Today, September 17, 2013, was the launch of the Why Marriage Matters AZ campaign, a grassroots coalition to build support for marriage equality in Arizona. A crowd and press gathered near Phoenix City Hall to listen to a panel of speakers, including the former Attorney General, the President of the Maricopa County NAACP branch, the President of Equality Arizona, and the executive director of the ACLU in Arizona, among others. It was truly history in the making!
Above :: Rebecca Wininger, president of Equality Arizona, led the panel and spoke about why it was important to start the conversation about same-sex marriage in Arizona. "Everyone should have the freedom to marry the person they love in the state that they call home."
Above :: Reverend Oscar Tillman, President of the Maricopa County NAACP Branch, spoke about this campaign from his point of view as a former Baptist pastor. “A bond between two people, regardless of their gender, should be embraced by our state... This fight is about proving that our country is the land it says it is, the land of the free.”
Above:: Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey are two Arizona women who have been in a committed relationship for 55 and a half years. They are advocates for marriage equality and equal rights in the workplace, along with other issues in the gay community, and they are truly inspirational women. "We believe that everyone deserves the right to live their lives in a committed, legal relationship with the person that they love. We don’t want anything special.”
Above :: Alessandra Soler, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona, took a firm stand on marriage equality, closing out the panel. "No member of anyone’s family – gay or straight – should be prevented from marrying the person they love."
Above:: Cicely, Nelson, and I show our signs in support of Why Marriage Matters AZ! Freedom means freedom for EVERYONE.
Big things are happening. Why Marriage Matters Arizona has opened the door to dialogue about same-sex marriage in Arizona. In the coming weeks, by providing a way for gay and lesbian couples to share their own stories, this campaign can spread awareness and increase support for the marriage equality. Why Marriage Matters Arizona plans to hire staff and begin an education campaign for businesses, community leaders, and individuals. Be a part of history in the making! If you want to learn more about this campaign, visit www.whymarriagemattersaz.org!
With all that Life has to offer,
Amy Purdy // Apprentice Planner // Life Design Event Planning // Phoenix + Minneapolis