ISSUES AND INTOLERANCE OF SEXUAL MINORITIES IN ARIZONA Gays and lesbians are discriminated against and oppressed by archaic "sex laws" used by the conservative Arizona government. Some statutes include the restriction of same-sex marriage, and no monetary or federal benefits for domestic partners of homosexuals who work for a government agency.
Section 38-656 of the Arizona Revised Statutes reads "A country, city, town, or other political subdivision of this state shall not offer health and accident coverage for domestic partners of its employees unless that coverage is approved by a vote of the people in that city, county, town, or other political subdivisionÃ¢ÂÂ¦ 'domestic partners' means any nonmarried cohabitating persons except parents and their children"(Arizona Revised Statutes). In other words, unmarried partners in dedicated homosexual as well as heterosexual relationships cannot receive the benefits and coverage that are now necessary for modern living. Both Maricopa and Pima counties voted to give benefits to domestic partners; the other 13 counties in Arizona are still using this law (www.hrc.org/issues/hate).
HB 106, introduced by Republican Rep. Jeff Grocost, specified that marriage between two people of the same sex is "illegal", and refused to recognize lawful marriages performed in other states. Initially blocked by substitution of general "family values" language instead of anti-marriage stipulation, the bill was revived through manipulation of the rules and passed through the House of Representatives. The Senate passed the bill as SB1038, and was signed by Governor Symington on May 5th, 1996 (www.datalounge.com).
Other laws that have been formerly used for the purpose of anti-gay discrimination were 13-1411 and 13-1412, both of which were very recently repealed. 13-1411 was the "notorious crime against nature" law, which punished homosexual relations with a class 3 misdemeanor. In the notes following the statute, the state declared: "Sexual activity between two consenting adults...