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GOP Candidate Opposes Arizona’s Marriage Amendment. Sort of.

Jim Burroway

August 29th, 2006

Opponents to a proposed marriage amendment to Arizona’s constitution have gained some unlikely allies: Republicans.

Republican Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup, Democratic Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon have joined Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Harris to oppose Prop 107, which would ban gays from marrying. It would also prevent anyone, gay or straight, from entering into civil unions or from receiving domestic partner benefits.

“As a Reagan Republican, I want government out of our private lives,” Harris said.

It also may prove a case of a group thinking it has a winning issue and over-reaching.

Instead of writing a clean proposition defining marriage as between a man and a woman, Christian conservatives went the extra step and proposed banning men and women from civil unions.

Gay-rights groups shrewdly jumped all over that.

Arizona’s primary isn’t until September 12, and Harris lags behind two other Republicans in a four-way race to unseat the popular Democratic incumbent, Janet Napolitano. One of these front-runners is Len Munsel, the former president of the Center for Arizona Policy which put the amendment on the ballot. The other front-runner is Don Goldwater, nephew of the late Barry Goldwater.

That’s why it’s way to early to call this a positive sign, especially since Harris has been extremely coy about making his views known.

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