Latino leaders from across the state kicked off National Hispanic Heritage Month by announcing their support for marriage equality, reports the Phoenix New Times.
The central Phoenix gathering was organized by Why Marriage Matters Arizona, a coalition founded a year ago by the ACLU of Arizona, Equality Arizona, Freedom to Marry, and the Human Rights Campaign.
“There’s a perception out there that the Latino community does not support marriage equality, but that’s not the case,” says Jeremy Zegas, a project director for the coalition.
“There are regular folks from the Latino community who are vocal supporters, and who believe very strongly in marriage equality. Not in spite of who they are, but in many cases because of it, because of the values that have been instilled in them growing up,” said Zegas.
The event coincided with the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.
Last week, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick ordered the state to recognize the marriage of military veterans Fred McQuire and George Martinez for the purpose of death benefits, and suggested the state’s ban is likely to be declared unconstitutional.