|2008 Ballot Propositions||
Arizona Secretary of State
|Ballot Proposition Voter's Guide - PDF|
|2008 Ballot Propositions||
Arizona Secretary of State
|Ballot Proposition Voter's Guide - PDF|
Since the beginning of recorded history the foundation and continuation of all societies has been the family; father, mother, and children. When the Pilgrims stepped off the Mayflower they were in family unites. Even the Native Americans formed their society around a father, mother and children.
Over 1,049 federal laws in many categories, including Social Security, welfare, veterans, taxation, etc are based on the man-woman marriage relationship. Society has set up our laws to protect the children and to provide in the case of a spouse dying. All of that would change if same sex marriage gets its foot hold and demands are then placed upon government and businesses for benefits. Our already overburdened Social Security system could not survive.
This is not about mere tolerance, allowing people their sexual preference and living with who they want, they can already do that, but same sex marriage is about forcing all within our society regardless of religious or traditional beliefs to accept radical changes which will have far reaching consequences. Consequences that change the very core of our society and how it functions. The loser will be the children who must endure the selfish desires of adults.
Activist judges and a small percentage of Americans have forced the people to use the Constitution to protect marriage and all that it means to the continuation of our society. If ever the family is to be restored and protected it must start with the very definition of what marriage is.
The basis of the human family is and has always been a man and woman as husband and wife. There are many studies proving that children who have the security of being raised in a stable, traditional home, with father and mother, are less likely to have addictions or be incarcerated for crimes, and are more likely to be law-abiding citizens. History has also proven that the downfall of any society begins with the breakdown of strong, traditional families. We have a solemn duty to our posterity, and to our state and nation, to do all in our power to protect the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and to protect and support the family and the traditions and values that have made our society strong and great. Please join with us in support of the marriage amendment.
These are some of the things that come to our minds when we think about marriage and family. Aren't these traditions worthy of protecting for our children and grandchildren? Marriage brings happiness, love, and hope for the future. MARRIAGE BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN IS AS VALUABLE TODAY AS IT HAS BEEN FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. The future of our children and our society depend upon it.
PROP 102 is about one thing and one thing only. Its simple language is this: "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." Please join with us in voting YES on Prop 102 to protect marriage as we know it.
We are expecting our first child in November. It is something we have dreamed about our whole lives. Since we're expecting, we thought it would be fun to watch the movie Father of the Bride Part II. The movie is based on the perspective of a man expecting his first grandchild and another of his own. In the movie there are images of family gathered around the dinner table, supporting one another at the hospital and encouraging one another through difficult times. The movie filled our hearts with warmth and appreciation for the simple joys in life as it promotes traditional family values. Such traditions develop over time from the tried and true finest ways to experience the best of life.
Many traditions are based on religious elements. No matter what religion, there is a general belief in a higher being and/or Creative Order. The most fundamental tradition and general principle for all walks of life is the amalgamation of male and female in continuing the creative process. Marriage between a man and a woman is the tried and true way to have a family. It is the legal recognition, commitment and sanctification of family tradition. Family is the fundamental building block of society. Whether or not a person believes marriage is a part of a higher being's creative plan or Creative Order, one cannot dispute the foundation of society. Our families are our foundations. Marriage is about family. It is about honoring our own lives and the lives that came before us. By changing the fundamental concept of marriage we change the foundation of society.
Traditions create stability. Without the stability of marriage in our society we fear, as a budding family, for generations to come. Please support tradition, support stability and thus support the future.
Acknowledging the importance of preserving marriage for the benefit of children, I submit another less discussed issue for your consideration: the economic impact of allowing anything other than one man and one woman to constitute a marriage. Because one man and one woman has been the marital unit for hundreds of years, it is the unit that laws, schools, medical care, testamentary measures and other social functions have been designed around and to support. The disruption of that unit will require the implementation of new procedures in virtually every facet of everyday living. The current arrangement of society has evolved around the traditional family unit and its needs and has taken courts, legislatures and civic leaders centuries to develop. While not perfect, we currently have the most efficient system available. Introducing new groups under the marriage umbrella will require new rules, particularly with respect to children who, in a same-sex marriage would potentially have three adults who could validly assert parental rights. Tampering with the already efficient system will burden currently married couples, bog down the courts and cost taxpayers money. Marriage is not simply a contract entered into by two people. The very fact that marriage requires a third party (the State) in order to be valid and likewise requires permission of the State to be terminated indicates that this is an institution that ought not be trifled with on a whim to satisfy the desires of a few at the cost of many. For more information on this topic see: Douglas W. Allen, An Economic Assessment of Same-Sex Marriage Laws, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Summer 2006 at 949.
