Marriage Ban Heads To Arizona Senate

After being approved yesterday by Arizona’s House of Representatives, an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment is headed for the the state Senate. If approved there, the amendment will become a ballot measure in the general election in November.

The proposed amendment defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The measure has had a roller coaster ride in House. Earlier this month, just before the House was to vote Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) added a clause to the bill that would grant unmarried couples, both same and opposite-sex, many of the rights of marriage but without the name. With the additional clause in place the House voted 28-27 to give the measure preliminary approval. The bill’s chief sponsor in the House, Jim Weiers (R), angrily denounced the maneuver and dropped the bill from a final vote saying the change in the bill made the ban on gay marriage meaningless. Weiers then re-introduced his original bill. The House approved it last Tuesday on a voice vote without discussion.

A much broader amendment that would have banned not only gay marriage but civil unions and all governmental domestic partners benefits was defeated at the polls in Arizona in 2006. Arizona’s Supreme Court has already upheld its current law limiting marriage to one man and one woman.