Prop 102 News

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Familiar Feeling

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

After making history in 2006, Arizona voters again have to decide on the definition of marriage.

From the latest issue of the Tucson Weekly:

Kelly Frieders is a Christian, a registered Republican and a straight, married mother of 10-year-old triplets. On paper, Frieders should be a supporter of state Sen. Tim Bee’s run for the U.S. House against Democratic incumbent Gabrielle Giffords.

Instead, Frieders is angry at Bee, because of his efforts to get Proposition 102 on the ballot, a legislature-produced measure sponsored by Bee to constitutionally define marriage in Arizona as legally being between one man and one woman.

Frieders says she doesn’t agree with supporters of Prop 102, who want to make the proposed amendment a religious issue.

“I’m really disappointed. I’m really upset with the direction the Republican Party has gone. I’m a Republican because I believe in less government and being financially conservative. Seems to me Prop 102 is about more government, not less,” Frieders says.

Frieders and others against Prop 102 are also upset that Bee and his fellow legislators ignored the fact that in 2006, Arizona voters narrowly defeated another anti-gay-marriage initiative, Proposition 107.

Read the rest of the article here.

Media Coverage of Faith Leaders’ News Conference

Friday, September 26th, 2008

We had a huge turnout of faith leaders in Southern Arizona for Tuesday’s news conference. From the Arizona Daily Star:

Tucson religious leaders who oppose Arizona’s marriage amendment spoke against it Tuesday, with many questioning why the measure is before voters again after it was defeated two years ago.
Rabbi Helen Cohn spoke of Jewish Scriptures in urging people to vote against Proposition 102, which would amend the Arizona Constitution to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman.
Cohn said endorsing the amendment based on religious beliefs blurs the line between religious life and secular life. “Legislation based on one group’s religious beliefs is completely contrary to all this country stands for,” she said.
The Rev. Anna Bell, pastor of the Mosaic United Methodist Church, said Arizonans were “clear two years ago” in defeating a similar amendment. She said voters now are “ready for solutions to actual problems.” 


“Religious beliefs and values are important to many Arizonans, but no religion should be able to use government enforcement to mandate its beliefs for all of us,” she said.
And from the Tucson Citizen:
Local faith leaders took a stand this week against religious extremists who would breach the separation between church and state, and write discrimination against gays into the Arizona Constitution.
About 30 clergymen and clergywomen gathered Tuesday in the sanctuary of Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St., to urge Arizonans to vote no on Proposition 102, the “Marriage Amendment.”
Prop. 102 opponent the Rev. Frank Bergen, who has served as a priest in both the Roman Catholic Jesuit order and the Episcopal Church, said some people think everybody “should be bound by our religious concept of marriage.”
“Uh, uh; not so,” he said. He said his objection to Prop. 102 is actually rooted in religion. “Proposition 102 offends my sense of justice, and my sense of justice comes right out of my religious faith,” Bergen said.

Have You Registered To Vote?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

If not, now is the time to check that item off of your to-do list. There are four easy ways you can do this:

  • The easiest way is to register online. If you have a valid Arizona Driver License (or an Arizona non-operating Identification Card), you can register online using the Service Arizona EZ Voter Registration web site.
  • You can also download a printable PDF form. Just print out, fill it in, and mail it to the County Recorder of the county in which you are a legal resident.
  • You can also request an Arizona Voter Registration Form from your County Recorder.
  • Or you can visit your County Recorder’s office and register in person.

Remember, the deadline for registering is midnight on Monday, October 6.

Request an Early Ballot

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Early voting begins on October 2. You can request an early ballot from your local your County Recorder. To request an early ballot, please see the instructions below for your county.

Apache County: Please call (928) 337-7514.

Cochise County: Please call (520) 432-8354 or (520) 432-8358.

Coconino County: Please call (928) 779-6589 or 800-793-6181.

Gila County: Requests for an early ballot can be made by email by following these instructions.

Graham County: Request a ballot via this online form.

Greenlee County: Download this PDF form print it out, fill it in, and mail it to: Greenlee County Recorder, P.O. Box 1625, Clifton, AZ 85533.

La Paz County: Contact the La Paz County Recorder’s office:

  • by phone: (928) 669-6136 or 1-888-526-8685 within the County only
  • or by mail: 1112 Joshua Ave., Ste. 201, Parker, AZ 85344.

Maricopa County: Request a ballot via this online form.

Mojave County: Request a ballot via this online form.

Navajo County: Request a ballot via this online form.

Pima County: Request a ballot via this online form.

Pinal County: You can request a ballot via this online form.

