Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Greater Phoenix Chapter

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Church State Issues

Millions of imaginary constituents complaining about gay marriage???

Apr 9, 2013

Arizona Republic

OK, like the problem with medical marijuana this alleged problem seems to be only in the minds of our narrow minded, biased politicians who want force their religious views on us using the force of government. Which of course violates both the Arizona Constitution and the US Constitution.


Few wrote 3 legislators over Bisbee civil unions

By Alia Beard Rau The Republic | azcentral.com Mon Apr 8, 2013 11:36 PM

Three state lawmakers who cited constituents’ concerns in triggering threats of a lawsuit against Bisbee for passing a new ordinance allowing civil unions received very few official calls or e-mails from people in their district.

A public-records request by The Arizona Republic showed only one e-mail opposing last week’s City Council approval of the ordinance and a phone call questioning its legality, while another e-mail supported allowing civil unions.

Two of the lawmakers, however, said they had been personally approached by constituents concerned about the constitutionality of the ordinance and asking them to look into it. They did not say how many people had approached them or under what circumstances.

Hours before the Bisbee City Council passed the ordinance to allow the city clerk to issue civil-union certificates that would allow gay couples to have official recognition of their partnerships, House Majority Leader David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista; Rep. David Stevens, R-Sierra Vista; and Sen. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, sent Republican Attorney General Tom Horne a letter asking him to investigate whether the ordinance would violate state law and the state Constitution.

“We have been contacted by constituents who are expressing concerns that this proposed ordinance may be in violation of Arizona law and the Arizona Constitution,” read the letter from the three lawmakers, who represent the Legislative District 14 that includes Bisbee.

The Attorney General’s Office, which warned Bisbee not to proceed, is expected to file a lawsuit alleging the City Council’s decision violates the state Constitution’s definition of marriage, among other things, possibly later this week.

Bisbee resident Gayle Schasteen copied the lawmakers on a letter she sent to the Bisbee council opposing civil unions for religious reasons.

Another Sierra Vista resident sent Stevens an e-mail saying that she supports civil unions and opposed his getting involved.

Griffin’s legislative office got one phone call from someone asking if Bisbee had the legal right to pass such an ordinance, but not taking a stance one way or the other.

Griffin declined to comment on what prompted her to call on Horne to look into the matter. Both Stevens and Gowan said they had heard in person from constituents when they were back in their home communities.

Bisbee resident James Coull, who supports the ordinance, last week criticized state leaders for getting involved in a city issue.

“I don’t see how it affects them,” he said. “This state is always wishing the (federal) government would stay out of their business, yet they don’t stay out of the business of their municipalities.”

Legislative District 14 covers a large and mostly conservative block of southeastern Arizona that includes Safford, Willcox, Sierra Vista and Benson, as well as the more liberal Bisbee.

“Some people over the weekend asked me about it, so I looked into it,” Stevens said. “It violates the state Constitution and seven (state) statutes.”

Both the state Constitution and federal law define marriage as between only one man and one woman. [But the US Constitution doesn't even address the issue, meaning the Federal law is probably unconstitutional] Stevens said he took an oath as a state representative to uphold state and federal law, and that’s why he got involved with the Bisbee issue.

“Just like I would have if they had an ordinance that allowed bank robberies,” he said.

Gowan, who said he lives about 30 miles from Bisbee, said he also had constituents ask him to look into the legality of the ordinance.

“The vast majority of my district believes in the Constitution,” he said. “This is coming from me because it’s a constitutional issue. We told them we’d look into it.”

Bisbee became the first city in the state to legalize same-sex civil unions last week on a 5-2 vote of the City Council after more than three hours of emotional pleas from residents on both sides of the issue.

Bisbee’s ordinance, which goes into effect in May, creates a civil union recognized only within city limits. Any two unrelated, unmarried adults can seek a civil-union certificate from the city clerk for $76. It grants same-sex couples a civil-union certificate and allows them some of the rights of married couples.

Complain about this violation of Church & State to:

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne wants to shut down gay marriage in Arizona??? Tom Horne
Arizona Attorney General
1275 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ
85007-2926

(602)542-5025
(602)542-4085 fax

Gail Griffin wants to shut down gay marriage in Arizona??? Gail Griffin
Arizona State Senate
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2890

ggriffin@azleg.gov

(800)352-8404
(602)926-5895
(602)417-3025 fax

David M. Gowan Sr wants to shut down gay marriage in Arizona??? David M. Gowan Sr.
Arizona House of Representatives
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2890

dgowan@azleg.gov

(800)352-8404
(602)926-3312
(602)417-3130 fax

David W. Stevens wants to shut down gay marriage in Arizona??? David W. Stevens
Arizona House of Representatives
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2890

dstevens@azleg.gov

(800)352-8404
(602)926-4321
(602)417-3146 fax