Arizona affirmative-action ban on 2010 ballot

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June 23

Arizona: On June 22, the Arizona State Senate passed a resolution to place a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 2010 ballot that would ban affirmative action (preferential treatment based on race and gender largely regarding employment and education).

The measure is identical to the unsuccessful 2008 proposal, called Arizona Proposition 104 (2008), which failed due to lack of a sufficient number of valid signatures from Arizona voters.[1]

Former California Board of Regent Ward Connerly, who led the 2008 effort, held a press conference after the ballot referral was approved. He said that banning such preferential-treatment programs would "do so in the mirror image of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 that outlawed racial segregation and solidified equal rights for all citizens."Similarly, Representative Steve Montenegro, who along with Senator Russell Pearce led the successful passing of the referral, said that "the referendum will eliminate racial and gender preference programs...that send minorities a message that they are inferior and in need of special treatment to be successful."

Opposition has been heard from Representative Kyrsten Sinema, who in 2008 formed a coalition opposed to Connerly's efforts called "Protect Arizona's Freedom."While not actively leading opposition efforts currently, she maintains her objections to the proposal on the grounds that it eliminates essential programs for keeping women and students of color in college.[2]

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