Thursday, April 3, 2008

Arizona Marriage Amendment Update

On Thursday, April 3, the Arizona House of Representatives took up during their Committee of the Whole Meeting, HCR (House Concurrent Resolution) 2065, which would have placed on the November general election ballot a proposed state constitutional amendment defining "marriage as between one man and one woman."

After debate, the Arizona House voted, by a vote of 28-27, amended HCR 2065 to include the creation of domestic partnerships, a concept that proponents of the marriage amendment oppose.

State Representative Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) championed the effort to amend the bill. Four Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the Sinema amendment.

Equality Arizona Executive Director Barbara McCullough-Jones released the following statement: "Today's vote is a win for Arizona families. Thanks to the leadership of Representative Kyrsten Sinema, our friends and our allies, we are now able to focus on the issues that unite the people of Arizona. Equality Arizona celebrates today's decision with the thousands of people who called on the Legislature to stop this divisive measure. We remain committed to promoting public policy that strengthens Arizona's children and families."

For a proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution to be placed on the ballot by the Arizona Legislature, both chambers measures must be identical in language. With this amended measure, the state Senate must approve a concurrent resolution with the same wording.

UPDATE - A House resolution to ask Arizona voters to amend the Arizona Constitution to effectively ban same-sex marriage has been declared dead and won't be advanced to a formal House vote. Arizona House Speaker Jim Weiers', R-Phoenix, spokesman says, in an interview with the Associated Press, "because Weiers no longer supports the measure now that it's been expanded over his objection to include new rights for unmarried couples whether of the same or opposite sex."

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