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6/27/2013 6:00:00 AM
Same-sex marriage push begins in Arizona
Group was waiting for Supreme Court decision before circulating petitions
Disappointment, or blow for states’ rights?
KINGMAN - Two Arizona lawmakers based in Mohave County have similar yet strikingly different takes on Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling that found part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

"I'm very disappointed," said Rep. Doris Goodale, R-Kingman. "I'm strictly supportive of marriage between only a man and a woman. It's a biblical principle."

Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, also believes marriage should be limited to one man and one woman, but unlike Goodale, she considers Wednesday's decision a win.

"This decision is a victory for states' rights," she said. "I think state governments should be allowed to do the people's will and this ruling affirms that position."

Rep. Sonny Borelli, R-Lake Havasu City, told the Miner he had not yet learned of the ruling and declined to offer an opinion until he could research the issue.



Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 5-4 decision on Wednesday that declared part of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional will have little effect on Arizona's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, but efforts to overturn the state prohibition are under way.

President Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law in 1996. The act defined marriage as valid only between a man and a woman, denying same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.

In addition to striking down one section of the 17-year-old DOMA, which a majority of the high court found violated gay people's right to equal protection under the law, the Supreme Court also declined to act on California's same-sex marriage ban known as Proposition 8, which a federal district court overturned.

Proponents of the same-sex marriage ban sought to defend Proposition 8 before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but on Wednesday the Supreme Court ruled the plaintiffs had no standing and the case could not be heard.

The ruling paved the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.

Currently, 12 states, three Indian tribes and the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriage. Those entities can now better define same-sex marriage laws without fear of running into conflicts with the federal ban.

While Wednesday's decision has no bearing on same-sex marriage bans in states such as Arizona, same-sex couples who were legally married in another state will have many of the same federal rights as traditionally married couples, regardless of where they live.

Those rights are considerable, providing same-sex couples with more than 1,100 federal rights and benefits ranging from taxes to immigration, from Social Security benefits to hospital visitations to insurance.

The conservative Center for Arizona Policy disagrees with the high court's decision in DOMA, although, like Ward, the group does see it as a victory for states' rights.

Equal Marriage Arizona, a group with politically conservative leadership, hopes DOMA provides momentum in the effort to legalize same-sex unions in the Grand Canyon state.

In 2008, voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that, like DOMA, defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

On June 17, Equal Marriage Arizona filed a petition initiative that, if ultimately approved by voters, would strike the term "a man and a woman" and replace it with "two persons" in the state's constitutional definition of marriage.

"We did that in anticipation of what the Supreme Court might do," said Erin Ogletree Simpson, a retired Tucson lawyer and the co-chair of Equal Marriage Arizona.

"The upshot of DOMA getting struck down is that it will allow states to address the marriage issue," said Ogletree Simpson, who described herself as a gay conservative Republican.

A key element of the effort, said Ogletree Simpson, is that if passed, the amendment would specifically protect religious organizations from being forced to perform marriage rites for unions they oppose.

"This is all about personal liberty," said Ogletree Simpson, who also serves as chairwoman of Arizona Log Tree Republicans. "We feel religious freedom is just as important as individual freedom."

Phoenix businessman and libertarian Warren Meyer is Ogletree Simpson's co-chair. In a statement released the day the petition was filed, he said the language is "straightforward and sensible."

So what has happened since 2008 that leads them to think Arizonans have changed their minds about same-sex marriage?

According to Ogletree Simpson, the nation's attitude about same-sex marriage has rapidly changed the last few years even among conservatives, who increasingly see it as a matter of individual liberty.

While Ogletree Simpson and Meyer are politically on the right, Equal Marriage Arizona's membership will rapidly be filled by people with a wide range of political ideology, from the left and the right, liberal and conservative, she said.

Ogletree Simpson said response from the public has been enthusiastic in terms both emotional and financial. More than $100,000 has been raised since the petition was filed 10 days ago. About 260,000 eligible voters must sign the petition if it is to appear on the 2014 ballot.

The state's 2008 gay marriage ban passed with 56 percent of the vote. More recently, Bisbee became the first Arizona city to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples in April. Tempe and several other cities later said they are considering similar civil union ordinances.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)



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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, July 7, 2013
Article comment by: happily married straight mom

I just have to say that I don't dislike gays but getting married is definitely not right nor is trying to bring a child into it. Gays can never have children together. Come on its just not right, and who cares if there are a lot of divorces its between a women and a man. I have nothing against gays, i had family that were gay but now not living. So being together that's fine but there has to be some kind of line not to cross its just not natural. O ya and I'm not religious nor do I go to church. This is just how it should be,the worlds getting weirder and weirder but still love America.

Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

As a straight twice married twice divorced fellow cannot see what all the worry is about, let the gays get married, let them enjoy the illusion that 50% or so find that marriage is forever, your partner will never grow tired of you, break them vows before god, let them enjoy the alimony payments, child support for them biological and non biological kids one spouse will get in the settlement, all the bickering, arguing over who gets what marital property! And then all the post divorce anger in visitation rights, blaming of who was the wronged party! I doubt gays will have any better statistics than us straight folks if one looks in the news they have just as much domestic violence so it only seems logical the divorce rate will be same!

Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Article comment by: pl .....

@Stokes.....yes, with an occasional exception (I have seen about three during the past month), when you see those five dots after a moniker, it's me talking. At any rate, the exceptions usually contain glaring misspellings and grammatical errors, so you shouldn't have much difficulty knowing whether or not it's me. And there wasn't anything funny at all about their crimes, nor what it has meant for all the rest of you.

Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Article comment by: Bob Wyatt

Do what you want everyone......just gets me one step closer to meeting Jesus! So as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of man returns.

Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

@whosoever .....
Why so many names...regular readers know exactly who you are. Still trying to avoid the NSA/CIA/NCIS?

Keep it up...always brings a smile to me...


Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Article comment by: whosoever .....

@Fr. Leonard Walker.....you just left me as flabbergasted as those government assets I have occasionally met over the years. The more passionately their affection/dedication/sincerity is expressed, the greater the danger and betrayal is to come. No wonder I avoid church like the plague. But somewhere out there - and not so far out there for those who aren't out to corrupt God - He is near to those who call on Him. What a show it will be when the sheep and the goats are separated one day.

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Sensible Moderate

"one nation under god"

Someone ignorant of history quoted this to illustrate "America was created and ruled by our fellow Fathers who relied on God and obeyed God."

WRONG, as usual, when trying to make a religious argument for imposition of Christian Sharia. The "under god" part was added to the pledge only during the hate-filled McCarthy era of the 1950s, as our government's response to "godless communism" and has no basis in history prior to that.


Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Nay Mama

@American Patriot, please come to the light and join us in the 21st Century. If you think quoting a book, the bible, that has been rewritten numerous times to suit the people in power, you are out of your mind. And yes I think that about anyone that strictly states what they think the meaning of the bible or a verse taken out of context means. Also putting up a quote that means nothing to what I had commented about doesn't mean a thing to me either. I have been fighting for Equal Rights for everyone my whole life, just like anyone who keeps defending her Christians views should be doing. So, its nice to know who can be counted on when the chips are down, you would not be someone I'd call for help, you obviously believe in judging people, and in your religion means you'll pay for it at the Pearly Gates.

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“How do you feel about God descriminating against gays? Better read the last half of the book of Romans in the New Testament.”

The majority of people are not interested in your vindictive God who chooses to discriminate against people and that is why our nation lives on the principal that all men are created equal.

I will now ask that you show us where in the Constitution (that you claim to support and believe in) it specifies that gay Americans be denied the same rights as all other Americans? Please be VERY specific as to where that section of the Constitution resides? Thank you.

“We Christians aren't bigots, we are following our Bible.”

Obviously by your desire to discriminate against one group of people you have proven that Christians are indeed bigots and your book is founded on bigotry. And that is very sad, but also makes me thankful to not be a Christian.


Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Steve Marks

If GOD intended marriage to be between "one man and one woman", then why--for most of humankind's history, particularly in biblical times-were marriages between one man and many women? It's only been in the last couple hundred years that men began marrying only one woman. So, any argument to the contrary is just, simply put, fallacious.

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Kingmanmom .

You cant have it both ways. "Separation of Church and State" "I'm very disappointed," said Rep. Doris Goodale, R-Kingman. "I'm strictly supportive of marriage between only a man and a woman. It's a biblical principle."

You cant use Bible principles when is suites you. Bring back God in the Schools and government all the way, not just for the same sex marriage.

I believe marriage is for a man and a women, but who am I to say who you can love. Equal rights for all!


Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Rick thomason

Why?

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Sensible Moderate

Reply to all the bible-wavers:

You are breathtakingly arrogant to think that you can be God and tell others what to do, and that you even know what your God would want. If there is a God, she/he/it is unknowable, especially by people who rely on myths from 2000 years ago.

Since you bible-wavers seem to think that everyone should follow your orders, as interpreted by you, then perhaps you should follow Matthew 6:5-7 and stop shoveling your religious dogma at the rest of us.


Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Nina Allen

What's the big deal? Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, who's thinking about what that speaks to the children that are a product of that? What do you think
the legalizing of abortion speaks to the children? Also
where is God and religous people in that? The morals of this country have gone to hell accordingto the whole Bible not just a few select scripture s.


Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens

“How do you feel about God descriminating against gays? Better read the last half of the book of Romans in the New Testament.”

