Jim Weisman, owner and founder of Republic West Remodeling, shares why he chose to be one of many small business owners in Arizona to speak out in favor of the freedom to marry:
“I believe marriage matters to same sex couples for the very same reasons it matters to all couples. It is about love, commitment, and family. The Why Marriage Matters movement is about fairness and freedom of choice. Government has it place in our society but governing love, denying an individual’s choice as to who to spend their life with is just wrong.”
Steve Gerhart of Arizona Scenic Tours agrees, explaining:
“We support the Why Marriage Matters Business Pledge because it is time to move forward with an open mind and an open heart to all people. Time to accept that all people are unique and that is exactly what makes us all who we are. We at Arizona Scenic Tours have family members and friends that are from all walks of life, and we see first hand what the joy of marriage brings to couples of all backgrounds. It is time for businesses to open up and share in that joy. It is not about profit. It is simply the right thing to do.”
Lisa Pozzoni, owner and founder of The Running University walked 100 miles with the Equality Walkers in 2012 and says, “My business and I will stand behind Why Marriage Matters until we get equal rights for all citizens.”
For Troy Counselman, DC of $25 Chiropractic, his support for the freedom to marry is all about equality:
“In America no person or group of people have the right to impose their personal values, beliefs, or way of life upon any other person or group of people, as long as that way of life does not hurt the lives of others. There is no way someone can convince me that two people who love each other who wish to make a lifelong commitment affirming that love should be prohibited from doing so, or that doing so would be damaging to the moral fabric of our society.”
But when it comes to Flatiron Cafe owners Jen and Amy Wieters, they just want their marriage to be recognized in the state they live and run a successful business. “We would like ours, and all gay marriages recognized in the state of Arizona.”
All across the Grand Canyon State, business owners are speaking out in support of the freedom to marry. Coupled with a recent Williams Institute study that found securing the freedom to marry would add an estimated $61.9 million to the state economy, it’s not hard to see that winning marriage was not just the right thing to do, but it’s good for small businesses, too.]]>
Earlier that day, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick ruled that Arizona’s marriage ban was unconstitutional. The judge did not issue a stay, clearing the way for marriages to begin after Attorney General Horne—who previously said he would never stop defending Arizona’s marriage ban—made it official that the state would not appeal Sedwick’s ruling.
Horne, who is a Republican, made the announcement during a press conference where he said, “I have decided not to appeal today’s decision, which would be an exercise in futility and which would serve only the purpose of wasting taxpayer’s money.”
Just days before, Why Marriage Matters Arizona delivered more than 5,100 petitions calling on the Attorney General to not appeal a favorable ruling.
Judge Sedwick’s landmark ruling followed a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that found Nevada and Idaho’s marriage bans unconstitutional. Because Arizona is also under the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit ,Judge Sedwick argued that he was bound by the precedent set in the Idaho and Nevada rulings.
Today, loving and committed same-sex couples in Arizona are free to marry. This victory, which was a long time coming, was the result of the brave plaintiff couples, their amazing legal teams and the incredible supporters of Why Marriage Matters Arizona, who continued to make the case that the Grand Canyon State was ready for the freedom to marry.
Unfortunately, not all the plaintiffs would live to see the day when their marriage would be recognized in the state they called home. Fred McQuire and George Martinez were in a loving and committed relationship for more than 45 years when George tragically died of cancer, just a few short months before Arizona secured the freedom to marry. However, following his death, Judge Sedwick ruled that Arizona must respect their marriage so that George’s name could appear on Fred’s death certificate. Their marriage marked the first time Arizona recognized a legally married same-sex couple. Our sincerest condolences go out to Fred, who along with George, so bravely challenged Arizona’s marriage ban head on. We thank this incredible couple for their advocacy and strength in this fight.]]>
Moments ago, a federal judge struck down Arizona’s marriage ban, ruling that denying marriage to same-sex couples is unconstitutional! Soon, all across the state, loving same-sex couples can finally share in the freedom to marry.
This is an historic moment for our state and the nation. Join us as we celebrate this victory tonight at Decision Day Celebrations in Tucson and Phoenix at 6PM. Click here to RSVP now.
At long last, marriage has come to the Grand Canyon State. As same-sex couples begin applying for marriage licenses, we know this landmark ruling will create stronger families and a stronger Arizona.
Now, all eyes are on Attorney General Tom Horne to see whether or not he will continue defending a law that is indefensible—and one that harms tens of thousands of Arizona families every single day.
We’re joining together tonight, not only to celebrate this amazing milestone for our state, but also to demonstrate to AG Horne that the people of Arizona will not stand idly by if he tries to stall the freedom to marry for even one more second.
