We’re proud to announce Jeremy Zegas as the Project Director for Why Marriage Matters Arizona’s campaign to bring the freedom to marry to AZ. We’re at a historic moment for marriage in Arizona, as momentum builds across the state and several brave families challenge our state’s marriage ban in Court. Get to know Jeremy and hear more about his plans for leading our efforts to grow support for marriage in his interview below:
1. Tell us about your role as Project Director?
I’m responsible for leading our coalition of partner organizations, working toward the shared goal of achieving marriage for all in Arizona. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations of our education campaign, I’m working to hone and deliver our message in the press, raise the money we need, and give our activists all the support they need as they educate the people of Arizona of the importance of allowing all loving and committed couples the freedom to marry.
2. Why is winning the freedom to marry for all Arizona families so important to you?
As a nation, our founding document says that we are all created equal. I believe this means we should all share the same freedoms, including the freedom to marry the person you love. I have friends and family, both here and in other states, who are currently being denied the right to marry the person they love. They’ve been in loving and committed relationships – in some cases for decades – and have even raised children together, but they’re being told their relationship doesn’t deserve legal recognition and protection. That’s wrong. When we win marriage equality in Arizona, we not only will help thousands of Arizonans, we will add to the tremendous momentum in the fight for equality across the country.
3. How will this campaign grow public support and help move marriage forward across the state?
We’re building public support by having conversations with people across the state who don’t currently support marriage equality, and help them to change their minds. We are having these conversations both face-to-face and through earned and social media. We’re getting couples to tell their stories about how the current law hurts them and their families, and working with LGBT allies to share their stories about why marriage for all is important to them, as well. With a strong coalition of national and state LGBT organizations and our allies, we are building a smart, transparent campaign to convince Arizonans that all loving and committed couples deserve marriage equality. And we’re going to win.
4. What is the most important thing pro-marriage Arizonans can do to show their support?
Talk to your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors about marriage equality, and why you support it. Talk to them about why you believe everyone should have the right to marry the person they love, and why all families deserve equality. That’s how we win.
5. Tell us a little bit about you… where do you live, what do you do in your free time?
I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, but I did not get involved in politics until I moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2008. I have worked on a wide variety of state and local races since then, in support of both candidates and ballot measures. In 2012, I had the honor of working for Washington United for Marriage – the successful campaign to bring the freedom to marry to the state of Washington. I’ve recently moved to downtown Phoenix, and I am excited to explore all that Arizona has to offer. In my free time, I am a fair-weather hiker, a sports fan, and enjoy spending time with friends and watching movies or television series (House of Cards, most recently) with my longtime girlfriend, Megan.