What is Marriage - Or more specifically Traditional Marriage? It is a union between a man and woman which creates a family unit in society. The purpose of this union is to procreate and bring children into the world.
The concept of traditional marriage and creating a family unit is becoming scarce and by many classified as "out of style". However, research indicates that children who grow up in fatherless or single parent home are turning to other sources of support instead of parent(s). As a result due to the lack of dual parental support and guidance this has created a society with increased poverty, crime, uneducated individuals, and increased taxes to name just a few.
Our society is constantly trying to change the foundation of traditional marriage by introducing same sex marriage as the "new wave of progress." In the long term this will be extremely costly to individuals, corporations and governments (your tax dollars at work). It will also negatively affect generations to come. It would be in everyone's best interest and future interest to invest their time and money into strengthening, protecting, and building strong family units which will in turn contribute to society and will ultimately make a stronger nation.
Traditional marriage is a critical societal unit. It is imperative that we as Arizonans vote to preserve the definition of marriage by amending our constitution before a different decision is made for us.
A law or statute preserving marriage as legal only between one man and one woman is not enough! As evidenced in several states those laws can be declared "unconstitutional" by a few judges who rule based on their own personal views, regardless of how the People have voted. But there is something we can do about it. If we amend the constitution in such a clear and concise manner as proposed by PROP 102 it will put the power back in the hands of the People, and judges will be unable to uphold laws that go against it. At least 26 states have already amended their constitutions to define and preserve traditional marriage. It is time that Arizona joined them. We, as The People, need to take proactive action to make our voice heard and protect marriage before activist judges make other decisions for us.
In 1996 the federal government enacted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which protects individual states from having to recognize alternative forms of marriage that have been legalized outside their borders. However that act has been recently threatened and if it is removed, without a constitutional amendment stating otherwise, Arizona will be forced to recognize the alternative "marriage" of any couple that moves here from another state regardless of our own laws.
Parents in Massachusetts have become painfully aware of how same-sex marriage affects their children. When Rob and Robin Wirthlin of Lexington, MA discovered that their second-grader's school had been promoting homosexuality and same-sex marriage to students through the use of books such as King and King they objected. The Wirthlins argued that parents should at least be notified and given the chance to opt-out when topics of human sexuality are discussed. The school, however, disagreed. Same-sex marriage, it said, is legal in Massachusetts. Furthermore, the school superintendant said that staff had "no obligation to notify parents" that the school would be promoting same-sex marriage to children as young as kindergarten. (For more examples of similar situations visit http://www.MassResistance.org/docs/parker/ ).
Just like it is currently illegal in Arizona, same-sex marriage was once illegal in Massachusetts and California. And just like events in Massachusetts and California show, Arizona is only one court case away from having same-sex marriage forced on us by activist judges.
Fortunately, we can learn from the past and can still protect marriage in Arizona. PROP 102 would prevent unelected judges from disregarding both the constitution and the will of the people by forcing same-sex marriage on us. In doing so PROP 102 also prevents misguided school officials from using the legality of same-sex marriage as a tool to impose their view of morality on young school children.
People in this country are beginning to understand not only how critical marriage is to a free and thriving society, but also the negative consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage. That is why Arizonans overwhelmingly support PROP 102. Please join us in voting "Yes" on PROP 102.
With the recent same-sex "marriage" decision by California's Supreme Court, it has become increasingly clear that we need to amend Arizona's constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Proposition 102 is important not only to protect children and families, but also to protect religious freedom. For, if the government demands moral approval for same-sex unions, then those who oppose such unions will be treated as bigots under the law. Christians, Jews, Muslims and others who oppose such unions on religious or moral grounds would be forced to endorse behavior contrary to their beliefs. Churches would be legally pressured to perform same-sex weddings. School children would be taught that same-sex "marriage" and homosexuality are perfectly normal and objections to such are hateful. Business owners would be forced to subsidize homosexuality, despite their personal beliefs.
Think this is far-fetched? It's already happening. After Massachusetts's Supreme Court ruling on same-sex "marriage," Catholic Charities of Boston was required to abide by the new definition of"non-discriminatory" by adopting babies out to same-sex couples. Rather than act against their religious beliefs, the agency ceased its adoption services, a service it had offered for over 100 years. A photography company in New Mexico lost a case brought before the New Mexico Human Rights Commission for turning down a job to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony. In New Jersey, a Methodist retreat lost their tax-exempt status for property on which it refused to allow a civil union ceremony to take place. In California schools, gender has been redefined to mean "gender identity." And, the list goes on.
