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Earth Notes

Controversial initiatives make it on ballot

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ – The state Supreme Court rejected three separate arguments that the measures are constitutionally flawed and voters should never get to see them. One of them is Proposition 107 which would define marriage and its benefits as solely between a man and a woman. But Kyrsten Sinema who is working to kill the initiative, said while her side lost the case, the challenge did serve a purpose.

(The proponents of Protect Marriage Arizona said in court, on the record, that this would have the impact of taking away domestic partner health benefits from government employees. And that's what this fight is really about. That, in itself, was incredibly useful.)

Sinema acknowledged that simply banning same-sex marriage is supported by most voters. But she said most Arizonans do not want to take away benefits from both the straight and gay partners of public employees. The court also refused to block voters from deciding on a measure to set aside some trust lands for conservation even though it also has other provisions. And it left another measure on the ballot to require compensation when government rules reduce the value of someone's property.

In Phoenix, for Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.