Last edited: November 15, 2003

Hull Signs Repeal of Sex Laws

Arizona Republic, May 9, 2001
Box 1950, Phoenix, AZ 85001
Fax: 602-271-8933

By Beth DeFalco, The Arizona Republic

State government is stepping out of Arizona’s bedrooms.

In a surprise move Tuesday, Gov. Jane Hull ignored pleas from thousands of constituents and signed into law a bill that repeals a ban on sodomy, oral sex and cohabitation.

The measure also clears the way for heterosexual couples to claim a live-in partner as a dependent under certain circumstances.

"At the end of the day, I returned to one of my most basic beliefs about government: It does not belong in our private lives," Hull wrote in a one-page letter explaining her move.

The repeal of the state’s sex laws sparked more than 6,000 calls and letters to Hull’s office urging a veto. By comparison, she received about 3,600 requests to sign it.

"Those laws set a standard that favored marital relations over cohabitation and same-sex relationships in our state," said a disappointed Cathi Herrod, lobbyist for the Center for Arizona Policy, an organization that opposed the repeal.

Conservative state Sen. David Peterson, R-Mesa, said this may not be the end of the issue. He said he will explore putting it before voters in a referendum.

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