Marriage is much too important to leave in the hands of unelected judges. The people and our elected representatives should determine marriage policy in our country. That is why ordinary people like ourselves have gotten together to express our support for PROP 102.
Although opponents of marriage will make all sorts of far-fetched claims about the terrible things that PROP 102 will supposedly create, their tactics won't work. People have been learning more about marriage in recent years, and as they have learned the facts they agree that we must maintain marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Please express your support for marriage by voting "yes" on PROP 102.
We feel it a pleasure and a duty to write this letter to voice support for this marriage amendment. Protecting the tradition and sanctity of marriage and family is the highest importance to the integrity of society. What we are supporting here is not a "ban to gay marriage". It is a "protection to the institution of marriage" as laid out by social, moral, physiological, biological, and religious tradition. Our agenda is not to punish, segregate, or discriminate against gay/lesbian people, but to protect the safest unit in the world, the family.
Marriage has been proven by time and trial, and statistically stands as the most stable and safe unit for the rearing of upstanding children. A mother and father begin the rearing of children with the most sacred act of procreation, in which the parents are bonded to the children by the greatest miracle... the power to create life. This miracle, whether believed to be God's gift, or a natural selected evolutionary wonder, makes logical sense in every way; biologically, physiologically, and sociologically. The institution of marriage provides a safeguard to families; it's an open commitment to value this miracle and cherish it.
While we make no discrimination against gay persons, this voice stands as the loudest voice trying to attack our sacred institution. Just as we would protect our homes and country against attack, we support this defense for the sacred family unit. Whether a person desires to marry his daughter, homosexual partner, a son, dog, tree, underage neighborhood girl or car; we cannot allow this diminishment of the sacred union of marriage and its symbolism by "naturalizing" unnatural marriage, or by allowing anyone to marry anything or anyone they please. The natural traditional family unit is the foundation of society. Protect USA. Protect Societies. Protect the Family.
We strongly support Proposition 102. As parents of four beautiful children, we want to see the best for them and other children in the state of Arizona. Studies have shown that children raised in homes with a father and mother married to each other are much more likely to stay out of crime and poverty, and to have stable marriages themselves some day. In contrast, countries where same-sex marriage is legal have higher divorce and teen pregnancy rates. Allowing homosexual marriage opens the door to letting homosexual activists teach OUR CHILDREN in public schools WITHOUT parental consent. This is already happening in states like California and Massachusetts, where activist judges have overruled the voices of the people to keep marriage between a man and a woman. We need this proposition to protect the laws of our state and make sure this doesn't happen. We strongly urge you to vote YES on PROP 102.
I believe that every child is entitled to a father and a mother. We have each been granted that privilege by nature - we should not by law destroy that privilege given to each one of us. The Marriage Amendment Referendum is just what we need to protect the rights of children. Marriage is supported by law primarily to promote the protection of children. Otherwise it has little reason for being a secular issue at all.
To those who say that Arizona already has a law in place and that no amendment is needed, please note what happened in California: four judges struck down a citizen-sponsored initiative defending traditional marriage, which unfortunately was not written as an amendment. Unless an amendment is written into our state constitution, Arizona is in grave danger of having the same thing happen here.
On another note, four judges in California ruling against traditional marriage does not make it wrong. Judges at one time defended slavery, which we know was morally wrong. The only thing protecting society against polygamous marriage is its values, written into law. The same values should be used to defend traditional marriage. Judges do not define our values; they only interpret laws that are in place. Our laws must and should represent the values of society, and can and should be written clearly to define our values.
The Marriage Amendment Referendum is simple and concise in its message: "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." For the sake of our children, it deserves our full support.
PROP 102 is a simple amendment that lets the people decide, not activitist judges from our state or other states. It doesn't prevent our legislature from creating civil unions or any number of long term solutions. What it does prevent is out-of-touch magistrates with an agenda from overriding the will of the People. Come to think of it, isn't that why there is a Constitution? Thanks for your consideration.
Change: A word that has been overused and abused lately in the political world. Change is good at times. Change is essential to keep America going. Despite your political party affiliation, you are likely hoping for some change in the future. However, some things are better left unchanged. The traditional family unit is one of those things. Marriage, between a man and a woman, is essential to creating and maintaining the stability in our communities that only a family unit can create and maintain. It is imperative that we not only teach this critical message to our children, but that they receive the same message at school and in other public areas of influence.
