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June 28, 2008

A Shameful, Corrupted Vote To Send Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment To November Ballot!

Last night I watched (on live streaming video) the Arizona Senate approve a measure to send the Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment to the November ballot. It was one of the most disturbing displays of blatant homophobia and arrogant manipulation of the Senate's own rules I've ever seen.

This morning I received an email from Equality Arizona. They were there, in person, for the entire session. I checked their website and found the content of that email posted. They described, in detail, what happened when Senate Rebublicans showed their true colors of hypocrisy and mind-numbing arrogance. Their report said, in part:

"Tonight's debate was intense for everyone on the Senate floor and those of us watching in the gallery. But what happened to our openly-gay Senators by their colleagues was absolutely disgusting. Senate extremists strategically broke the rules of the Senate, which govern the processes for discussion and voting on bills. During a filibuster-like discussion on another bill during Committee of the Whole, Majority Leader Thayer Verschoor (R-22) and Majority Whip John Huppenthal (R-20), among others, devised a scheme with committee chairman Jack Harper (R-4) to outright violate the rules of the Senate and the rights of Senators Aboud and Cheuvront.

In the middle of their discussion, Senator Harper turned off the microphones of Senators Paula Aboud (D-28) and Ken Cheuvront (D-15) and called on the Majority Leader to make a motion. Then, when Senators Aboud and Cheuvront loudly called for a Point of Order several times, even walking to the front desk where Senator Harper sat, he deliberately ignored their calls. To add insult to injury, these people attempted to justify their actions, even after the Senate President and other Senators admonished them for deliberately breaking the rules. Tonight's actions of these and other Senators have forever tainted that body, and it's important that we all let the people of Arizona know how these individuals acted so unethically."

To give you an example of how breathtakingly two-faced and idiotic the extremist became - earlier they voted against a proposal by Meg Burton-Cahill (D) to make the capitol more accessible to the handicapped even after assuring her, prior to the session, that voting for the measure was "no problem." This clearly smacked of political pay-back for her strong and vocal opposition to the marriage amendment. Following this debacle, Senator Ken Cheuvront (D), who is openly gay, proposed a ban on the sale and use of plastic coverings that slip over license plates and obscure the numbers when a picture is taken of someone speeding. Breaking the law and getting away with it is the sole purpose for these coverings but the Senate Republicans (who are the majority) chose to ignore the logic of the proposal and voted it down. They obviously wanted to "put these people in their place" and couldn't have cared less about the handicapped or the lawbreakers (who, by the way, have been clocked at speeds as high as 120 mph). This is extremism run amok.

It's clearly time for every gay person in Arizona, or anywhere else for that matter, to become involved in whatever way they can. Whether it's writing letters, making phone calls, participating in on-line "Take Action" campaigns or donating as much as you can - your voice NEEDS to heard. If you don't live in Arizona, your support and encouragement, in whatever form, would be GREATLY appreciated also.

To read the rest of Equality Arizona's report, go to: equalityarizona.org

Once at their site, you can also sign up for their emails, take part in their online action programs or make donations if you can afford it.

Do whatever you can - but please DO SOMETHING.