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October 22, 2008


One of the largest and most influential newspapers here in Arizona, the Arizona Republic, has come out against Proposition 102, the anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot for the November 4th election.

With a Daily circulation of 433,731 and a Sunday circulation of 541,757 they have a substantial impact throughout the entire state. That's why they're stand against Prop 102 is so important.

The Republic has a long-standing reputation of being primarily a conservative publication but the wording of this Opinion was much more direct and compelling than I would have expected.

About gays and the gay community, they said:

Arizona must get beyond the acrimony fueled by the fight over Proposition 102.

Already, the state has gone a long way toward rejecting the notion that sexual orientation has any bearing on a person's rights or place in society.

As gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals no longer feel compelled to hide in the closet, we see that they're our friends, colleagues and, often, family members.

Personal relations are dispelling the clouds of prejudice and ignorance.

Of the amendment, they said:
One of the best arguments against a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is this: Secretary of State Jan Brewer blocked ballot language that would have told voters that state law already prohibits such marriages.

If voters were clear on existing law, many might decide there's no reason to adopt the amendment.

They also pointed out the potential legal ramifications of passing 102 by saying:
Proposition 102 states that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in this state.

This is not quite as straightforward as it sounds. The amendment clearly aims to disallow same-sex marriages that are legal in a few other states.

Refusing to recognize another state's contracts brings up federal constitutional issues. What about other types of same-sex legal partnerships?

Lawyers could use up a lot of billable hours parsing the exact meaning of "union" and "marriage."

They also commented on the sorry state of the institution of marriage but then said that those problems "had nothing to do with whether same-sex couples can or cannot get married."

It was suggested that the supporters of Prop 102, who call themselves "Arizona for Marriage," should spend their time and energy hunting for real ways to shore it up.

It ended with:
Proposition 102 is a needless distraction. Voters should reject it.