Join us in protecting our communities by protecting the family unit and voting in favor of Prop 102, the Marriage Amendment Referendum which states, "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state". Only together can we protect the thing that will have the greatest impact on keeping our communities strong: the family.
Unlike what some of our politicians may be saying about this, Arizona desperately needs PROP 102, explicitly stating that marriage is between one man and one woman. If we do not to put this into our state's constitution, further on down the road, it will leave too much leeway for unelected judges to change it to how they want, not what we, the people of Arizona, want. Do not let what happened in California repeat itself in Arizona. Same-sex marriages are detrimental to families, which are vital to any community. Families provide stabile environments for children and every child has the right to a mother AND a father. Join us in protecting marriages in Arizona and Vote YES on PROP 102.
For thousands of years, marriage has meant the union of a man and a woman. It has provided predictability, stability, and order to our society. Centuries of laws and customs have been founded upon this basic premise. The tracing of family histories, the laws of intestate succession, the meaning of what constitutes a family have all been based upon this simple concept: that a marriage is between a man and a woman.
By passing this Marriage Amendment to the Constitution, we take away the power of activist judges to over-rule our law, and to dictate to us what a marriage means. If society's definition of marriage is changed to allow same sex couples, then what is next? Why not three people who all love each other? Or four? Why not allow polygamy? Or a whole community to marry if everyone agrees? Or a person to marry a pet?
In a free society, people may live and love in any combinations of relationships they choose. No one is trying to take that away from anyone. It is not up to the state to dictate with whom we associate. Individuals may also contract for whatever rights and privileges they may wish to extend to one another. However, the state has a vested interest in encouraging those relationships, and sanctioning those associations, which promote the stability and best interests of society.
In our culture, people cohabit and enter into various sexual relationships without government interference. While these relationships may offer a certain amount of personal fulfillment, they do not benefit our society, nor do they receive the protection of the law. That is reserved for marriage between a man and a woman.
A "YES" vote keeps the essential meaning of marriage in the hands of the people of Arizona. On November 4, 2008, Arizonans have the opportunity to protect and reaffirm marriage. You, the voter, have the opportunity to maintain the most important element of society so it can be passed on to our children.
Judges should not distort the meaning of marriage. But that is just what is happening in California. On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court (by a narrow vote of 4 judges to 3) voted to redefine marriage. This extreme decision struck down a marriage law passed by the people of California in 2000. The California decision shows why the Arizona Constitution needs to reaffirm marriage:
A "YES" vote prevents judges from redefining marriage. The people of Arizona have the right to decide the future of marriage in Arizona, and a "YES" vote secures that right from being stripped away by a judge's decision or a politician's decision.
Fact: Proposition 102 is very different from the amendment that was proposed in 2006, and does one thing only: it preserves marriage as between a man and a woman. This amendment sets the issue of domestic partnerships aside and focuses where Arizonans agree: on the meaning of marriage.
Fact: California shows why we need this amendment. California had a law saying that marriage is between a man and a woman, but the California Supreme Court struck it down. Without this amendment, the same thing can happen here. The Arizona Supreme Court has never addressed this issue. This amendment allows the people to decide before the judges do, as they did in California.
Fact: When judges redefine marriage, it affects everyone. Marriage is the cornerstone of society. It's good for men, women, and children. Preserving the meaning of marriage means passing it on to our children.
Altering the meaning of marriage affects all of us. We certainly do not want the public schools to teach our elementary school children that gay "marriage" is okay. This is an issue for parents to discuss with their children according to their own values and beliefs.
Marriage is the most unifying contemporary issue in America. It cuts across religious beliefs, cultural backgrounds, and political associations. The majority of Americans from all walks of life intuitively understand that it is fair to preserve the age-old meaning of marriage.
People have a right to live as they choose, but there is no right to redefine marriage for our entire society. A "yes" vote on Prop 102 preserves marriage so it can be passed on to the next generation.
Marriage between a man and a woman is a unifying issue because marriage is a universal institution. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights defines the traditional family as the fundamental unit of society. Governments, cultures, religions, languages and nations have all come and gone. But, marriage between a man and a woman has remained the one constant throughout thousands of years of human history.
Marriage between a man and a woman has always been the means of tying children to their fathers and connecting fathers to the mother of their children. The basic structure of society is built on the fundamental values that are fostered in strong, traditional families. Prop 102 promotes traditional marriage and strong families.
