Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Arizona Marriage Amendment Update - SCR 1042 By Mark R. Kerr

It seems that the questions over the original language that have arisen over SCR (Senate Concurrent Resolution) 1042 may potentially derail the bill from being the vehicle for Cathi Herrod and the homophobic Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) and their sure-fire political and economic stimulus package for themselves in this election year.

On Thursday, April 10, "Fast Eddie" Farnsworth, R-MESA, the chair of the Arizona House Judiciary Committee, offered a "free handout" to CAP and Herrod by offering a strike-everything amendment (with the blessing of the Republican House Speaker, Jim Weiers of Phoenix), gutting the language of SCR 1042 and replacing it would a proposed, state constitutional amendment, defining marriage as between "one man and one woman."

After the Republican blathering, the vote by the Judiciary Committee was taken and by a party-line vote, 6 Republicans in favor, the four Democrats opposed Farnsworth's amendment and the subsequent bill was approved. Normally, bills approved in their initial committee then go to the Rules Committee for a review of the language and low and behold, a problem with the original language of SCR 1042 arose.

According to sources, the original drafters of SCR 1042, Republican Senators Ron Gould and Jack Harper, got their language "out of order" on their legislation. It was just discovered in the Arizona House, after SCR 1042 had been approved and reviewed in the Arizona Senate, including their Rules Committee.

According to the Arizona Legislative website, the meeting for the House Rules Committee, scheduled for today was cancelled and the hearing of the House Judiciary Committee for the reconsideration for SCR 1042 has been cancelled, not once but twice.

So with the clock ticking on the current session, the question arises of whether Cathi Herrod and CAP will get their "free handout" to the potential tune of $250,000 to $500,000 and have their marriage proposal on the November ballot or will they be defeated again, as they were in 2006, hoisted on their proverbial petard.

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