Ban on gay marriage on AZ state ballot
Posted on June 30, 2008
Filed Under Gay News Blog
In the final hours of one of the longest state legislative sessions on record, state senators approved a measure sending a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to the fall ballot.
The long-anticipated vote came just before adjournment and followed hours of angry, raucous debate in which the legislative rule book was used as a weapon to both stall the vote (Democrats) and cut short debate (Republicans). Senators on both sides of the aisle and of the issue lamented a meltdown in the higher chamber, as most of the day’s work was scrapped so that the marriage amendment could be voted upon while key senators were present.
Senate President Tim Bee, a Tucson Republican, cast the decisive, 16th vote in favor of the referendum that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman – the only measure that lawmakers sent to the ballot after weighing several over the months. But Bee first chastised groups lobbying on the issue for threats and coercive tactics that served to divide the chamber and overshadow much of the session.
After the vote, conservative activists rejoiced that voters would get a chance to vote on the issue this fall. A similar measure, which also banned governments from offering benefits to employees’ domestic partners, gay or straight, failed at the polls in 2006.
Ban on gay marriage on state ballot
Arizona Republic, AZ
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