Marriage between a man and a woman is necessary for a strong society. Statistics verify over and over that children who are raised in strong families with a mother and a father are more likely to be healthy and productive citizens in our neighborhoods, our communities, and our nation.
Prop 102 recognizes that the success of our society and our future rests on strong families that are built on strong marriages between a man and a woman. Join us in securing a safe future for the family and for the children by voting for Prop 102.
NAME, the National Association of Marriage Enhancement, encourages Arizonans to vote "Yes" on this amendment to protect, for future generations, the long-standing definition of marriage as one man and one woman.
The traditional definition of marriage must be constitutionally protected. Some say marriage is a right; it is not -- it is a privilege that carries responsibilities. Society confers legal benefits to marriage, because marriage benefits society. Historically, healthy marriages have been foundational building blocks to any successful society -- Arizona included. This amendment to Arizona's constitution will affirm marriage's traditional definition, ensuring it for future generations by prohibiting its redefinition by activist judges or others.
Marriage between one man and one woman protects the interests of children and society in a stable social order. Arizonans must do what is in the best interest of children and society: vote to define marriage as one man, one woman.
On its surface, this "marriage" proposition appears rather innocuous. But based on the Center for Arizona Policy's own history, I believe this measure is simply part of a crusade to impose its Christian adaptation of Islam's sharia'a law doctrine on Arizona; using government to force every person in the State to kowtow to the Center's interpretation of Christianity. As a non-Christian who cherishes religious freedom, I find this prospect terrifying. And because of this threat to my rights, I can appreciate the gay community's struggle for theirs.
It's no secret that the Center bases its hostility toward gays on the Bible. However, I practice a religion that doesn't revile gays, Nichiren Buddhism. Nichiren wrote voluminously about his vision of Buddhist teachings, yet didn't write a word about homosexuality, even in passing. The only Buddhist precept that even remotely touches on homosexual behavior is the tenet of "right sexual conduct." But Buddhist teachings elaborate no further.
When there's moral consensus on an issue, law will naturally mirror germane religious teachings. But on questions like homosexuality, where religious viewpoints differ markedly, law based on any narrowly defined faith perspective, including mine, assaults the American ideals of equal rights and religious freedom.
Elected officials pledge to protect the Constitution, not the Bible, Quran, Torah, Vedas or Lotus Sutra. I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who opined that good religion can take care of itself; only bad religion needs government to enforce it.
As I see it, marriage isn't the issue here. Justice is. If this measure's backers would have had the courage or decency to include a provision that all Arizonans, married or not, are entitled to equal protection under the laws of this State, I would not be writing this argument - or asking you to vote "no."
Arizona law already prohibits marriage between gay partners. This constitutional amendment changes nothing, but it is religiously motivated. Religious ideas MUST NOT become constitutional details, particularly when they infringe on personal liberties and the personal lives of private individuals.
I believe the California and Massachusetts supreme courts have discovered one true meaning of the federal constitution's Ninth Amendment. I do not expect the Arizona Supreme Court to follow this logic any time soon. But the issue here is whether discrimination should be enacted as part of Arizona's basic constitutional law -- if this constitutional amendment is approved.
Why forbid "gay marriage"? It is not about the definition of the word, "marriage." This is about social equality, versus discrimination. Let me quote from an editorial in the Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2008:
Our courts, certainly our supreme courts, exist not to assess God's will but to enforce the precepts of our constitutions, including the insistence that all Americans -- black or white, male or female, straight or gay -- are entitled to equal protection and the due process of our laws.
I believe our government should not issue "marriage licenses" and should have nothing to do with recognizing or denying any marriage. The whole idea of marriage is a sacrament of the holy church, and government has no role to play. When gay and lesbian people want to get married, we should all celebrate because marriage is the pillar of social order -- and gay people are citizens too. A church that disapproves should merely refuse to perform such a marriage.
It is beyond our understanding why Arizona lawmakers are attempting to rewrite our Constitution to discriminate against a group of its own citizens. The Constitution guarantees civil rights to ALL citizens, yet this amendment would mean that only particular citizens in specifically defined families would be entitled to the rights and protections of married couples. These denied rights mean that parents and children in other families suffer the consequences.
Some of the rights afforded married couples include the right to hospital visitation, to share a family health plan and to take medical leave for a sick family member. Marriage means that both spouse's incomes are taken into account in matters of taxes, credit, loans, and inheritance. And children benefit from parents being treated fairly in divorce settlements and child custody and visitation proceedings.
