As the U.S. Supreme Court made a pair of decisions on same-sex marriage this morning, the Arizona group trying to get an "equal marriage" proposal on the ballot in 2014 is getting serious about its effort.
"It's go time," Equal Marriage Arizona chairman Warren Meyer tells New Times.
Meyer and the group of Republicans and libertarians that started Equal Marriage Arizona want Arizona voters to decide whether marriage should be defined as a union of two people, instead of one man and one woman.
Meyer says the Supreme Court's decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, essentially keeping the issue up to the states, is "what we expected and what we were planning for."
The petitions will be printed today and volunteers will start collecting signatures Thursday. They need 259,213 valid signatures by July 2014 to get on the ballot.
Meyer adds that commitments from donors also depended on the Supreme Court decision, which means some money's likely to come their way.
This proposal would change the amendment to the Arizona Constitution that voters approved in 2008, Proposition 102, which declared, "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state."
On that note, the Supreme Court appears to have caused a five-alarm freak-out at the Center for Arizona Policy, the powerhouse fundamentalist lobbying organization.
Much like the Mormon Church played a role in funding the support of California's Proposition 8, the Center for Arizona Policy vows to defeat efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Arizona.
CAP's president Cathi Herrod has taken to Twitter, with a severe lack of vowels, desperately trying to spin the decisions.
Here's part of the message they sent to supporters:
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Though Center for Arizona Policy disagrees with aspects of the Court's decision, we are grateful that the Court did not undermine the will of Arizona voters who strongly supported our state's 2008 marriage amendment.
In DOMA, CAP believes that the court erred in claiming that a state that has redefined marriage can force that definition on the federal government for purposes of federal marriage laws.
In Prop 8, the court has ensured that the state-by-state debate about marriage is allowed to continue. Truly, the debate over marriage has just begun.
Marriage is more than just a personal promise, it serves a public purpose. It is society's best guarantee of a limited government that stays out of family life. Social science data has proved this time and time again.
Center for Arizona Policy is committed to continuing to stand for marriage and to defeat any efforts to redefine this essential union.
In a previous note to supporters, sent out a few days ago, the the lobbyists said, "What you need to know now: we are taking this threat very seriously and are operating as if marriage will be back on the ballot in 2014."