Originally Published: March 16, 2001 7:15 p.m.
PHOENIX – Former state Rep. Barbara Blewster of Dewey has joined the legislative debate over whether to repeal laws that make crimes out of certain forms of sexual activities.
Right now in Arizona, it's illegal to participate in any form of sex act that isn't meant to produce a child. (That's how the courts have defined 'lewd and lascivious acts'.) Oral sex and sodomy are illegal. And Arizona is one of only 12 states where it's illegal for unmarried couples to live together. The bill would make these legal.
Blewster sent an e-mail to every state legislator saying these laws should remain.
Blewster refused to say whether the state should enforce the laws.
"I don't think the state should be giving tacit approval" to homosexual acts, lewd and lascivious acts, and co-habitation, Blewster said. "We want (the laws) on the books to protect the definition of marriage."
Openly gay Rep. Steve May, R-Phoenix, is the sponsor of the strike-everything version of House Bill 2016, which the House approved Wednesday on first read. Ironically, May grew up next door to Blewster when she lived in Phoenix.
Blewster's e-mail focused on attacks against homosexuals, saying they are not a true minority and quoting psycho-analyst Abram Kardiner.
"Supporting the claims of homosexuals and regarding homosexuality as a normal variant of sexual activity is to deny the social significance of homosexuality," she quoted Kardiner as saying. "Above all it militates against the family and destroys the function of the latter as the last place in our society where affectivity can be cultivated.
"Homosexuality operates against the cohesive elements in society, in the name of fictitious freedom. It drives the opposite sex in a similar direction. And no society can long endure when either the child is neglected or when the sexes war upon each other."
While she was a state legislator two years ago, Blewster gained statewide publicity for saying in an e-mail that homosexuality leads to bestiality and cannibalism.
This is the first time Blewster has written to legislators about any bill since she left office, she said Thursday, "because this one is so key to protecting marriage laws and protecting children in adoption cases."
While the bill doesn't talk about children directly, "It will have a spill-over effect as an assault on traditional families," Blewster said. Homosexuals "have plans down the road to erode families."
District 1 legislator Linda Binder, R-Lake Havasu City, said sarcastically that it "brought back fond memories" when she received Blewster's e-mail.
Binder served alongside Blewster for two years, and at times their philosophies clashed. Then Binder won a second term in November 2000 alongside freshman Rep. Henry Camarot, D-Prescott, both beating out Blewster.
Binder, known as a more moderate Republican than the ultra-conservative Blewster, supports May's bill.
"The whole basis of this (bill) is, the law is unenforceable and archaic," Binder said. "If it was (enforced), all of us would end up in jail."
Camarot also supports the bill. He's heard some opponents say the state shouldn't enforce the sex laws, but should keep the laws to demonstrate opposition to certain sex acts.
Those who think the state should repeal the laws because they're unenforceable are "being hoodwinked by the homosexual lobby," Blewster said.
May's bill also would change the definition of "dependent" for income tax purposes, allowing heterosexual unmarried couples to claim partners as household members and save money on state and federal taxes.
Contact Joanna Dodder at firstname.lastname@example.org.