All of these rights are automatically granted to us as a heterosexual, married couple, and we believe it is morally wrong to deny these same protections and responsibilities to other family members and citizens of the State of Arizona.
We were proud when Arizona became the first state to defeat a similar proposition defining marriage and excluding couples and families in the past. We believe it is important for all of us to stand up and be heard on this important civil rights issue. These are OUR families we are affirming, and OUR marriages we are protecting, by ensuring we ALL have access to the same rights and responsibilities under our Constitution.
Government should not be in the marriage business. That is between consenting adults and their churches or other private institutions to form a contract. All government does is tax the relationship by charging a license fee.
There is something un-American in hearing the phrase, "by the power vested in me by the state" at the end of your ceremony. Who the heck gave the state the power to decide who can and cannot enter into the contract of marriage?! Would not you rather hear "by the power vested in me by God", or "this church" or "the Holy Order of Rome," et cetera?
The Constitutions of this nation and this state are not about restricting your choices, they are about restricting government to an explicit set of limited powers. Do not pass a limitation on yourself.
Citizens should be very careful with constitutional amendments. We do not need unnecessary amendments of our Constitution. PROP 102 is unnecessary, as there is already a law in Arizona that prohibits marriage except that between one man and one woman. I have served for four terms in the Senate. With the serious concerns facing our state, I was disappointed on the last night of the Legislature to find that an extremist group managed to get sixteen Senators to vote to put this issue on the ballot and in the Constitution. However, during my years in public service I have also learned that things happen in election years and votes are made not for the betterment of our state, but only because people think that vote will win them an election. Legislators should be working toward solving the problems of Arizona and toward a future that we can be proud of. I urge a NO vote on PROP 102.
The Human Rights Campaign opposes Prop 102 and urges voters to vote no on this unnecessary attempt to amend the state constitution. Arizona law already clearly prohibits marriage by same-sex couples and Prop 102 is a distraction from real Arizona priorities.
This year, the Arizona Legislature ignored major issues like the state's fiscal crisis, energy production and climate change, and education policy while focusing its time and energy on a ballot initiative that Arizonans have already voted on.
In 2003, Arizona courts made clear that the existing ban on marriage by gay and lesbian couples is valid. There is simply no uncertainty, nothing that needs to be clarified, and this issue has been fully resolved.
Amending the constitution is a serious matter that should not be entered into lightly. Arizonans just voted on the question of marriage in 2006 and said "no" to an unnecessary proposed constitutional amendment. We hope you will, once again, reject this attempt to rewrite the state constitution .
As a voter and as a person whose rights is in question, I respect the law and that the constitution already outlines who is protected in the marriage class, which does not include myself or my partner. I do not need to be told again that I am not included in this class, when there are so many other issues that are much more important to be working on and that should have our attention. It concerns me that Arizona's public education system is so dismal, that the war has brought home so much pain for our state and that skyrocketing health care costs are robbing me and my neighbors from our enjoying the gifts of life, and yet we are spending time, my tax payers dollars and expending precious governmental time in this fruitless endeavor that has already been addressed by the people of the state of AZ.
How many times does it need to come up and be re-addressed? I know that I cannot marry in the state of AZ, I know that the people of AZ have spoken and have decided my fate, I know that here in this state who I love makes me a second class citizen. I get all of that. Funny but I got all of that the first time. I do not need to hear again, or be dragged through the mud one more time. The voice of people has already been heard. Please hear my Voice and do not drag this out in the open, again, opening wounds that have been slowly healing.
Why would anyone want to write discrimination into the Arizona Constitution? That's what this amendment would do. It is not about prohibiting "gay-marriages." Arizona already has a law that does that. It is about setting in stone in the Arizona Constitution a category of second-class citizens who are deprived of a right, based on their sexual orientation - privacy rights of our bedrooms and relationships that the rest of us take for granted.
Backers of this measure say it is to keep "activist" judges or future legislatures from declaring a right to wed for gays. It is a shame that our legislators could not find any other issue to debate for hours on the last day of session. They certainly were not thinking of the hurt they would cause to some of their colleagues, family members, friends, and neighbors when they passed this bill.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona believes that all levels of government share the responsibility to provide equality of opportunity for all persons in the United States, regardless of their race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability.
The Arizona Advocacy Network urges defeat of Proposition 102, a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage referred to the ballot by the Legislature. Voters wisely rejected a similar measure in 2006 because it was too extreme and far-reaching. The 2008 version should also be rejected.
