Monday, August 25, 2008

Republican Arizona Secretary of State Doen't Want to Tell Voters a Constitutional Amendment is Unnecessary

Jan Brewer, the Republican Secretary of State of Arizona, does not want voters to know that the yet again proposed anti-gay marriage amendment to the Arizona Constitution is unnecessary since same-sex marriage is already illegal under existing Arizona law. Not only is Brewer a Republican, but she is also a member of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church. The Missouri Synod is NOT in communion with the much larger and far more liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - the denomination I belong to - and is VERY, VERY anti-gay. Thus it seems that Ms. Brewer (as is typical of the Christianists) is allowing her own strongly anti-gay religious beliefs to interfere with her duties as Arizona Attorney General. Obviously, Brewer doesn't want voters to know that the proposed amendment only serves to (a) trying bring out wingnut voters in November, and (b) further marginalize LGBT citizens. Here are some highlights from the Arizona Daily Star:
PHOENIX — Secretary of State Jan Brewer has gone to court to avoid having to tell Arizona voters that state law already bars same-sex marriage. In a lawsuit filed Friday, Brewer said the only thing she needs to explain on the ballot is approval of Proposition 102 would amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman She wants to limit the legally required explanation of the effect of voting "no" on the measure would "have the effect of retaining the current laws regarding marriage."
[S]he wants Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Aceto to block efforts by Attorney General Terry Goddard to expand the explanation to say existing laws already include "a statutory ban on same-sex marriage." . . . Goddard said voters are entitled to know what laws already are on the books. He contends that adopting the limited description Brewer wants actually could cause more confusion, that some people might conclude that if they vote against Proposition 102 they would be allowing gays to marry.
The fight comes as proponents, stung by the defeat two years ago, seek to get it approved this time. One thing they did is narrow the scope. The 2006 measure would have not only constitutionally banned gay marriage but also barred state and local governments from recognizing civil unions or providing benefits such as health insurance to the domestic partners of their employees.

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