Arizonans for Freedom: David Martinez Jr.

david_azI have known my wife Grace for most of my life. First as kids, when I was her brother’s best friend, and as her husband for more than 30 years.

We have a blessed family and built a life in Marana, AZ—the place I’ve called home my whole life. And together, we raised six kids and now have seven grandkids too!

As a family, we love going to baseball games and having family barbecues, and in the summer we travel to San Diego to enjoy the beach. Family is a central part of our lives and there’s absolutely nothing more important to me than seeing all of our children grow up to be successful, healthy and happy adults. But because the state of Arizona bans marriage for same-sex couples, my son David is denied the basic freedom to get married and start a family of his own simply because he is gay.

As his father, I cannot understand why our state hurts families like mine by denying same-sex couples the respect and protections only marriage can provide. Even before David came out to us, I believed in a “to each their own” approach to life. But now that this issue impacts my son, it has become deeply personal for me.

I will gladly stand by David’s side the day he marries—a day I hope is not too far off. The world is changing and all around, more and more states are striking down their marriage bans and securing the freedom to marry. I believe it is only a matter of time until Arizona secures the freedom to marry, too.

But until that day, gay and lesbian Arizonans—including my son David—will continue to be denied the fundamental right to marry the one they love. That’s why this Father’s Day I am proud to declare my support for the freedom to marry In Arizona, and I hope you will join me too.

David Martinez Jr. is a native Arizonan. He works on old aircrafts as a restoration technician.