Letter: Stirring Up Interest
Yuma Daily Sun,
April 9, 2001
Box 271, Yuma, AZ, 86366
Last November and in the ensuing months, we witnessed an increased interest
in the political and constitutional workings of our government due to the
contested presidential election. Since then, however, that interest seems to
have cooled since there appear to be no major controversial issues to hold our
attention. I would like to take this opportunity to try to rekindle that
interest by telling you about three bills that our State Legislature has been
The first is House Bill 2016 which has been called the "archaic
laws" bill. This bill was introduced to order to repeal Arizonas laws
against cohabitation, lewd and lascivious acts and sodomy. The stated intent
of House Bill 2016 was to remove from the books, laws that were outdated and
that were not being enforced in any case. The argument was also raised that
some senior citizens cohabit in order to share expenses and that under current
state law they were considered criminals. The unstated effect of this bill,
however, is to give our state governments approval to those people who
would participate in a lifestyle that rejects marriage and that embraces
sexual relations that are unhealthy to themselves and to society. This bill
has passed the House and is being considered by the Senate at this time. It is
expected to pass.
The second is Senate Bill 1225. This bill is designed to protect the right
of employees to cross-dress at work and to provide job protection based on
sexual behavior. The proponents of this bill tried to make it applicable to
private businesses as well as government agencies, but that provision failed.
If this bill passes, all public employees will be subject to its provisions
and private employers who wish to do business with the state may have to
comply as well. This bill is also expected to pass.
The last bill was Senate Bill 1380, the "informed consent" bill.
This legislation was proposed to give women considering abortion all of the
information pertinent to the procedure they were considering, including
potential health risks at the time of the procedure and in the future. In any
other medical procedure, you would receive full disclosure of health risks and
benefits. This bill failed to get enough votes to be sent on to the House and
so is now dead.
I believe that these issues are important and that they deserve not only
our attention, but also our active participation. What can you do? Know what
your Legislature is up to and talk to your representatives. Ask them how they
voted on specific bills and why. The switchboard number at the State
Legislature is 1 (800) 352-8404. The operator will connect you to your state
representatives or senator. Let them know how you feel about bills that they
are considering so that you wont be surprised when they become law.
- Dan Chavez, Yuma
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