Even the legislature voted the measure down twice before caving in to the pressure of extreme right-wing lobbyists. In the final hours of the 2008 legislative session, and by the slimmest of margins, they opted to ask the voters to amend the constitution once again.
The Arizona Advocacy Network promotes social, economic, racial and environmental justice by advocating in those areas and by educating voters on ballot measures. We urge you to vote NO on Proposition 102.
Here we go again. Arizona voters are once again being forced to vote on PROP 102, even though we already voted against a similar initiative in 2006. Lawmakers, giving in to the pressure of special interests, ignored the will of the people and are now forcing you to vote on a divisive constitutional amendment that accomplishes nothing. Why would lawmakers force you to vote on this again? Because, according to Republican Senate President Tim Bee, extremists supporting this amendment "have confronted members [of the Legislature] in hostile ways, and have threatened and coerced them."
Arizonans agree that we should be promoting public policy that strengthens families, not passing laws that divide our state. The people of Arizona are concerned about public education, skyrocketing health care costs and national security. We expect our elected officials to provide real solutions to real problems and not waste our time on a pointless ballot measure.
The Arizona State Constitution says "governments...are established to protect and maintain individual rights," and that "no law shall be enacted granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation...privileges or immunities which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens." PROP 102 would create a Constitutional provision limiting the rights of citizens. PROP 102 is a threat to the fundamental American value that all citizens are equal. It undermines the spirit of equality in our Constitution. PROP 102 would enshrine discrimination into our Constitution, which should protect freedom, not take it away. Our Constitution exists to protect the rights of all citizens, equally. Protect the Constitution by voting No on PROP 102.
Since Arizona's statehood, the subject of marriage has been governed and regulated by state statute. Marriage has never been addressed in the Arizona Constitution, which is reserved for defining the form and function of our government and guaranteeing our rights as citizens. Arizona law already prohibits marriage between persons of the same sex the in same way it does marriage between close relatives (parents and children, brothers and sister, etc.), not only prohibiting such unions in Arizona but also voiding any such marriage entered into in another state or country. This law has been tested and upheld by Arizona's courts and is in no danger of being overturned based on the actions of any other state or jurisdiction.
Proposition 102 unnecessarily creates a whole new article in the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Arizona voters already rejected this idea in 2006, but in 2008 the Arizona Legislature abandoned work on vital issues that would have made a real difference to Arizonans to concentrate on this divisive and unnecessary issue, almost coming to blows on the Senate floor.
The National Organization for Women thinks that there are many more important issues to address. Our families need to be protected against poor education, unemployment, low-paying jobs, and a deteriorating environment, not issues that are already fully and finally addressed in law.
Don't clutter up our constitution with unrelated and unnecessary language. Leave it to address the matters for which it was designed and leave marriage in state law where it is already completely covered and where it belongs. Vote No on Prop 102.
With all the many problems that Arizona needs to address, it is irresponsible for extremists in this state to spend time and resources seeking to amend the Arizona Constitution to make a pronouncement about marriage that merely restates existing law. Messing with the Arizona Constitution to deny marriage between gay couples is unnecessary, unwise, and political. The Arizona Constitution is not the place to change morality every time someone in the Arizona Legislature has an idea about what that morality should be. This legislative referendum has nothing to do with preserving the institution of marriage and everything to do with abuse of power by government. Many Arizonans understand that it is wrong to write discrimination into our Constitution. That is why Arizona voters defeated a previous attempt to amend the Constitution to define marriage and take away existing legal protections, such as pension benefits and health insurance coverage, for committed, long-term couples. We must build on our previous success and amplify our message to the narrow-minded leaders in the Arizona Legislature that the people of Arizona oppose this harmful amendment. Vote "No" on PROP 102 to ensure that individual rights trump the politics of division once again in Arizona.
PROP 102 is a pointless attempt by extreme right wing special interest groups to write hatred and bigotry into our state constitution. It does not do any more than what is already done in state law, limit marriage to heterosexual couples, which has already been upheld by the courts. Passing this amendment will make no change in the application of the law. However, it tampers with our state constitution for the sole purpose of sending a message of intolerance toward people of differing sexual orientation and religious persuasions. This is a mean-spirited attempt to attack a minority already excluded from the privileges and protections of legal marriage.
