Arizona Marriage Protection, Proposition 102 (2008)
Marriage and Family
|Not on ballot|
Arizona Proposition 102, known by its supporters as the Marriage Protection Amendment, appeared as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Arizona, where it was approved. It amended the Arizona Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
|Arizona Marriage Protection|
Same-sex marriage is already prohibited in Arizona, and Arizona courts have upheld that ban. Proponents argued that a constitutional amendment provides a higher legal level of protection for their preferences about same-sex marriage than does a statute. In particular, that a constitutional amendment will withstand judicial scrutiny better than a statute.
Arizona is the only state whose voters have rejected a same-sex marriage ban. The 2006 rejection of Proposition 107 was widely attributed to provisions interpreted to prohibit government recognition of domestic partnerships and civil unions. 
Twenty-six states have constitutional amendments that bar the recognition of same-sex marriage.
Senate President Tim Bee, R-Tucson, and fifteen other Republican state Senators sponsored the bill in the state legislature to put Proposition 102 on the ballot. House Speaker Jim Weiers and 30 other members of the House proposed an identical bill. The group Yes for Marriage subsequently became the official campaign organization in favor of the ballot initiative.
- Tim Bee, R-Tucson
- Jim Weiers
- Center for Arizona Policy
- John McCain
Donors to Yes on 102 campaign
Some of the larger donors to the campaign include:
- Wilford and Kathleen Andersen, Mesa, $100,000
- LeSueur Family Trust, Mesa, $100,000
- TTEE's Wagner Family Trust, Peoria, $100,000
- Jeff and Holly Whiteman, Mesa, $100,000
- Derek and Danielle Wright, Peoria, $100,000
- Pete King Corporation, Phoenix, $100,000
- Crisis Pregnancy Centers of Greater Phoenix, $100,000
In December, Dan Frazier, who describes himself as a "gay rights supporter", filed a complaint against the "Yes for Marriage" committee with the Arizona Secretary of State on the grounds that when the campaign filed its mandatory financial disclosure forms throughout the campaign, it listed an occupation for only about one out of five of its donors. Election official Joe Kanefield, acting on the complaint, sent a letter to the "Yes for Marriage" campaign. The campaign provided Kanefield with "several hundred pages of affidavits saying the information had been requested from the donors." Kanefield says that this satisfies the legal requirements.
Supporters made the following general claims in support of the amendment:
- In May, 2008 California judges voted to redefine marriage.
- On October 10, 2008 Connecticut judges also voted to redefine marriage.
- The same thing can happen here.
- A “YES” vote prevents judges and politicians from redefining marriage and leaves marriage’s essential meaning in the hands of the people of Arizona.
"Yes on 102" campaign video
According to Barbara McCullogh Jones, Executive Director of Equality Arizona, "No one can deny this bill was nothing more than a referendum on the LGBT community – a political fundraiser to fuel the anti-gay industry in Arizona."
The website Vote No On Prop 102 has been created to oppose the ballot amendment.
- Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix
- Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church
- Congregation M'kor Hayim
- Mosaic United Methodist Church
- St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church
Opponents made the following general claims against the amendment:
- Voters already rejected this amendment in 2006.
- Lawmakers should trust and respect the will of the voters.
- Arizona has more important issues to address.
- Propositions like 102 do not protect the sanctity of marriage, but do amount to an undue involvement of government in people's private decisions.
"No on 102" campaign video
- See also Polls, 2008 ballot measures.
A statewide telephone poll of 976 registered voters was conducted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and Eight/KAET-TV.
The poll found:
|Month of Poll||In Favor||Opposed||Undecided|
|Sept 2008||49 percent||42 percent||9 percent|
Path to the ballot
Investigation of debate conduct
On July 27, the Ethics Committee of the Arizona Senate voted 3-2 on Monday to formally investigate a complaint filed by state senator Ken Cheuvront, D-Phoenix, that Republican Sen. Jack Harper broke Senate rules on June 27, the last day of the 2008 legislative session, when he ended the filibuster tactics of other state senators seeking to postpone or prevent the vote to put Prop. 102 on the ballot.
The Senate Ethics Committee voted along party lines 3-2, to dismiss the complaint on August 12, 2008.
- 2008 ballot measures
- Arizona 2008 ballot measures
- Same-sex marriage measures raised over $100 million in 2008
- 2008 Arizona Election Results
- Ballot proposition guide for Prop. 102 - English
- Ballot proposition guide for Prop. 102 - Spanish
- Arizona Secretary of State, 2008 Initiative applications
- Arizona Republic's Guide to Proposition 102
- Video introduction to Proposition 102 prepared by the Arizona Secretary of State
- National Conference of State Legislatures Ballot Measures Database
- Marriage proposition sparks passionate debate, Arizona Republic, October 13
- 2 years after loss, Ariz. considers marriage amendment again, Baptist Press, October 10
- Checking in with gay marriage bans, The American Prospect, October 9
- Volunteers support traditional marriage proposition
- Same-sex marriage on the ballot in Arizona, a second time
- $101.1 Million Raised Around Same-Sex Partnership Ballot Measures In 2008
- Video of arguments for Prop 102, from a forum sponsored by the Arizona Secretary of State
- Yes on 102, campaign video.
- Campaign finance report for Yes on 102 committee, covering period August 14-September 22
- Campaign finance report for Yes on 102 committee, covering period June 1-August 13
- Arizona Together : Help Defeat Prop 102
- Video of arguments against Prop 102, from a forum sponsored by the Arizona Secretary of State
- No on Proposition 102, campaign video.
- Campaign finance report for Arizonans Together, covering period August 14-September 22.
- Campaign finance report for No on Prop 102, covering period August 14-September 22.
- ↑ Arizona Elections Division, 2008 Election Results
- ↑ Fox News: "AZ marriage measure dies after rights added for unmarried couples," April 3, 2008
- ↑ Arizona Central: "160 donors back state marriage measure," September 7, 2008
- ↑ Gay & Lesbian Times, "Arizona marriage ban advocates vastly out-fundraise opposition", October 9, 2008
- ↑ Arizona Republic, "Big money behind some ballot props", October 27
- ↑ Yuma Sun, "State: Backers of gay marriage ban did not properly fill out campaign donor list", December 30, 2008
- ↑ DailyWildcat.com: "Prop. 102 another cause for concern," Oct 1, 2008
- ↑ Tucson Weekly, "Familiar Feeling; After making history in 2006, Arizona voters again have to decide on the definition of marriage", September 25, 2008
- ↑ Arizona Explorer, "No on 102", October 8, 2008
- ↑ Tucson Citizen, "No on 102: Keep government out of our private lives", October 11, 2008
- ↑ AZpbs.org: "Cronkite-Eight Poll," September 30th, 2008
- ↑ Arizona Central: "Legislature puts gay marriage proposal on ballot," June 27, 2008
- ↑ Tucson Citizen: "State senator faces ethics probe in same-sex marriage debate," July 29, 2008