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New campaign in Ariz. aims to build support for marriage equality by 2016

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

PHOENIX — Marriage equality advocates have launched a public-education campaign to build support in Arizona for same-sex marriage, with an eye toward the 2016 election.

The campaign, “Why Marriage Matters Arizona,” is led by a coalition including Equality Arizona, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Why-Marriage-Matters-AZThe grassroots campaign launched Tuesday with rallies in Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, and will share the stories of gay and lesbian couples and make the argument that they deserve equality and the legal right to marry.

“The national landscape for marriage is shifting rapidly,” Rebecca Wininger, president of Equality Arizona, said in a statement. “It’s time to get the conversation started here in Arizona.”

While it is only an education campaign right now, supporters are hoping to gain enough support to repeal the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on the ballot in 2016.

Wininger said a win in Arizona could be something of a tipping point for same-sex marriage in other conservative states.

“I also think it will begin to repair some of the national damage we’ve had to our reputation of being a very intolerant state,” Wininger said.

The conservative Center for Arizona Policy has already begun pushing against the new campaign, releasing a statement calling it a “social experiment to redefine marriage.”

Earlier this month, a plan to put the issue before voters in 2014 was scrapped amid reluctance by national and local advocacy groups to back the measure.

Sheila Kloefkorn, an Arizonan who serves as a national board member of the Human Rights Campaign, said that while there is increased support in Arizona to legalize same-sex marriage, there is not enough to win in 2014.

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11 more reader comments:

  1. Arizona??? Yeah good luck with that.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 10:03pm
  2. good luck we dont need it we are going to takeover the world and get rid of all the nasty straight people only fags and dikes from here on out

    Replied on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 11:00pm
  3. It will have to be FEDERAL for Arizona. But, that is only a bit of more time away. So many LGBTQ Americans are filing lawsuits that one or two more LGBTQ Rights cases will end up at the SCOTUS… one day it will be a marriage case and it will be done.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 10:35pm
  4. Nina Cosiano

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 10:35pm
  5. This is a good first step. Let’s do it Arizona.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 11:00pm
  6. Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 11:38pm
  7. LOL I’m a Tucson native and I doubt it will happen anytime soon but hopefully I am wrong

    Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 3:17am
  8. This is a new group created for talking about the things we need to get out – to promote tolerance and acceptance. To end bullying. To make friends. To show love. If any of you would like to tell your story – whether it be coming out, admitting your feelings about life, love, or pain, or to educate others on the importance of our equal rights, you are all welcome to do so here. There will be absolutely NO bashing of any kind here. I want this to be your safe place. There are even options to post anonymously. Please, come join us.

    Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 7:00am
  9. “permission” to marry matters EVERYWHERE!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 12:40pm
  10. I actually like this, but AZ is for too gone for this. They will never accept marriage equality. I’m looking for a way to get out of the homophobic state. I should have NEVER moved here.

    Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 12:50pm
  11. Somebody needs to stand up and adopt the unwanted gay children

    Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 11:23pm