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McCain Backs Anti-Gay Arizona Amendment


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McCain Backs Anti-Gay Arizona Amendment

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: August 26, 2005 1:00 pm ET

(Phoenix, Arizona) Despite his reputation as a liberal Republican, Sen. John McCain has announced his support for an amendment to the Arizona Constitution to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions.

McCain last year voted against amending the US Constitution, but in a statement released late Thursday McCain said that the state amendment "would allow the people of Arizona to decide on the definition of marriage."

A spokesperson for McCain said the senator released the statement after a meeting with backers of the amendment who asked for his formal support.

The proposed amendment defines marriage as between a man and a woman. It would also prohibit cities, towns and counties from giving legal status to unmarried couples.

Proponents need at least 183,917 signatures by July 2006 to put the issue on the Nov. 7, 2006, ballot.

Gay activists say the statement was discouraging but vow a battle to keep the measure from passing.

Steve May, an openly gay former state lawmaker and now one of the leaders in the effort to defeat the proposed amendment said he was not surprised by McCain's stance, saying that McCain is positioning himself for a run for the White House.

"We have a year to convince John McCain and the rest of Arizonans about how harmful this measure really is,'' May said.

Backers of the initiative say the institution of marriage is at stake because they fear judges might eventually allow gay marriages.

Arizona law prohibits marriages involving same-sex couples, but they are not banned by the state Constitution.

©365Gay.com 2005


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