Many of us are not interested in your vindictive God who chooses to discriminate against people and that is why our nation was founded on the principal that all men are created equal.

I will now ask that you show us where in the Constitution (that you claim to support and believe in) it specifies that gay Americans be denied the same rights as all other Americans? Please be VERY specific as to where that section of the Constitution resides? Thank you.


Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

It really does make me chuckle how some people feel they get to pick and choose what parts of the Bible they choose to believe in, but when another person rejects all of it....holy war is declared. Sure sounds hypocritical to me.

I say if two people are in love and want to marry, more power to them.


Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: wake up people

Everyone acts like if gay people can get married the world will end. It's not like we want to take away a man and a womans right to marry. I have been with the same person for eight and a half years. Why can't we get married if we want to. There are straight couples that get married and don't even stay together long enough for the ink to dry on the marriage certificate. As far as our kids go. We have raised them to be well rounded loving people that don't judge others. To bad they have to grow up in a world full of narrow minded.Yes, our girls know how to fix a cooler and our boys know how to nurture. How else can a girl grow up to be an independent woman and a boy grow up to be a great father.Stop pushing your religious beliefs onto other people.

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: A Contract Is A Contract

Just throwing in my own 2 cents worth. I believe God's greatest commandment is LOVE. I believe straight, gay & lesbian love are all extensions of that love. I don't believe that marriage between gay & lesbians fulfills God's plan for marriage ... which is to produce and raise children. I believe that gays & lesbians should have legal access to civil unions (not church marriage unions), which would effect legal contracts whereby they would have essentially the same legal rights as straight married couples in situations of divorce, illness, death, etc.

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research

@Adam and steve
@American Patriot
@Truth Teller
@Eman Oink

The act of marriage was institutionalized by the state as a legal status and contract between two consenting adults. That is the moment where it went from being attached to religion to attached to laws. When that happened, it ceased to be a religious thing.

Can atheists get married? Yes. Do they get married in a church? No. Marriage requires the state, not a church - which means that all your "it's biblical!" arguments are, by default, wrong.

This is honestly VERY black and white, and should be obvious to anyone that equal rights of Americans mean that pairing of consenting adults should not be given preference because of the sex of the people in the pairing. ESPECIALLY if this contractual pairing includes tax benefits and property rules.

If you knew as much as you claimed you did about the constitution, you would agree with this and the SCOTUS without hesitation.


Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013
Article comment by: Richard Rhoads

You people can whine and cry all you want about if it's unconstitutional or against the beliefs of religion. We are human beings a higher more evolved form of life on this rock floating in space not animals. We are designed to reproduce by one male and one female and not any other way. I don't care if you disagree but that is what nature intended not what your beliefs, feelings, or anything else you say.

Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013
Article comment by: Fr. Leonard Walker

What gives one Christian Church the right to speak for ALL Christian churches? Roman Catholics? Assembly of God? There are those Christians who ask if the LDS is a Christian church? Who then is the authority? We all have the same bible.
I accept it when one calls themselves Christian because they accept the Trinity - Jesus as the Son of God and fully human.
So please, fellow Christians, stop speaking in my name when you speak of biblical interpretation of this or that.
I am an ordained priest of 39 years. I have also have been born again, speak in tongues and have laid hands for the healing of the sick.
I am gay, and I have a partner of 14 years I wish to marry.
I am not condemned in the bible but those who judged are. I am blessed. I know God made me who I am and called me to be His priest and minister. Others have affirmed that many times over.
So be careful of bringing condemnation on yourself. You may not understand or accept me, but you cannot use God's loving and saving word to condemn me.
Peace,
Fr. Leonard


Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013
Article comment by: The Team We Have

Doris is on the wrong side of a modern America.

Kelli is confused.

And Sonny is out to lunch.


Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013
Article comment by: Doris Needs to Work to Assure Equal Treatment for All

Linda Athens harps on gays not "correctly" raising children. Then we have Doris Goodale's child rearing abilities representing straights.

As my state representative I'd rather Doris fight for equal treatment for all the citizens she represents regardless of her personal views.


Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013
Article comment by: LDS Wasted Millions of Dollars

It's ironic that the Morman Church's heirarchy poured millions of it's followers money in Prop 8 in CA just to have the Supreme Court restore gay marriage. Just goes to show God wants religious organizations to love, accept, and treat equal all that he created. A shame - those millions could have been used to feed the hungry, clothe the needy, and house the homeless.

Posted: Sunday, June 30, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Harris

As a gay man in a long term relationship I would like to be treated equal by my government. Having said that it would not bother me at all if the government decided to eliminate all those tax benefits, special treatments, favoritism traditional marriages have enjoyed since our country was formed. Some how I suspect the LA's of the world would be demanding marriage for all.


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