State Capitol News
Wed April 2, 2008
Gay marriage ban blocked
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – Foes of a state ban on gay marriage have effectively derailed the proposal. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer explains how.
The measure given preliminary House approval would ask voters to
constitutionally define marriage in Arizona as between one man
and one woman. That's already the way state law reads. Putting it
in the constitutional would preclude courts or future
legislatures from changing that. But Rep. Kyrsten Sinema managed
to tack on an amendment to give certain rights to unmarried
couples like inheritance and hospital visitation.
(This amendment merely says that unmarried people who are living
together who share domestic and financial responsibilities will
have those very basic and limited legal protections that many of
us here on the floor today take for granted.)
Rep. Steve Yarbrough argued the proposal is flawed.
(Under this amendment, if a single mother dies without a will,
the live-in boyfriend can get everything and the kids get
nothing. And there is no duty for the boyfriend to support the
Yarbrough also said the purpose of Sinema's amendment was really
to confuse voters who want to ban gay marriage so they would
defeat it in November. At this point that question is academic.
Both Yarbrough and Sinema agreed that with her language in the
measure it will not ever get to the ballot.
For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.