Fifty-five and a half years later we may have the right to love,' she said. "But we still don't have the rights of legal marriage in the state of Arizona.'

Proponents and opponents do have one thing in common

The theme for their campaigns both center around the theme of "Why Marriage Matters,' though Wininger and Herrod see the issue from different perspectives.

"This is a healthy conversation for the public to have,' Herrod said.

Alessandra Soler, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, which backs repeal, said her group has about $150,000 to start its education campaign. She said there is no timetable about when a decision will occur whether to take the question to the 2016 ballot.




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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Article comment by: It Is Just Plain Wrong

@ Doug
I have to ask this question, how many children are born with both female and male gentiles that you know of? Next, how many homosexuals do you know? I will guess that you know of more homosexuals that you do of children born with both female and male gentiles.

To answer your question of which I would choose, I would have to pray about it and wait for an answer from God. I have that much faith in the Lord that He will answer my prayers. I am very thankful that I don't have that question to ask of God in my prayers. I am also very thankful that none of my children are homosexuals.

I also feel that if a child wants to play with dolls/cars trucks that they should. When I was younger if a boy played with a doll it would just mean that he would grow up to be a good father not that he would want to be a girl. I feel that this is just a cop out for the parents. They don't want to admit that their child made a bad choice so they come up with the excuse that the child had always been strange while growing up.

@ Ann Rant. I am proud to say that I am younger that 50 and feel very strongly that homosexual's are the work of Satan. God does not have homosexual's in His plan. Satan works against God and therefore this is another way to disobey God and His word.


Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013
Article comment by: For Kayo

Thank you for speaking up! Always so good to see humanitarian sanity around here.

I'll also ask you to take that one step further and extend that wisdom to those of us who prefer to express our opinions anonymously. Has nothing to do with shame or lack of courage behind our views. If you ever had your tires slashed with no money to replace them in a small community filled with religious zealots, it might come to you why some might choose not to sign their names but still express the truth loudly and clearly.


Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Jane

@ Ann Rant

Not that is matters much, but I have a ways to go before I hit 50. How about you? Are you one of the Hollywood homosexual cult followers? You know, the MTV demographic they count on to be too ignorant to reason anything out.

Thankfully, most kids are way too smart to fall for that propaganda, even in today's media driven society. But as was previously postulated, logic and reason aren't exactly your strong suit, eh?

Maybe if you can start brainwashing kids in pre-school, you can make some headway in the next generation. Oh, wait....We aren't going to allow you to do that!

Keep up the rants! They say more about your position than you'll ever realize...


Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013
Article comment by: @ Doug

I love to challenge the so called lunatic left with this true fact. What do you do when your pony has a horn growing out of his forehead and the vet asks you, do you want a unicorn or a horse? Hurry now, what is your answer?

Such is the logic of the lunatic left-wing rainbow worshippers.

No amount of so called "whining" is going to change anything. It is in the jeans.


Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Article comment by: Ann Rant

@ Mary Jane

Speaking of remembering the question, is the article right? Are you an over 50 obstacle to gay marriage? So far none of the people in this thread who refuse to allow gay couples to have a piece of paper that says they are married has answered my question.

By the way, name calling and belittling others is not called logic.


Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Article comment by: Ann Rant

@ It Is Just Plain Wrong

I'll ask you too. Is the article right? Are you a 50yr+ obstacle to gay marriage?


Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Jane

@ Ann Rant

Why is it that the homosexual left has absolutely no concept of logic or rhetoric? Do you believe that by writing non-stop nonsense that you can cloud the subject to the point that no-one even remembers the question?

So, you want to codify a mental illness that expresses itself with abhorrent sexual behaviors and give it the same legal status as marriage? Oh yes, let's have teachers start 'educating' children in grade school that living a life of sexual deviancy is just as fulfilling as being married and raising a family.

If you really believe all young people embrace this lifestyle and accept homosexuality as normal, you're more out-of-touch with reality than I thought possible. You seem to confuse toleration of this behavior as endorsement. But logic isn't exactly your strong suit, is it!

The rights and benefits that you so vehemently demand are already yours for the taking. It's called a 'civil contract'. What's that? you demand we call it a marriage? Why is that? Oh, it's that RETRIBUTION thing again, eh?

As I have said before, keep it going. Each rant makes your motives more and more transparent!


Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Article comment by: Doug Barney

@Just plain wrong.

