For Miriam and Jim Weisman, supporting the same-sex couples in their life was never a question. “We have always had friends and neighbors that are LGBT, and having them as a part of our lives has been a blessing,” Miriam said. “All that matters to me is our friendship and bond.”
Being married for 35 years, having three children, and three grandchildren, has led the Weismans to understand the value of family. “Our love and commitment is the reason we have been married for over 35 years. Things weren’t always easy,” Jim explained. “Our marital commitment was the foundation to do the work, continue to grow as a couple, as a family, and to enjoy such a wonderful place in our lives. We can’t imagine what the struggle is like for the same-sex couples in our lives that are not given the same opportunity to solidify their commitment to one another.”
Miriam, who serves as the Board Chair of the Anti-Defamation League, also sees how denying marriage to same-sex couples harms Arizona. “Marriage is an institution. It is a commitment that two people who love each other make to each other. Society recognizes that institution both socially and legally. Marriage affords couples certain rights that pertain to health care and finances,” Miriam said. “I find it disappointing and morally unacceptable that we don’t allow all Arizonans to be a part of such an important part of our society. What gives one person the right to dictate who can or cannot be married?”
Dedicated to changing hearts and minds of fellow Arizonans, Miriam and Jim are working hard to identify allies and are talking about marriage to members of their faith community. “I believe that our interfaith community is essential to moving marriage forward. Face to face meetings with the LGBT community, elected representatives and community leaders to talk about why marriage matters is also something we try to do. Prejudice can’t live once you know someone who is impacted by it,” Jim said.
As Arizonans discuss the issue of marriage for same-sex couples, it’s supporters like Jim and Miriam who are helping to move marriage forward. Their continuous and vocal support for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples brings us closer to ensuring that all families are treated equally in Arizona.
“I don’t believe that marriage equality in Arizona is a yes or no question; it is a function of when. For that timetable to improve, it is imperative for those who believe that changing hearts and minds in Arizona is mandatory for real change–working together to accomplish that will be what moves Arizona forward,” Jim said. “Marriage and the families it creates are such an important part of the fabric of our society, and all Arizonans deserve that.”
CLICK HERE to learn more about why marriage matters for all Arizonans.