US: Advocates hope to get equal marriage question on 2014 Arizona ballot
Supporters of equal marriage are hoping to get the question of legalising equal marriage on a ballot in the state of Arizona, as soon as 2014, in order to undo a voter-approved constitutional ban on the practice.
Scottsdale-based equal marriage group, Equal Marriage Arizona, hopes to get the initiative on the ballot for 2014, which would legalise equal marriage in the state, and undo the 2008, voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
Equal Marriage Arizona, filed the proposed ballot measure with the Arizona Secretary on Monday, reports BizJournals.
The measure would need to get 259,200 valid voter signatures, in order to qualify for the 2014 ballot.
“This measure will define marriage in Arizona as being a union of two persons. It will ensure the protection of religious freedoms by specifying that religious organizations, religious associations, and religious societies in Arizona will not be required to solemnize or officiate any particular marriage or religious rite of marriage,” reads language filed with the Secretary of State in Phoenix on Monday.
A poll released last month found that over half of voters in the US state of Arizona are in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry. The poll found that 55% of Arizonans were in favour of equal marriage, with 35% opposed and 10% were unsure.
The US state of Maryland in November 2012 became the first state to legalise equal marriage by means of a popular vote back in 2012. The law came into effect on 1 January 2013.
Washington and Maine also legalised equal marriage in referendums in those states on the same day. On 6 November, voters in Minnesota voted ‘no’ on Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as being a union solely between a man and a woman.
The US Supreme Court is expected to rule on two cases surround equal marriage, in the next two weeks, potentially making a groundbreaking ruling for equal marriage in the state of California, and the whole of the US.
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