You’ve helped build a movement in Arizona—and today that movement won big time. So join us tonight at 6PM at our Decision Day Celebration in Tucson or Phoenix.
Thank you for being a part of today’s victory.]]>
That means our pressure is working! But with two days to go before briefs are due in federal court from both sides in the case challenging Arizona’s marriage ban, we can’t let up now.
So this week, we’re ramping up the pressure like never before. Hundreds of Arizonans are calling AG Horne’s office today, demanding that he drop his defense of Arizona’s marriage ban without delay. Will you call now too?
Just dial 602-542-5025 to urge AG Horne to stop blocking the freedom to marry in AZ, then click here to let us know that you called.
Last week’s landmark ruling at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals—which has jurisdiction over Arizona—made it clear that the days of Arizona’s marriage ban are numbered.
The presiding judge in Arizona’s marriage case has already indicated that he believes that last week’s 9th Circuit ruling sets precedent for our state. But even if we win at the federal court level, so long as AG Horne continues his mean-spirited defense of our state’s marriage ban—same-sex couples in Arizona will still be denied the protections that only marriage can provide.
AG Horne can stop this needless pain and suffering by dropping his defense of Arizona’s marriage ban right now. With a final ruling on Arizona’s marriage ban coming any day—we absolutely have to make our voices heard now.
Dial 602-542-5025 (press 0 to speak with the operator) to tell AG Horne to stop single-handedly blocking marriage in Arizona. Then click here to let us know how your call went.
All of our hard work has brought us to this point. Now, let’s seize this moment and win marriage in Arizona once and for all.]]>
Now that the 9th Circuit—which has jurisdiction over Arizona—has ruled favorably in Nevada and Idaho, Arizona’s marriage ban is legally indefensible. And Judge Sedwick agrees that the 9th Circuit ruling applies to the constitutionality Arizona’s marriage ban.
Filings from both sides are due no later than next Thursday, and once they’re in, the judge could rule on the freedom to marry in the Grand Canyon State.
But that’s not all. Yesterday, after Why Marriage Matters Arizona, same-sex couples and clergy delivered more than 5,000 petitions calling on the Attorney General to drop his defense of Arizona’s marriage ban, AG Tom Horne was quoted saying that his office was “weighing their options.”
This is a huge change from the same man who previously said he would never stop defending Arizona’s marriage ban—and proof that when we stand united, we can make our voices heard—and win.
If all goes well, Arizona could secure the freedom to marry as soon as next week. Stay up to date as our case moves forward by following us on Facebook and Twitter.]]>
But still, Attorney General Tom Horne refuses to budge, continuing to defend our state’s indefensible marriage ban and forcing loving and committed same-sex couples in Arizona to needlessly suffer.
So today, same-sex couples, their families and clergy went to the Attorney General’s office to deliver more than 5,100 petitions from people all across Arizona, demanding the AG stop defending our state’s marriage ban at once.
The petition delivery couldn’t come at a better time. Coming on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement this week that they would not review lower appellate rulings that struck down marriage bans in five different states—Attorneys General from across the country are dropping their defense of marriage bans in each of their respective states, including AGs in Colorado, West Virginia this week alone.
With all the movement on marriage in just the past few days, more than half the states in the United States now have secured the freedom to marry.
It’s time for AG Horne to see the writing on the wall. It’s no longer a matter of IF but WHEN Arizona will secure the freedom to marry. But so long as AG Horne defends our state’s marriage ban, same-sex couples will be denied the critical rights and protections that only marriage can provide.
It’s time for Arizona to secure the freedom to marry, once and for all. Today’s petition drop proved, if nothing else, that Arizonans are ready.]]>
Jeremy Zegas, project director for Why Marriage Matter Arizona, cheered the decision and made clear that only one person, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, now stands in the way of the freedom to marry for all Arizona couples:
“This is a monumental step forward for all families in Arizona. Today’s historic ruling affirms what most Arizonans already know to be true: Same-sex couples and their families deserve to be treated equally by their government. With clear precedent from the Ninth Circuit and an obvious signal from the U.S. Supreme Court that this decision will not be put on hold, it’s time for Tom Horne to stop defending our state’s ban on the freedom to marry. For some families in Arizona, each day that passes without the vital protections marriage offers does irreversible damage. He should step aside and allow a quick resolution of the lawsuits challenging Arizona’s ban so all Arizona families can benefit from the security marriage offers.”
