Arizona has become a major battleground in the fight for equal rights. Proposition 107, which will be on the November 2006 ballot, is a huge issue for both gay and strait couples. The two major players are the Center for Arizona Policy and Arizona Together.
The Center for Arizona Policy (or CAP) has a history in AZ as they are primarily a group with strong ties to religion. Established in 1995 as a non profit organization, they state their purpose to be to strengthen AZ families through policy and education, a conservative group that has had many battles with the ACLU on abortion, pornography and gambling. They have also fought with Planned Parenthood and some Gay rights groups.
AZ Together is fairly new organization that seems primarily put together to fight the proposed amendment by CAP.
Proposition 107 would be an amendment to the AZ constitution to deny SSM and deny any financial or medical benefits granted to unmarried couples living together, regardless of the length of time the couple has been cohabitating.
Many believe this amendment to have a dual purpose which would be unlawful in AZ. However CAP has maintained that prop 107’s purpose is to protect marriage. 5 couples went to court to remove this proposition from the ballot on the grounds it breaks the “single issue rule” we have in AZ. These 5 couples lost that battle and the appeal in the Supreme Court.
I am one of the few who believe that it is better to have this dual issue together on one amendment, as it will help people to see that the fight for equal rights is a fight for all.
Recent polling shows that more and more Arizonans are seeing the problems with prop 107. 60% of those asked are likely to oppose this amendment, while only 33% would vote for it. However a CAP representative disputes those numbers citing their polling shows 58% for with 37% against. Regardless, the numbers show a divided state that will unlikely see a conclusion until way past November, as I’m sure both sides will file lawsuits if they lose on this issue.
In summation, I hope all that read this will realize that as Coretta Scott King said “…injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.