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October 20, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 42
 
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Chances to defeat Arizona ban on marriage for same-sex couples promising, poll shows
Chances to defeat Arizona ban on marriage for same-sex couples promising, poll shows
PHOENIX, ARIZ, Oct. 13, 2006- Forty-eight percent of Arizona voters surveyed last weekend are against Prop. 107 the so-called protect marriage amendment, according to a scientific poll conducted by Harstad Strategic Research, a research firm specializing in political polling, market research, and strategic consulting. The Arizona survey was conducted using exact ballot language and shows that Prop. 107 will fail at the polls on Nov. 7. However, 11 percent of voters are still undecided and earning the vote of at least three percent of those individuals is the task at hand for Arizona Together volunteers and supporters over the next three weeks.

"This type of polling result is unheard of in other states battling similar initiatives," said Steve May, Treasurer of Arizona Together. "We've been laser-sharp in our communications strategy and it is working. After learning about these new numbers our volunteers and supporters are re-energized. With only three more weeks to go we are at a critical juncture. Our goal is to earn at least three percent of the 11 percent of undecided voters in the next three weeks; that's one percent a week." Seven other states will vote on similar amendments next month including: Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin.

"We are ecstatic about this recent poll but must keep up our aggressive pace if we want to defeat Prop. 107 on Nov. 7," said State Representative Kyrsten Sinema, committee chair. "Arizona voters don't want families and individuals to lose their healthcare. This survey sampling is the first indication that our education efforts are working and that Prop. 107's deceptive veil as a Gay-marriage ban is no longer effective."

Harstad Strategic Research is an independent research firm with a long list of notable clients including: the National Education Association (NEA), Human Rights Campaign, Stanford University, American Cancer Society, League of Conservation Voters, Governor Tom Vilsack, U.S. Senators Tom Harkin and Jack Reed, the DSCC and the DGA.

This recent poll of 503 voters was conducted over the weekend of Oct. 7 and it showed the following: 48 percent opposed to Prop. 107 (33 percent strongly opposed); 41 percent in favor of Prop. 107 (30 percent strongly in favor); and 11 percent undecided. The margin of error was 4 percent. The sampling included: 35 percent registered Democrats, 42 percent registered Republicans and 22 percent registered Independents.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census there are more than 100,000 unmarried couples in Arizona. If Prop. 107 passes in November it could affect all of these Arizona citizens including seniors and children, by taking away existing rights and domestic benefits such as healthcare, hospital visitation rights, medical decision-making rights and domestic violence protections.

Prop. 107 will prohibit public employers from providing benefits they have determined best serve their employees. In Tucson, the University of Arizona, the Tucson Unified School District, Sunnyside School District, Amphitheater School District, Pima County, and the City of Tucson have extended domestic partner benefits to employees. It is also expected that proponents of the amendment will attempt to prohibit private employers who contract with state or local governmental entities from providing domestic partner benefits. These private employers across the state will be subject to lawsuits forcing them to rescind the benefits offered to unmarried couples. This broad impact could potentially affect many progressive corporations that currently offer domestic partner benefits including Motorola, Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Raytheon. Today, half of the Fortune 500 companies offer domestic partner benefits, twice as many as in 2000.

Arizona Together, a political campaign committee made up of individuals and organizations striving to protect the rights of unmarried couples in Arizona. The goal of Arizona Together is to defeat Proposition 107- the so-called "Protect Marriage Arizona" amendment that will take away domestic benefits, such as healthcare. Proposition 107 is a ballot initiative for the 2006 Arizona General Election. Visit www.noprop107.com for more information.

A Arizona Together press release
 

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