Cronkite Header

Cronkite News has moved to a new home at Use this site to search archives from 2011 to May 2015. You can search the new site for current stories.

Same-sex marriage supporters launch public education campaign

Email this story
Print this story

PHOENIX – Groups supporting same-sex marriage launched a campaign Tuesday aiming to help the public see why marriage matters to gays and lesbians.

“Every gay or lesbian person is part of someone’s family, someone’s son or daughter, brother or sister, cousin, aunt or uncle, and should be treated with compassion and respect,” said Daniel R. Ortega Jr., a Phoenix lawyer.

Equality Arizona, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry held a news conference to announce the website Why Marriage Matters Arizona (

The site allows gay and lesbian couples to submit their stories, and organizers said they plan to reach out to individuals, community groups, businesses and congregations for even more stories.

“That’s why we are here today: to tell the stories of the gay couples in our communities who are active and vital members of our community,” said Alessandra Soler, the ACLU of Arizona’s executive director. “They vote, they serve in the military, they run small businesses and they are here to share their stories of why it is important to get married.”

In 2008, Arizona voters approved a ballot measure defining marriage as between one man and one woman. But Grant Woods, who served as state attorney general from 1991-1999, said that his fellow Republicans are coming around on the matter.

“They are learning from their own kids, they are learning from the teenagers and the college students, the millennials, people who wonder why in the world is this still an issue in the year 2013,” Woods said.

Cathi Herrod, president of the conservative Center for Arizona Policy, released a statement saying that the groups’ campaign and arguments defy social science data, common sense and history.

“Marriage between a man and a woman has withstood the test of time as our nation’s most essential union,” the statement said. “It’s proven to be what’s best for everyone involved – man, woman, children, and our society as a whole.”

Michael Turk, a recent law school graduate from New York who attended Tuesday’s announcement while visiting his boyfriend, said how states come down on same-sex marriage will affect where people decide to live.

“If nothing else I can at least begin to rule out states where the electorate has gone on record as saying. ‘We don’t want to give you that right,’” he said, “And it’s not that much different than saying, ‘We don’t want you here’ as far as I’m concerned.”