At a time when far more pressing issues are facing our state, this waste of taxpayer's time, attention, and money, is nothing less than an abuse of our constitution and election process. This is a desperate attempt by a small but aggressive group to force their narrow minded view on our state's population, and is on the wrong side of history. Passing this amendment would be an embarrassment and give the impression that Arizona is moving backward while the rest of the nation is moving forward. If passed, it will draw negative national attention to Arizona. Such a negative image could be damaging to our state's economy at a time when it is already in decline.
A virtually identical form of this amendment was already voted down, but its proponents simply refuse to take "No!" for an answer. The voters are now being forced by underhanded legislative maneuvering to confront this issue again. I urge you to send the message that the clearly expressed will of the people should be respected and vote against this amendment.
Arizona voters defeated this measure just two years ago. Why? Because what it seeks to restrict is already against Arizona Law. So that's not what this is about. What it really is meant to do is send a message to the rest of America that not every American is welcome in Arizona. It will impact citizens of every race, color, religion and gender. That's wrong. And it's not what we're all about.
Phoenix is a city that values and respects diversity. That is why thousands of new residents continue to come here every month from all over the country. It adds to our economic vitality and will be even more important as we compete for highly-educated knowledge workers for our growing economy.
As Mayor, I have been focused on making our community safer, strengthening our economy and creating more educational opportunities for our children. We're making great progress. Let's not permit a hateful few to define us to the rest of our country by painting a target on a specific group of citizens.
In 2006, Arizona voters rejected Proposition 107. For most Arizonans, the defeat of Proposition 107 was a proud day in our state's history. We became the first state in the nation to defeat a so-called "marriage amendment" to a state constitution.
Pima County and Arizona enjoy rich diversity and our government must not discriminate against any segments of our citizenry based on the biases of mean-spirited elitists. It is disappointing that these types have managed to persuade a majority of our Legislature to put this blatantly discriminatory and unfair measure on the ballot.
Changing our Constitution to deny how we in Pima County, and others around our great state, choose to deal with our employees' compensation and benefits takes away local autonomy. This change also would be detrimental to the health and welfare of the public and would go far beyond those directly affected to impact us all very negatively.
This proposal would do nothing to preserve the institution of marriage, but it would do much to codify and intensify discrimination against a significant, productive and vital segment or our citizenry. I urge you to vote NO on Proposition 102.
This anti-marriage amendment is extremely divisive at a time when both Arizonans and the nation see the need and echo the call to bring people together. Same sex marriage is already illegal in this state, and has been upheld by the courts. If Proposition 102 passes, that would not change. The only change would be writing this into the Arizona constitution.
The fact that the Arizona legislature placed an anti-marriage amendment on the ballot again has been a great disappointment to both of us. This divisive and hurtful measure was already rejected by voters in 2006. In fact, it was rejected by a large majority of voters in Pima County. Why is the legislature wasting time and money on this when there are so many other pressing issues facing us? We urge you to vote NO, again.
Starting this fall, after more than a decade of struggle, Arizona's public universities and the State of Arizona will finally be able to offer domestic partner benefits to their employees. Until now, the UA and ASU were the only PAC-10 universities that did not offer domestic partner benefits. This fact not only prevented our employees from gaining access to needed health care services, but also interfered with our ability to recruit and retain top faculty and staff.
It is disconcerting to me that a small group with extreme views would push to change the Constitution of Arizona in a way that would threaten such benefits, even if not explicitly prohibiting them. In Michigan, a similar amendment followed by court actions resulted in the loss of domestic partner health benefits for state employees. I do not believe Arizonans want to take away health benefits from anyone.
Conservative religious activists are, once again, trying to tell Arizonans what to do! Just like in 2006, this year's version of the anti-marriage amendment is a cynical attempt to mobilize extreme right-wing voters for political gain. And who's behind it? You guessed it --- Karl Rove and his cohorts are the prime suspects. Once again!
Arizonans have the right to make our own decisions for ourselves, We believe in live and let live here. We don't think the government should intrude in peoples' private lives. We don't think that outsiders should mess with our Constitution.
If passed, it will trigger lawsuits to take away all domestic partner benefits for state, county, and city employees, including public university faculty and staff. And, it will have a chilling effect on private businesses that provide these benefits to their employees. Proponents will deny this, but don't be fooled!
This is a cynical attempt to manipulate Arizona voters into approving a so-called "narrower" measure, which people with extreme views will then take to court and try to expand to domestic partnerships.
How do we know this? Because it is exactly what happened in Michigan recently. Voters approved a so-called "narrow" amendment, and then the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that it applied to domestic partner benefits too.
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