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Democratic lawmakers seek to revise marriage definition in Arizona’s constitution

PHOENIX — Despite same-sex marriage being legal in Arizona, some legislators are trying to get the “one man and one woman” definition off the books.

Arizona’s voter-passed Proposition 102 in 2008 created Article XXX in the state’s Constitution and defined marriage in the state as “only a union of one man and one woman.” But after that definition was struck down by a federal judge last October, it has been remained in Arizona’s Constitution.

Now a group of Democratic lawmakers in the state’s House are working to get it officially removed.

“Even though the courts have struck it down, it doesn’t come off until the voters who approved it the first time in 2008 have to then take it off,” said state Rep. Stefanie Mach of District 10.

Mach said the effort to remove the traditional definition of marriage is about having the state’s constitution reflect the change in Arizona’s marriage law.

“We’re not seeking to drive the nail in, so to speak. We are just trying to clean up the Constitution (to) have it reflect our values, as have been upheld by the courts and by the people,” Mach said.

She said a repeal of the definition is mostly a formality, but added it would be a significant change for the state’s LGBTQ community.

“It’s also a really important gesture to say we were wrong. The courts have decided we were wrong (and) culture is now going to prove that things have changed,” said Mach.

HCR 2010 would have to be approved by Arizona voters if it were to pass in the state’s House and Senate.

Mach said she believes Arizona is not the same as it was in 2008 and is confident that voters would approve the repeal.