Phoenix, AZ – Kyrsten Sinema, chair of the campaign to defeat
Proposition 107, said the strategy was to show straight
couples who would lose their domestic partner benefits.
That's because the initative would not only have
constitutionally barred gay marriage but also precluded
governments from providing benefits to the partners of
their workers, gay or straight.
(The fact is that in Arizona there are 112,000
unmarried couples. About 18,000 of those are same-sex
couples. And those numbers are pretty consistent
throughout the country, 1 in 10. That makes sense.)
She said that means more straight couples would be
affected than gays. Sinema said Prop 107 wasn't a gay
issue because same-sex marriage already is illegal in
Arizona, a law upheld by the Court of Appeals. But foes
never mentioned the initiative also would bar a court
from ruling that gays are entitled to the same legal
rights as married couples, allowing them to form civil
unions. That issue never has been addressed by Arizona
courts -- meaning that with the apparent defeat of
Proposition 107 it remains a legal option. Whether the
measure really is dead remains unsettled: While the
latest tally shows it losing by about 30,000 votes,
there are still more than a quarter million ballots
uncounted in Maricopa County alone.
In Phoenix, for
Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.