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AZ Politicians Run Away from Prop 102

Jim Burroway

October 5th, 2008

It’s amazing. Last June, 49 state legislators in Phoenix decided that making same-sex marriage even more illegaler in this state was more important than solving the budget deficit or problems with education, immigration, health care or energy policy (Arizona has more sunshine than any other state in the union — helloooo!). They even thought it was so important that they were willing to break their own rules in the process.

But now, ask any of those same legislators if they support Prop 102 and just watch how they duck and weave on what ought to be a simple yes or no question — you know, the yes or no question that they actually put on the ballot.

The Arizona Daily Star sent a questionnaire to state legislative candidates, and of the responses they got back, twelve candidates said they opposed Prop 102 and only three said they supported it. Ten more couldn’t give it a straight answer. See if you can figure out where these candidates stand:

“My wife and I have been married for 17 years,” wrote Republican Frank Antenori, a candidate for the House in District 30. “I believe that marriage is an important institution that strengthens society and I support it.” What’s “it”? Marriage or the amendment?

In the primary, Antenori was a bit more direct, answering “yes” but adding: “If you want to get married, fine; that’s between you, your spouse and your God, not the government.” So, isn’t that a “no”?

Republican Jonathan Paton, running for the Senate in the same district, was even more indirect: “I supported the effort to let my constituents vote for it.” OK. But that wasn’t the question.

Democrat Olivia Cajero Bedford, running for re-election in District 27, did not give a direct answer, instead saying she would support the move if it “had clearly stated that (marriage) cannot be one man, one woman and three girlfriends.”

And Democrat Barbara McGuire, an incumbent in District 23, said, “My personal opinion is that definition of marriage would apply to a man and woman, however, in the case of amending the constitution, it is up to the voters.”

Rep. Paton not only voted to place Prop 102 on the ballot, he was also a co-sponsor of the bill.

Rep. Cajero Bedford (one of two house representatives for my district) voted against putting Prop 102 on the ballot — which makes her indirect answer against prop 102 somewhat puzzling.

Rep. McGuire didn’t cast a vote when the measure came up in the House, and because placing an amendment proposal on the ballot requires a majority of all house members and not just of those present, her non-vote had the same effect as a “no” vote. It just didn’t go on the record.

And of course, we already saw State Sen. Tim Bee, one of the amendment’s early co-sponsors, wish the question would just disappear barely two weeks after he voted for it.



October 5th, 2008 | LINK

I’m sorry to have to point this out but Box Turtle does generally maintain a such high standard of the English language that I just couldn’t ignore it. An action is more illegal not more illegaler.

Jim Burroway
October 5th, 2008 | LINK

That was an attempt at sarcasm, hence the italics.

October 5th, 2008 | LINK

I’m still very interested to hear John and Cindy McCain’s statements on this. Seems they have been surprisingly mum on this. I would imagine several gay businesses in Arizona contribute heavily to Cindy McCain’s beer distributorship to the tune of millions annually.

Mike Overgraft
October 6th, 2008 | LINK

I’m Voting Gabrielle Giffords. When asked how she would have voted on this measure, she stated that she would have been adamantly against it.

Ken Moyes
October 6th, 2008 | LINK

If anyone wants to know where Frank Antenori stands on the marriage amendment, and you can’t decipher what he said. Go to his web site and send him a message, he will provide an even more clear answer. One thing about Mr. Antenori – you can depend on a straight answer whether you like the answer or not.

His web site is:

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