The Arizona House has given its initial blessing to a bill that would require Barack Obama to show his birth certificate before he can be put on the ballot in 2012, the Arizona Republic reports. The House voted 31 to 22 to add the so-called “birther bill” as an amendment to an unrelated Senate bill. Similar laws have also been proposed in Florida, Oklahoma and Missouri.
House Democrats fruitlessly pointed out that presidential candidates already have to prove their citizenship before they can run for office. One rep called the bill “frivolous” saying it would make Arizona “the laughing stock of the nation.” The proposal's sponsor declined to comment; another Republican told the AP he believed Obama was a citizen, but supported the bill because it would help end any doubt.