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Debate Continues over Arizona Definition of Marriage Referendum Wording

A lawsuit that challenges the language of the proposed gay marriage amendment in Arizona was filed Friday. Secretary of State Jan Brewer and Attorney General Terry Goddard disagree on the measure’s description.

If passed, both agree that the measure would amend the Arizona State constitution and would define marriage as being between one man and one woman. According to the Arizona Republic Brewer believes the description should say that a “no vote shall have the effect of retaining the current laws regarding marriage”, but Goddard believes the language should inform voters of what the current law is: “a statute that prohibits marriage between persons of the same sex.”

The measure is a referendum that was approved by the Arizona State Senate. Only 16 state Senators, the minimum number required to place a measure on the ballot, voted in favor of the referendum. Proposition 107, a similar measure, was defeated by Arizona voters in 2006. Though gay marriage is already banned in Arizona, supporters of the measure want to amend the constitution to prevent a possible judicial overturn of the state’s marriage laws.

Sources:

Feminist Daily Newswire 7/8/08; The Arizona Republic 8/23/08