I have people tell me that being a homosexual is a choice and people choose to be that way.
My question to them is this"at what age did you decide to be straight or gay"?
Most parents that I know will tell you that they have realized that when the child is very young (3-4 years)
They discover that a boy for instance will want to play with dolls,or a female child will only want to play with cars and trucks then, that child will likely be straight or gay.It is not a choice for the child.
No amount of so called "preaching" is going to change anything. It is in the genes.
I love to challenge the so called religious right with this true fact. What do you do with your child when when that child is born with both female and male gentiles, and the doctor asks you do you want a boy or a girl? What is your answer.


Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Article comment by: Kayo Parsons-Korn

Wow, I'm over 50, have been in a heterosexual marriage for over 33 years and don't understand this hatred towards gay people who want to share their lives together too. The DOMA was such a farce. You want to protect marriage, outlaw divorce. Oh but wait, heterosexuals are the biggest offenders of that. Making divorce illegal isn't an answer either. Let's face it a lot of people marry in haste. Should they stay together forever, making their lives and the lives of their children miserable? Because, sometimes, that is what it comes down to.
If gay people want to commit to a relationship, isn't that better, more stable than preventing them from marriage? Won't that add to a more stable society?
And comparing homosexual relationships to bestiality. Really? You must think God is a very hateful entity. I don't.
I think most people accept homosexuality today, because they probably know a homosexual person and think they are a very nice, good person that does good in their communities, loves their neighbor and is a vital asset to their society. They may be their friend, a brother or a sister.
And, I've signed my name! I'm not ashamed of my position or what people might think of it. How about you?


Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Jane

@ Let's be clear

Sounds exactly like something I would say! Oh, wait...


Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Article comment by: It Is Just Plain Wrong

Divorce is just as bad as being gay. The Bible states that it is just as wrong. In fact the Bible states that if you look at another person with lust and that you are married you are cheating on the person you are married to. So that would include the theroy of looking but not touching.

To me if you have sex with another human being of the same sex as you are then you might as well be having sex with an animal. It is jus plain wrong. If you think that it is right then think again because that is Satan working on you. If you think that you are attracted to the same sex then pray about it and you will overcome those desires. The Lord doesn't want you to be like that. He loves you and has set the rules that we should live by. Nowhere in the good book does it state that you should love and have the right to marry someone of the same sex.

And there are some marriages that have ended in divorce because of the fact that someone wants to be with someone else of the same sex. If you don't believe me then look it up.

Personally I do not believe in divorce. I believe that when a couple marries it is for better or worse, until death do them part. It is a decision that should be made carefully. I only knew my partner a short time before we got married and have been together well over 20 years. If we could make it work then anyone can make a marriage work. AND that is the key word "work". You have to work at a marriage. You have to give more than you take.

Don't let Satan work on you. Do what God wants you to do. Live your life by the Bible and you will be happy.


Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Article comment by: Just Asking

"If you talk to people, really, even under the age of 50 right now, they really don't even understand why we're talking about this issue,' said Woods who was state attorney general for eight years in the 1990s.

"They don't even understand why we're talking about it.'

Does this (reporter) get paid by the word?


Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Article comment by: Ann Rant

@Let's Be Clear

Who ever gave you the idea that same-sex couples wanting to be married has anything to do with retribution? All they want are the same rights and benefits enjoyed by legally married couples. You know, people who filled out the proper forms, got a license and said "I do" in front of a judge. That is a marriage in the eyes of the state. Nothing more, nothing less. No god or religion necessary.

The rights and benefits that you so vehemently oppose to giving them include the ability to make medical decisions for their partner, joint tax filing, joint adoption, rights of survivorship, the right to make funeral arrangements, tax-free transfer of property between spouses and many other super-mundane rights that have absolutely nothing to do with retribution.

I just need to know, is the article right? Are you an over 50 obstacle to gay marriage?


Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Confused

Let's be honest. Long before same sex couples had the courage to publicly profess their love for each other, traditional, heterosexual couples were insulting, degrading and devaluing the institution of marriage for thousands of years. Infidelity and adultery go back a long way, (read your Bible again.)

It is common knowledge that at least half of all modern marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Let's be clear, homosexuals had nothing to do with this historical failure of marriage.

And, among the marriages which have not dissolved, many appear to be not so loving or happy. If same sex couples think they can do better, I say let them try we need the help!

I would also warn them that the decision to marry should not be taken lightly marriage SHOULD be a sacrosanct commitment to another human being to love, honor and cherish. If you can't make this commitment, it won't matter how much you spend on a ring, a wedding, reception, photographer or honey moon. If we want to save and preserve marriage, let's focus on the meaning of love and honor and less on the ceremony.

By the way, (just to be clear), it's interesting to note that the highest divorce rates in the U.S. are in states which claim to be the most conservative...what's with that?



Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Sounds like the Veterans Administration.Delay
and the claimants will go away.(Death)



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