Wednesday, April 3, 2013

On Attorney General Tom Horne’s Efforts to Block Bisbee Gay Marriage Ordinance

Statement to the Press, April 3, 2013

Once again Tom Horne has shown callous indifference to the rights of Arizonans with his launching of a lawsuit to block Bisbee from implementing a civil union ordinance to protect the property rights of the city’s LGBT citizens, mere hours after its passage. Designed in keeping with the 2008 AZ Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage the ordinance creates a special civil union status to protect citizens’ rights in long-term relationships. As reported by Alia Beard Rau in the Arizona Republic, the ordinance “which goes into effect in 30 days, would cover joint property ownership, property inheritance, guardianship and adoption rights.”

 Arizona citizens should receive equal protection under the law. Bisbee’s town council was correct in addressing the needs of its citizenry. Horne, however, is continuing to inflict his worldview on the freedom of the public by using his positions of power to deprive Arizonans of their rights. His actions in Bisbee are in much the same vein as the way Horne used his position as Superintendent of Public Instruction to punish Tucson public schools for its Hispanic Studies program. Horne didn’t like the fact that if Hispanics study history they will learn of the abuses they have suffered at the hands of American bigots and even our government. So he closed the program and forbade teachers from teaching about America’s history of discrimination and went so far as to even banned books by Shakespeare and Thoreau in the process.
As Attorney General, Horne has continued to twist public policy to punish those he disagrees with. The Bisbee civil union ordinance is just the latest example. Once again Arizona’s GOP leadership is claiming their personal vision of morality dictates the rights of our citizens and once again the state of Arizona is going to file another expensive, ultimately doomed, lawsuit to justify its desire to restrict the liberty of its citizens. Bisbee city attorney John MacKinnon is already mounting a pro-bono defense for the city to refute Horne’s lawsuit. Noting Horne’s claims that the Bisbee ordinance would rewrite AZ law have no true legal standing, MacKinnon was quick to get to the heart of the issue. “This was a desire to make a political statement.” Arizonans have had enough of Tom Horne’s opinions wielding the force of law. Tom Horne has got to go.
I urge all Arizonans to join in condemnation of Horne’s latest abuse of power now, by contacting his office and filing a complaint about his actions regarding Bisbee. Their Phoenix office is at 1275 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007-2926, phone (602) 542-5025, Fax (602) 542-4085. The Tucson office number is (520) 628-6504 and the Prescott office is (928) 778-1265. To curb Horne’s continuing abuses as Attorney General I urge Arizonans to support the campaign of Democratic candidate Felicia Rotellini as she rises to challenge him.
I further condemn Sen. Gail Griffin of Hereford, and Reps. David Gowan and David Stevens of Sierra Vista who apparently contacted Horne about the Bisbee ordinance. I call for Democratic candidates in LD 14 to rise up and show this crowd the door. It’s time AZ had a government that worked for the rights of all us.
Thank You Again for Your Continuing Support. AND, Thank You City Council of Bisbee for trying to looking Arizonans legal rights, even if Tom Horne won’t.
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Mikel Weisser
4490 Sundown Dr
So-Hi, AZ 86413

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