Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Arizona Legislative Update By Mark R. Kerr

While the state teeters toward an economic cataclysmic precipice, state legislative leaders continue their current session of the Arizona Legislature at 1700 West Washington by dealing with horse tripping, twins in classrooms and taxing breast implants.

According to the state legislative website, Friday, March 28, was the last day for bills to be heard by committee’s in the other chamber (Arizona House bills in the Arizona Senate and vice-versa).

There are two other bills, Concurrent Resolutions, pending of concern to Arizona’s LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) populace, SCR (Senate Concurrent Resolution) 1038 and HCR (House Concurrent Resolution) 2065.

Both concurrent resolutions deal with the topic of marriage. Despite Arizona’s 12-year-old laws (Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 25-101 and 25-112) on the books defining marriage as between “one man and one woman,” that has been upheld by Arizona’s courts (Standhardt V. Superior Court) in 2004, the two resolutions would place on the November ballot a proposed state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between “one man and one woman.”

HCR 2065, as previously reported, received approval by the Arizona House Judiciary Committee and the House Rules Committee respectively and had been caucused in the Arizona House but an objection was filed.

SCR 1038 had been okayed by the Arizona Senate PSHS (Public Service and Health Safety) Committee and still awaits a hearing before the Senate Rules Committee.

An ongoing effort by the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), the ultraconservative homophobic group which its first president, Len Munsil, drafted ARS 25-101 and ARS 25-112 and lobbied for their passage in 1996 and notes it on their website at azpolicy.org, continues to get this measure on the November general election ballot.

Through their daily radio commentaries, CAP has ramped up their efforts, lying about a pending threat, purported threats and forgetting their past success, state statutes and website notices notwithstanding, urging their minions to lobby legislators to place this on the ballot again, as it was in 2006, which the voters said “no” to, making Arizona the first state, of 28 which had similar such measures on the ballot, to defeat it.

To take action, go online to Equality Arizona's Action Alert Page, reach your state Senator or state Representatives online at azleg.gov and E-mail or call at (800) 352-8404. For more information, go online to Equality Arizona or call (602) 650-0900.

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