Santa Cruz County: Download this PDF form, print it out, fill it in, and mail it to: Santa Cruz County Recorder, 2150 N Congress Drive, Nogales, AZ, 85621.

Yavapai County: Request a ballot via this online form.

Yuma County: Contact the Yuma County Recorder’s Office, 410 S. Maiden Lane, Suite B, Yuma, (928) 373-6034.

Faith Leaders to Express Opposition to Prop 102

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

Event Held at Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Tues., Noon

Citing the need to clearly express their opposition to Proposition 102, the so-called “Marriage Amendment,” Southern Arizona faith leaders will gather to speak to the press and the public.

TUESDAY, September 23, at NOON
Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church sanctuary , 2331 E ADAMS ST, Tucson.

Leaders from the Disciples of Christ, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Jewish Reformed traditions, and others will process into the sanctuary in formal clerical vestments at noon.

Some of the speakers will include:

  • Rev. Pedro Goycolea, pastor of Iglesia Cristiana Centro Vida, a Spanish-speaking congregation in Sahuarita.
  • Father Frank Bergen, who has served as a priest in both the Roman Catholic Jesuit Order and the Episcopal Church.
  • Rabbi Helen Cohn, a Jewish rabbi who is spiritual leader of Congregation M’kor Hayim in Tucson.
  • Rev. John Fife, former national moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
  • Rev. Anna Bell, minister at Mosaic United Methodist Church, Tucson.
  • Kelly Frieders, a married Republican mother of triplets, and an active Christian lay person.

Everyone is invited. Please join us in your lunch hour and help us support our faith leaders.

Bishop Kirk S. Smith: “We Are All For Marriage - Right?”

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Episcopal Bishop Kirk S. Smith of the diocese of Arizona doesn’t see the need for Prop 102:

This proposition, the so-called “Marriage Protection Amendment” left me scratching my head. Doesn’t Arizona law already define marriage as a union between a man and woman, and didn’t voters already reject a similar initiative in the last election? Why are we going through this again?

I urge you to read the arguments on both sides, and you can find them at: I did, and afterwards I was even more convinced that Prop 102 has nothing to do with upholding marriage and the family — after all, everyone supports that.

You can read the rest of the Right Rev. comments here.

Resolution from the Arizona State Democratic Party on Prop 102

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

(Opposing Ballot Referendum 102)

Whereas: The pursuit for equality is an enduring value of the Arizona State Democratic Party, and

Whereas: The Arizona State Democratic Party supported a similar resolution two years ago, and

Whereas: The Arizona voters voted down a similar ballot initiative just two years ago, and

The proponents of said ballot referendum are using this as a tool to raise money and turnout in a cynical manipulation of Arizona’s electoral process.

Facing a three-billion dollar budget deficit, the Republican leadership prioritized this issue, violated legislative ethics rules, and failed to adequately address vital issues such as education.


Be it resolved:
that the Arizona State Democratic Party opposes this ballot referendum which would, if passed, place discriminatory language in our State Constitution.

Be it further resolved: that the Arizona State Democratic Party requests all voters maintain the Arizona tradition of equality by voting against this ballot initiative.

True Marriage Needs No Special ‘Protection’

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

The following op-ed by Rev. Robin Hoover and Scott Morris appeared in this morning’s Arizona Daily Star:

History is filled with examples of religious and civil leaders taking on the “responsibility” of defining marriage. The endorsement of the mean-spirited Proposition 102 by Catholic bishops earlier this month is yet another attempt to do this.

Probably the oldest restrictions were against marriages between people of different religions or tribes. In Numbers 12, Miriam and Aaron criticize Moses for marrying a Cushite woman. In Ezra 9, the writer denounces those who have married people from other tribes. He makes it clear that God does not approve of this practice.

Other marriage rules were based on societal standing and race.

In the 1700s and 1800s, slaves in the United States could not legally marry. This situation only changed as the institution of slavery was itself made illegal at the end of a bloody civil war. Many argued that it was God who had established and supported the institution of slavery in the first place.

After it became legal for former slaves to marry, there were still laws being created to “protect” the institution of marriage in other ways. Forty-one U.S. states and territories at some time have had laws preventing white people from marrying African-Americans or people of mixed-race parents, and some states have prohibited whites from marrying Native Americans or Asians of certain descriptions.

These laws were justified as enacting what nature or God dictated. The Bible was often quoted to “prove” that such marriages went against the will of God.

Some current members of our congregations participated in the lawsuits that finally served to overturn the last of these “protections.”

This fall, those who would stand in judgment of our relationships are working to again “protect” the institution of marriage from change. Again, they use God’s will, nature itself and the Bible to justify their actions.