About Why Marriage Matters Arizona
Why Marriage Matters Arizona is a grassroots public education campaign to build support for the freedom to marry in Arizona. It was founded in 2013 by Equality Arizona, the ACLU Foundation of Arizona, Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation with the support and leadership of countless local businesses, clergy and community organizations.
CONTACT: Jeremy Zegas, 602-773-6009, jeremy@
PHOENIX – The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to let same-sex couples marry immediately in five states—Virginia, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma and Utah—means the freedom to marry could soon be available to all Arizona couples.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court signaled today that it will no longer stay federal appeals court decisions approving the freedom to marry, a positive decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals should pave a quick road to marriage for all couples in Arizona. The Ninth Circuit Court could rule any day on freedom to marry cases from Nevada and Idaho.
Jeremy Zegas, project director for Why Marriage Matters Arizona, said it’s now more important than ever for Arizonans to tell Attorney General Tom Horne to stop defending the state’s unconstitutional marriage ban:
“The U.S. Supreme Court today sent a clear message that withholding marriage from same-sex couples is unconstitutional. If the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules in favor of the freedom to marry, only Attorney General Tom Horne will be standing in the way of more loving Arizona couples making a lifelong commitment in front of their family and friends. Arizona is ready for the freedom to marry and every day that passes without it puts families in danger by preventing them from having access to the protections that marriage provides.”
Thousands of Arizonans have already signed a petition telling AG Horne to stop defending the state’s marriage ban.
About Why Marriage Matters Arizona
Why Marriage Matters Arizona is a grassroots public education campaign to build support for the freedom to marry in Arizona. It was founded in 2013 by Equality Arizona, the ACLU of Arizona Foundation, Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation with the support and leadership of countless local businesses, clergy and community organizations.]]>
Recently, Rabbi Louchheim took a moment to draw upon a religious text to explain how Judaism and the support of marriage equality are congruent:
“The Talmud in tractate Baba Metzia 83a tells the story of a wealthy merchant who hired two workers to move an item. In the process, the item is broken. According to biblical law the merchant is to withold wages and takes their garments until they can pay for the damages. The workers go to their rabbi complaining that they need their garments and they can only take care of their families if they are paid. The rabbi instructs the merchant to give back the garments. The merchant asks, “Is that the law?” The rabbi says, “Nevertheless” and quotes the first half of Proverbs 2:20, “So follow b’derech tovim, ‘the way of the good.'” Then the rabbi tells him to pay the workers, to which the merchant again asks, “Is that the law?” The rabbi responds again, “Nevertheless,” and quotes the second half of this verse, Aruchot tzakikim tishmor, “keep/guard the paths of the just.”
Same-sex couples want to be married and have that marriage recognized for the same reasons that heterosexuals want to be married and have their union recognized. Arizona law at this time will not alow for this. We should respond in the same way this rabbi 2000 years ago responded by saying “Nevertheless” and we need to walk the path toward the good and insure that we progress to insure that everyone is treated fairly and justly. Proverbs demands we “walk the path of the good and keep the paths of the just.” Allowing these marriages to be recognized puts us on that correct path.”
Rabbi Louchheim has attended a number of Why Marriage Matters events, including an interfaith event back in May to showcase voices of faith who stand in support of the freedom to marry. During the event, Louchheim issued the following statement:
“There are some who read the Hebrew Scriptures and use it as a weapon to bolster their own opinion about who will and will not be allowed in holy places or be able to partake in holy rituals. On the contrary, the bible … goes to great lengths in describing how it can be possible to allow everyone in and give opportunities to participate. It is through acts of love, charity and kindness that God’s presence is manifest among us. … Gay and lesbians who wish to solemnize their relationship by kiddushim desire to be recognized by all in being able to embody the divine principles of Scripture. When they desire to mark their partnership through ceremony as one of love, as one of faithfulness, as one of kindness and support for another, this is already recognized by God and should be recognized by us.”
Here at Why Marriage Matters Arizona, we hope to wish all members of the Arizona Jewish Community a happy and prosperous New Year. L’Shanah Tova.
The couple, who had planned an outdoor wedding in Coronado’s Centennial Park, right near the the mutli-million dollar Coronado Island Condos, were subjected to a string of homophobic slurs throughout the entire ceremony.
The slurs continued throughout the entire service and sent a chilling reminder that even in a state where marriage is legal, gay couples still face discrimination just for being who they are.
“It’s just sad that that is now ingrained for the rest of our lives in our wedding day,” said Jackson. “That person took a chunk of what should have been a beautiful day and turned it into something nasty and full of hate.”
Our hearts go out to Oscar De Las Salas and Gary Jackson—and our campaign, and tens of thousands of Arizonans across the state stand in support of this brave couple.]]>