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Az voters OK ban on gay marriage, reject payday loan reform

PHOENIX – This time, Arizona voters said “yes” to a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Proposition 102, a stripped-down version of the one rejected at the polls two years ago, was passing 56.5 percent to 43.5 percent with 99 percent of the precincts reporting Wednesday morning.

The measure was simplified with the hopes of a different outcome and the strategy worked.

In 2006, voters made normally socially conservative Arizona the only state to reject a same-sex marriage ban on the ballot.

Unlike that more complicated measure, the proposal before voters this year was stripped down to 20 words: “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.”

The measure carried no immediate practical impact since same-sex marriage already is banned under a 1996 Arizona law. Supporters said adding the ban to the constitution would prevent judges from one day overturning that law.

Two years ago, the Arizona measure was the only one of eight such proposals on state ballots nationwide that day to fail. Overall, 27 states have approved anti-gay marriage measures.

Other state proposition results:

• Prop. 100 – Protect Our Homes, which prohibits new local or state fees or taxes on real estate sales, was winning 77 percent to 23 percent.

• Prop. 101 – Medical Choice for Arizona, which prevents the state from creating a single-payer health care system, was too close to call with “no” votes leading 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent

• Prop. 105 – Majority Rules, a proposed amendment that would have made it more difficult to pass initiatives, was losing 66 percent to 34 percent.

• Prop. 200 – Payday loan reform, which would have allowed payday loan outlets to stay in business under new rules, was losing 60 percent to 40 percent

• Prop. 201 – Homeowner’s Bill of Rights, a proposal to expand warranty rights for property buyers, was losing 78 percent to 22 percent.

• Prop. 202 – Stop Illegal Hiring, which would have made business-friendly modifications to sanctions for employers of illegal immigrants, was losing 60 percent to 40 percent

• Prop. 300 – Legislator salaries, which would have given raises to state legislators, was losing 65 percent to 35 percent.

About 99 percent of the state’s precincts reported.

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