After Loss, Arizona Marriage Equality Advocates Start Again

“A man who champions equality for gays in the United Kingdom has traveled [to Arizona] to launch a drive for a ballot initiative that would establish civil partnerships… “We’re not fighting for marriage; we’re fighting for equal rights,” said Gino Meriano, whose business, Pink Weddings, arranges commitment ceremonies and provides free legal advice for gay couples wishing to establish civil partnerships. But Steen Lawson, co-founder of Marriage Equality USA’s new Arizona chapter, said civil unions don’t go far enough. His group wants same-sex couples to have the same rights as heterosexual couples. “Since government uses the word marriage, we must fight for marriage,” Lawson said.”[Tucson Citizen]

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  • tarxien

    Civil Unions in the UK are, as far as I am aware, exactly equivalent to marriage with regard to legal rights. The only omission is the religious ceremony. In fact many heterosexual couples would prefer a Civil Union but they are currently restricted to same-sex couples

  • Alexa

    But these Brits need to realize that while civil unions are fine for them, they aren’t for us. They may not have the word “marriage” but they have all the rights and benefits that heterosexuals do. We don’t.

  • reversion

    This seems like it will be a never ending battle, especially since the haters will try to find a way to overturn a win one way or another. So what if Prop8 is overturned if they will try to get another initiative on the ballot every few years.

  • SoCalTeen


    After the next election in 2012, opponents of marriage equality will fail time and time again when they try to revoke the rights of gay couples to marry, especially here in California. Why?

    Because my generation (14-17 year olds) will have the ability to vote and we’re mostly in favor of same sex marriage. Even in my conservative suburb just north of Los Angeles, which voted highly Yes on 8, I can safely assume 98% (the 2 percent being kids who are brainwashed by their parents and only regurgitate talking pointws from their church) of teenagers were against Prop. 8. Both gay and straight teens alike were out holding signs on street corners (the football team was also advocating against 8).

    On top of that, over 80% of young voters voted AGAINST Prop. 8!
    Have faith in us teenagers! I think we’ll be able to get things right.

  • tarxien

    @Alexa: My point was – instead of getting caught up by the word ‘marriage’ with its religious connotations, why not campaign for civil unions with full legal equality to marriage. As a first step.

  • Distingué Traces

    Dear well-meaning people from the UK:

    In America, marriage has state benefits and federal benefits.

    Every marriage approved by a state automatically qualifies as marriage at the federal level (unless specifically blocked by legislation such as DOMA).

    Civil unions, even if made identical to marriage under state law, are not equivalent to marriage under federal law.

    This means that civil unions do not bring the same rights as marriage.


    Thank you.

  • Gino Meriano


    Please understand, I am fully aware of the rules and regulations as I also live in Arizona as well as the UK and have done so for over 5 years now, I am not trying to make changes that are unreal or in fact undermine.

    My aim and only goal is to get legal equal rights under a term called “Civil Partnerships” which I helped pass and has worked for over 3 years now in the UK, protocol may differ but the basic fundemental goal is the same

    In addition, Civil unions, domestic partnerships etc etc dont give full rights, thats why I am working on “Civil Partnerships” that only comes with full rights under the law for the state of Arizona.

    your right, the UK is different to the US, but we challenged and won in giving same sex couples full and equal legal rights in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and now Southern Ireland

    we have a long way to go before other states and even other countries will even accept and regognise same sex partnerships no matter what they are called, but its time to look at a new approach

    My true belief is to start in one state and work through all, as we all know that it will be a hard job to change Federal law as a whole, state by state and the removal of a word, religious attachements and concentration on equal legal rights and we can win

    Im not saying dont fight for “marriage” but there are many other options as well and how can anyone begrudge anyone for trying to get the same legal rights for all. I dont belittle the word “marriage” and I do understand the importance of the word but at the end of the day we live in a country that will not give us full legal rights, only bits and pieces to keep us happy.

    I sit here with full equal and legal rights for myself and my husband, regogonized as equal under law and comes with all the same benefits, is it wrong to aim for the same goal in the US while others fight for equal “Marriage”??

    There is commitment ceremonies for opposite sex couples so why not Civil Partnerships for same sex couples, both are secular and if passed both offers the same legal rights as “Marriage” does

    Last, hope you all have a Happy New Year what ever you may do

    Gino x

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