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Majority In Arizona Oppose Anti-Gay Amendment

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Majority In Arizona Oppose Anti-Gay Amendment

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

August 31, 2006 - 3:00 pm ET

(Phoenix, Arizona) The Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the wording on proposed ballot question that would amend the Arizona state constitution to ban same-sex marriage and partner benefits does not violate state law.

The justices upheld a lower court ruling by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Douglas Rayes ruled that the measure does not violate the single issue law.

Last month five opposite-sex couples from Phoenix and Tucson filed suit seeking to have the amendment invalidated.

The state Supreme Court ruling came as a new poll was released showing that the proposed amendment would likely fail if it is put to voters.

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said they opposed the amendment, while 38 percent supported it. Eleven percent were either undecided or declined to answer.

The poll of 846 registered voters was done by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. It has a margin of error was three percentage points was conducted from last Thursday through Tuesday of this week.

The proposed amendment defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman and would prohibit state and local governments from providing marriage-like legal status to other relationships.

That, says Arizona Together - the LGBT group formed to fight the proposed amendment - would eliminate domestic-partner benefits provided by some Arizona local governments and publicly funded colleges.

A conservative citizens group collected petitions to have the proposed amendment placed on the ballot. The state requires signatures of 183,917 registered voters. The names must be verified before the issue is sent to voters.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and a number of business and college leaders oppose the amendment saying it would deter people from seeking employment in the state.

Phoenix, Tucson, Scottsdale and Tempe offer domestic-partner health benefits to employees, as do the University of Arizona, Pima Community College and the Maricopa County Community College District and two Tucson school districts.

The University of Arizona gives reduced tuition, and Northern Arizona University gives preferential employment consideration to employees' domestic partners.

©365Gay.com 2006

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