And the second article to completely seal my glum mood and confirm the fact that Arizona has a legislature full of wingnuts who are convinced their job is to legislate our morality and their twisted interpretations of the bible into law is titled Same-Sex issue contentious for legislators:
The debate over a constitutional same-sex marriage ban was one of the most contentious issues of this legislative session. It shadowed the entire session, as supporters struggled to get it through each chamber and as Senate President Tim Bee refused to schedule a vote until the state budget was completed.
On the final day of the session, supporters pushed the measure to a vote, again. This time opponents led by openly gay Democratic Sens. Paula Aboud and Ken Cheuvront staged an unsuccessful filibuster. The referendum on the marriage amendment, which would add language to the state Constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, passed with the minimum 16 votes needed and goes before voters in November.
The article goes on to interview 2 state Senators, one on each side of the issue, Senator Paula Aboud, a 58 year old lesbian in an eight year committed relationship and Senator Linda Gray, a 59 year old, twice-married woman and leading proponent of making sure that gays and lesbians can never marry even once, let alone twice like she was able to do.
Here is a sampling of some of the questions and answers:
SEN. PAULA ABOUD
Q: On the floor of the Senate during debate on this measure, you talked a lot about your relationship and how this measure affected you personally. Why?
This piece of legislation affects me personally, and these people know me . . . I'm here to say this is how it affects me. What the heck are you all afraid of? My relationship with my partner in no way impacts their lives. They have worked with me for three years . . . Nothing about my relationship with my partner in the last three years has impacted their lives. So that is the question: What are you afraid of?
Q: What do you think they are afraid of?
A: It's the fear of the unknown. (Same-sex) marriage is legal in California. (Same-sex) marriage is legal in Massachusetts. And nothing is happening to frighten anybody. All that is happening is people who want to are going to churches and getting married.
Q: Do you think it was important to have gay legislators present during this debate?
A: The people who provided the greatest passion and eloquence on this issue were people personally affected by it. It is important that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community be involved in the Legislature and the process to expand the consciousness of legislators. I know personally some legislators are changing their opinion on this issue for having known gay legislators, particularly in the area of denial of rights - particularly when they recognize that we pay the same taxes and are denied the same benefits. When people step aside from their religions and they look at that, they know if they are honest with themselves, they know that is wrong.
Q: Some opponents portray the marriage amendment as divisive. Do you agree?
A: This is an issue that the fundamentalists have used to foment hate. And it will continue to foment divisiveness and disharmony in Arizona.
SEN. LINDA GRAY (Twice-married homophobe)
Q: What did you think about Sen. Aboud's comments on the Senate floor about this being about people being afraid of relationships like hers?
A: I don't understand why she thinks we are afraid of her or her relationship. I have worked well with her. It is her private decision to have a partner and she is free in America to have that freedom to have that relationship. But as far as definition of marriage as one man and one woman, I think that's what we should have.
Q: Supporters of same-sex marriage have compared the issue to interracial marriage. Do you see a parallel there?
A: I don't think that is the same thing. From time beginning, when countries came together there has been interracial marriage. History talks about, and more so Biblical history talks about, that (gay relationships) not being allowed, that it is a taboo, a sin. It goes way back in history as not being culturally acceptable.
Q: You brought up Biblical history. Would this amendment put religious beliefs and beliefs from the Bible into our Constitution?
A: Religious beliefs have always been a part of our Constitution . . . America was founded on religious beliefs to begin with.
Q: Do you think that this will be a divisive issue for Arizonans as the campaign moves forward?
A: I don't see it as divisive . . . I don't think it has to be hateful at all.
Soooo, twice-married homophobe Linda Gray does not see this as a divisive issue and certainly not a hateful issue.
Well Senator Linda Gray, take it from this very heterosexual, once-married (26 years) Arizona mom and wife, this is as divisive and hateful as it gets. This amendment is a pathetic attempt to draw as many of your base (read bigots, homophobes, and ignoramouses) to the polls as you can. You know you are in trouble and this is all you’ve got in your arsenal.
How pathetic are you?
Do you really think we don’t get what this is about? The Republican brand has become so damaged that you’ve become nothing more than sad little punchlines to bad jokes. This is a desperate and very transparent attempt to staunch the inevitable bloodletting that the Republican Party so rightly deserves this next election cycle. You and your fellow bible-thumping, sanctimonious fraud cohorts in the Arizona Senate are an endangered species and you know it.
But the good news is this Senator Linda Gray: you have made me drop to my knees and pray. That’s right – pray. I pray that the day is near when you shall soon be an extinct species of knuckle-dragging homophobes and that in your place we will have people who actually care about the welfare of Arizonans. Gay marriage does not threaten our lives, but inept politicians like you do.