This proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution preserves “marriage” as only consisting of the union of one man and one woman, and prohibits creating or recognizing any legal status for unmarried persons that is similar to that of marriage.Arizona statutes already prohibit gay marriage, several times over. ARS 25-101 (C) says "Marriage between persons of the same sex is void and prohibited." ARS 25-112 says that marriages in other states are valid in Arizona, except for those that violate ARS 25-101--so Arizona refuses to recognize gay marriages from Massachusetts, for example. ARS 25-125 (A) says "A valid marriage is contracted by a male person and a female person with a proper marriage license who participate in a ceremony conducted by and in the presence of a person who is authorized to solemnize marriages and at which at least two witnesses who are at least eighteen years of age participate."
Now, I think it's absurd to argue that gay marriage harms marriage, but let's leave that claim aside. Look at the latter part of this proposed constitutional amendment--it says that "NO LEGAL STATUS FOR UNMARRIED PERSONS SHALL BE CREATED OR RECOGNIZED BY THIS STATE OR ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS THAT IS SIMILAR TO THAT OF MARRIAGE." This is a very vague and potentially very broad statement--"similar to" is a comparative, it comes in degrees. But no degree of similarity (even supposing that it came in easily measurable units) is defined here. The advocates of this kind of legislation have already demonstrated elsewhere that they mean to include civil unions and domestic partnerships in this, whether they involve same-sex couples or heterosexual couples. They could also use this wording to fight against benefits for domestic partnerships, custody contracts, wills, guardianship agreements, and so forth, where unmarried couples are involved. And no doubt they will--this amendment is backed by people like nutty theocrat Len Munsil (his organization drafted it), who opposed the 2001 repeal of Arizona's law that prohibited unmarried couples of the opposite sex from living in the same house or apartment, even if only as roommates.
The exact same battle is occurring in Virginia.