Why Marriage Matters Arizona campaign launched

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

WMMAWhy Marriage Matters Arizona kicked off its educational campaign today in Phoenix and Tucson, with an eye towards building a broad-based coalition of faith community, business community, and nonpartisan political support for the fundamental right of freedom to marry for everyone without invidious state-sanctioned discrimination against any individual based upon his or her sex or gender. This coalition will support a ballot initiative for freedom to marry in 2016. Campaign launches to move marriage forward in Arizona:

PHOENIX AND TUCSON, Ariz. – In an effort to remove
discrimination from Arizona’s Constitution and win the freedom to marry
for all couples in the state, Equality Arizona, the American Civil
Liberties Union of Arizona, the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to
Marry have launched a campaign called Why Marriage Matters Arizona.

Why Marriage Matters Arizona is a grassroots public
education campaign to build support for the freedom to marry in Arizona.
The campaign will open a dialogue with Arizonans about why marriage is
important to same-sex couples and their families and is consistent with
the values of liberty and freedom.

“Everyone should have the freedom to marry the person they love in
the state that they call home, and that includes same-sex couples in
Arizona,” said Rebecca Wininger, president of Equality Arizona. “The
national landscape for marriage is shifting rapidly. It’s time to get
the conversation started here in Arizona.”

“No member of anyone’s family – gay or straight – should be prevented
from marrying the person they love,” said Alessandra Soler, executive
director of the ACLU of Arizona. “Unfortunately, in Arizona, committed
gay couples are prevented from caring for each other and are shut out
from the protections and responsibilities that come with marriage. It’s
time to extend the freedom to marry to all couples because no one in
Arizona should have to leave the recognition of their relationship up to
luck.”

Why Marriage Matters Arizona will equip supporters with the
tools they need to share their personal stories about why marriage
matters to them. Organizers anticipate that as more Arizonans interact
with openly gay and lesbian couples and their families – and hear their
stories – support for the freedom to marry will rise even more rapidly.

“We are a loving family,” said Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey, two
Arizona women who have been in a loving, committed relationship for 55
years. “We believe that everyone deserves the right to live their lives
in a committed, legal relationship with the person that they love. We
don’t want anything special.”

In the coming weeks, Why Marriage Matters Arizona will hire
staff and begin a multi-layered education campaign to engage community
groups, businesses and congregations. Those organizations, civic leaders
and individuals will be asked to pledge their commitment to winning the
freedom to marry and share their reasons for making that commitment
with their constituents, customers, families, friends and colleagues.

Business and faith leaders from across the state have already pledged
their commitment to winning marriage for all, as have influential
groups including Valle del Sol, the League of Women Voters, the NAACP of
Maricopa County and the Anti-Defamation League.

“Over history, Latinos have been at the forefront of fighting against
discrimination,” said Daniel R. Ortega Jr., a Phoenix lawyer and the
immediate past chair of the board of directors of the National Council
of La Raza, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy
organization in the U.S. “Supporting marriage for gay couples is an
important step forward for America. No person should face discrimination
when they hope to marry the person they love.”

“Freedom means freedom for everyone,” said Grant Woods, Arizona’s
attorney general throughout the 1990s and a Republican. “Couples who
love and are committed to each other should be supported by Arizona, not
marginalized.”

“A bond between two people, regardless of their gender, should be
embraced by our state,” said Rev. Oscar S. Tillman, president of the
Maricopa County Branch of the NAACP and the former interim pastor of the
New Home Baptist Church in Phoenix. “We should not judge a gay or
lesbian couple who want to be joined in marriage. This fight is about
proving that our country is the land it says it is, the land of the
free.”

For more information about the Why Marriage Matters Arizona
campaign, including how to make a financial contribution, pledge to win
the freedom to marry in Arizona and share a story about why marriage
matters, visit http://www.whymarriagemattersaz.org and like us on Facebook Why Marriage Matters Arizona | Facebook.

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