They have already gotten the laws in place, but change is coming too fast. Again, our youth, progressive citizens and faith leaders are calling for an end to the practice of marginalizing portions of our society. Again, people of good will are saying that each person should be able to marry the person that he or she loves.

Again, people who believe in a free society are saying that people should not be able to force their will and beliefs on other people. Again, people of faith are saying that true marriage does not need “protection.”

What Is the Cost of Proposition 102?

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

The following article by Mark Kerr appeared in the Tucson Obsever’s blog:

So what is the cost of Proposition 102, the so-called “marriage amendment”?

According to the JLBC (Joint Legislative Budget Committee), the actual cost for drafting the initial bill was minimal.

With the draft, the bill has to be filed and considered by the Arizona Legislature, the state House of Representatives and state Senate.

For Fiscal Year (2008) that ended on June 30, the operational budget (staff (including elected officials) and expenses) for the Arizona House was $18,174,200 and for the Arizona Senate, $9,183,100, totalling $27,357,300.

So for one “legislative day,” the cost (including the leap day) would be $74,746.72.

During the past session, there were three Concurrent Resolutions dealing with the subject SCR (Senate Concurrent Resolution) 1038, HCR (House Concurrent Resolution) 2065 and SCR 1042.

These three measures took a total of 20 days, SCR 1038 - 3, HCR 2065 - 6, and SCR 1042 -11. This was the only bill dealing with putting a proposed amendment on the November 4 general election ballot.

With the twenty days the Arizona Legislature (as well as the staff) dealt with this issue, it brings the cost to $1,494,934.43.

Next is making registered voters in Arizona aware of this and other ballot proposals, as well as judges up for consideration in the state’s publicity pamphlet.

According to Kevin Tyne with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, $1.2 - $1.3-million was spent on the 2006 publicity pamphlet, which had 19 ballot propositions and consisting of 240 pages.

For the 2008 election, the publicity pamphlet will consist of only 121 pages (50.416% of the 2006 version). Using the low figure given by Tyne and multiplying it by the 2008 pamphlet percentage size, the total cost will be $605,000.

Proposition 107 was the ballot measure in 2006, consisting of seven pages (ballot measure, arguments, etc.) or 2.92% of the publicity pamphlet for this election.

In 2008, Proposition 102 will consist of 10 pages or 8.27% of this year’s publicity pamphlet.

So with that, multiplying the 2008 percentage size for Proposition 102 to the total cost for this year’s pamphlet, the cost will be $50,033.50.

In 2006, the Center for Arizona Policy and their supporters, paid Sproul and Associates, a conservative, anti-LGBT political consulting firm to get the signatures needed, 183,917 valid, registered Arizona voters to qualify for the ballot, costing, according to the campaign reports for Protect Marriage Arizona (Committee #: 200602711), $252,884.55 or $1.375 per signature.

With that rate, and the new signature requirements due to the increase numbers of registered voters (230,047), the cost or “gift to the Center for Arizona Policy,” was $316,314.63.

What is the cost of Proposition 102 (and Arizona’s same sex marriage law)? At this point, $1,861,282.56.

Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce Opposes Proposition 102

Friday, September 12th, 2008

The Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce (TGLBTC) opposes Proposition 102, the Arizona Constitutional Amendment that would put into our constitution wording similar to current statute that limits marriage in Arizona to people of the opposite gender.

The TGLBTC believes this Amendment is unwise, ill-timed and wasteful of public resources. Just two years ago, the people of Arizona soundly rejected a similar proposition. But now, radical activists, funded largely with out-of-state dollars, would once again enshrine into our constitution a negative, discriminatory, hateful message that a certain class of people is not welcome in Arizona. As a part of our Constitution, it could eventually come into conflict with evolving national policy, causing undue expense and legal wrangling – all of which could be avoided by simply leaving the current statute intact

Supporters of Prop 102 have argued that this initiative is solely a ‘social issue’ and not a concern for businesses. We strongly disagree! Proposition 102, if successful, can only worsen the current economic crisis. By positioning Arizona as unfriendly to the GLBT community and potentially to domestic partnerships in general, it rekindles past stereotypes of our state and once again hampers our ability to compete with neighboring states. It discourages inward movement of individuals, families, educators and corporations and drives out those who are already here. Thus, Prop. 102 is both anti-business and anti-economic development.

The Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce encourages all business and professional organizations and business leaders to oppose this ballot initiative and to focus our efforts around what is really important to businesses large and small — economic growth and development.

The Tucson GLBT Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping our members grow their businesses and succeed by providing a forum to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender business community and its allies for the purpose of networking, creating increased visibility and strengthening relationships among business community members.