In a marathon session Friday lasting
till 10PM, Arizona lawmakers approved a measure to send a
constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to the November ballot.
If approved, the amendment would alter the State's constitution to
limit marriage between only a man and a woman. The legislation had
missed several key votes earlier in the week and was assumed
A similar measure was rejected by
voters in 2006.
Arizona already bans gay marriage by
law. But a constitutional amendment would prohibit the Arizona
Supreme Court from overturning the 1996 state law.
In May, the California Supreme Court
overturned a state law banning gay marriage leading to a flood of gay
marriages in the state. California and Florida voters will also vote
on a gay marriage constitutional amendment in the fall.
In a statement to the Protect Marriage
campaign, one of the groups advocating the amendment, presumptive
Republican Presidential nominee Senator John McCain said he supported
the California measure: “I support the efforts of the people of California to
recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman,
just as we did in my home state of Arizona. I do not believe judges
should be making these decisions.”
McCain had also endorsed the failed
Arizona 2006 gay marriage amendment. It is widely believed that he
will also back the new measure.