Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Game on

Only it's no game. Today the petition drive for the gay marriage amendment in Arizona begins. The official wording on the petition has been released, and as expected, it goes much further than defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.

To preserve and protect marriage in this state, only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid and recognized as a marriage by this state or its political subdivisions and no legal status for unmarried persons shall be created or recognized by this state or its political subdivisions that is similar to that of marriage.

Nothing like the state taking away control from local governments. In one swipe, existing domestic partnership laws in Scottsdale, Tucson, Tempe, and Pima County would be invalidated. Interesting, because the petition's major sponsor, the Center for Arizona Policy, is fond of saying how "the majority of the people" should have their say over "activist judges." Apparently what the majority of people in Scottsdale, Tucson, Tempe, and Pima County want doesn't count. Health care benefits for partners and children would be gone. Stay-home parents would have to work or go on ACCHS (tax-supported health care for the poor). Survivor benefits gone. Hospital visitation rights curtailed. Older straight couples would not be able to create domestic partnerships, either, and would lose pension benefits. This amendment could even be used to argue that domestic violence laws only apply to married couples, as is currently happening in Ohio.

Even if you support laws against gay marriage (which Arizona already has on the books, by the way,) this amendment is a truly awful idea. It's bad policy in every conceivable way and could have devastating consequences not only to same-sex couples but to many families in Arizona. Let's not use the Arizona Constitution to take rights away from people. If you live in Arizona, don't sign this petition and if it does show up on the ballot in 2006, vote NO. Better, yet, get involved. Show support for the clergy opposing this amendment at 3:00 pm today at Rincon Congregational United Church of Christ, 122 N. Craycroft Road and/or attend the strategy meeting tonight at the United Methodist Church in Casa Grande, 1515 North Trekell Road.


At 11:23 PM, Anonymous chai said...

As another "bad Methodist" in Ohio, it's incredibly saddening to see yet another state beginning to venture down this path. I hope/pray they're able to stop it!

Specifically I'm from Cincinnati, and much like the towns you mentioned, Proctor & Gamble was hit pretty hard by the OH amendment. P&G has always - and proudly - granted rights to its same-sex employees; now, at least in Cincinnati where the company is based, it no longer can. So much for rights!


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