Wednesday, November 7, 2007

AZ Civil Rights Initiative Files Constitutional Amendment with Secretary of State

“Arizona voters will have a chance to debate and ultimately decide if government should utilize race and gender preference policies.”

Today the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative (AzCRI) filed an initiative application with the Secretary of State. If approved by voters in November 2008, the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative will amend the state constitution to prohibit preferential treatment or discrimination by state government to any individual or group based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.

Chairman Andrew Thomas, Maricopa County Attorney, stated, “I am delighted that we are starting the ballot initiative process. The Arizona Civil Rights Initiative reaffirms our state’s commitment to fairness and equality for all Arizona citizens regardless of their race or gender. I believe the people of Arizona have a distinct interest in debating this issue and will ultimately choose to end race and gender preferences.”

Ward Connerly, Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute echoed Thomas’ comments, “When given the chance, voters have consistently voted for the principles fairness and equality which the Civil Rights Initiative embodies. How can we move toward the colorblind ideal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act if our very own government insists upon treating people differently? I believe America is witnessing the end of the race preferences and set asides era.”

In order to qualify for the November 2008 ballot, AzCRI must collect 230,047 signatures from registered Arizona voters by July 3, 2008. Executive Director Max McPhail added, “It is unfortunate some people feel that granting preferences because of race or sex is acceptable. However, I think the majority of Arizona Citizens believe that discrimination of any kind is wrong.”

The Arizona Civil Rights Initiative is dedicated to giving the people of Arizona the opportunity to end preferential treatment based on race, gender, ethnicity or national origin by state or local governments. AzCRI will make Arizona a place of equal opportunity for all, not a state that uses discrimination as a tool to create “diversity.” Achieving “diversity” should never be an excuse to discriminate.


Article 30

(a) The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as prohibiting bona fide qualifications based on sex that are reasonably necessary to the normal operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as invalidating any court order or consent decree that is in force as of the effective date of this section.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as prohibiting action that must be taken to establish or maintain eligibility for any federal program, if ineligibility would result in a loss of federal funds to the state.

(e) For the purposes if this section, “state” shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the state itself, any city, county, city and county, state and county, public university system, including the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, community college district, school district, any other political subdivision or governmental instrumentality of or within the state, or any other governmental entities formed under the laws of Arizona.

(f) The remedies available for violations of this section shall be the same, regardless of the injured party's race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin, as are otherwise available for violations of then-existing Arizona antidiscrimination law.

(g) This section shall be self-executing. If any part or parts of this section are found to be in conflict with federal law or the United State Constitution, the section shall be implemented to the maximum extent that that federal law and the United States Constitution permit. Any provision held invalid shall be severable from the remaining portions of this section.

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