Paperwork Filed in Arizona for Marriage Equality Campaign

An Arizona man has filed paperwork with the intention of putting marriage equality on the state's ballot, the Daily Sun reports:

AzTanner Pritts has formed Arizona Advocates for Marriage Equality. But he also has filed the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State's Office to allow him to start raising money for a 2014 campaign.

Pritts conceded to Capitol Media Services he is a political novice at ballot measures. In fact, the Scottsdale resident said he is just 22.

The initiative drive, if successful, would put the issue back on the ballot just six years after Arizonans voted by a 56-44 margin to define marriage in the state constitution as solely between one man and one woman. But Pritts said he is heartened by the results of elections elsewhere.

Pritt says he understands the challenges that lie ahead for him:

At this point, Pritts said he is just reaching out to other gay rights organizations in Arizona in hopes of raising some money to put the issue on the 2014 ballot. He would need more than a quarter million valid signatures by July of that year just to qualify. And no measure has made the ballot in years without the use of paid circulators.


  1. Icebloo says

    I wish him well. He sounds like a smart and brave 22 year old. Let’s hope he gets the support he needs. We really need to push for gay marriage in ALL the states over the next 4 years before the evil empire of the Republicans comes back to take away our rights and hope again.

  2. peterparker says

    Sigh. Obviously he is a political novice if he thinks it is okay to put our civil rights up for a popular vote. We should do whatever we can to discourage his very well meaning action.

  3. MaryM says

    Our civil rights were put up for popular vote 6 years ago and we lost. If there is not another referendum then how do you propose we gain equality in Arizona?

  4. says

    I’m very conflicted about this. Part of me says it’s hopeless, but part of me wants to see what happens… what arguments will work, what will changes in polling numbers reveal, will new players enter the fray and where will their money go… I hate to turn Arizona’s LGBT community into coal mine canaries, but I’d be very curious to see how things play out. Maybe expecting failure makes campaigning easier.

  5. peterparker says

    @MARYM: In my opinion, putting our civil rights up for a popular vote is purely a last resort option. There are currently cases before the U.S. Supreme Court that will likely determine whether or not any of these anti-marriage equality laws are constitutional on a federal level. If we lose, and the U.S. Supreme Court upholds these discriminatory laws, then and only then should we put our rights up for popular vote.

  6. Bob says

    I would agree with waiting for the Supreme Court, but they are VERY unlikely to make a ruling soon that applies to all States.
    I am glad the kid is brave — even for bearing up to having been named “Tanner Pritts”
    Brave young people everywhere are pushing for equality — I LOVE IT!

  7. Bill says

    The current ruling in the Prop 8 case only applies to California. IF SCOTUS declines to hear the appeal, marriage equality will only apply to California, not the entire 9th Circuit.

  8. says

    You can still be fired for being gay in Arizona and it happens more than you might think. Perhaps that’s a more pressing issue? “We had a great marriage ceremony but lost our livelihood the next day.”

  9. Marc C says

    Scottsdale? I suggest pulling back the curtain to see who’s really behind this action and why. Civil Rights are not to be voted on. Period. It’s wholly un-American. I suggest that this is a covert attempt to notch a “win” up for NOM, et al for those of you who may need to have it spelled out in plain English. This is Arizona, not Massachusetts, Iowa, California, Washington, Maryland… It’s a RED state and it isn’t going to change at any time in the next 10 years at least.

  10. Mary says

    I guess a lot depends on the political culture of Arizona, which I know little about. Arizona is not as liberal as the Northeast or Northwest, but it’s not a Christian Right stronghold, from what I hear. At the rate that public opinion is shifting on the topic of SSM, 2014 might see it pass in Arizona. There is clearly a pro-gay majority in Iowa now when only 3 years ago they voted out the judges who ruled in favor of SSM. But I wasn’t aware that you could be fired in Arizona for being gay. Possibly it might be better to start with that issue, which I imagine would get more sympathy from the voters. It might even encourage voters who are against SSM to rethink their position. That is, if they can be pro-gay on one issue (job security) it could become easier to switch to a pro-gay position on another issue (SSM.) At any rate, those who know Arizona would be abe to give the best advice here.

  11. Marc C says

    Good points Mary. I’m from Arizona but have relocated in the past three years twice; once to Pennsylvania where I was originally from, and most recently to California where I’ve also lived before. My sister, whom I visit often, still resides in Arizona not far from the Grand Canyon and I’ve a number of friends who live in Phoenix and Tucson whom I also visit.

    Again I say, look behind the curtain and see who’s really pulling the strings and why.

  12. nosaj says

    “Arizona is not as liberal as the Northeast or Northwest, but it’s not a Christian Right stronghold, from what I hear. ”

    Arizona is absolutely a Christian stronghold. It has a huge Mormon population that controls several local governances (for instance, Mesa) and is powerful in state government.

  13. Ken says

    Everyone here seems to have forgotten that in 2006 Arizona voters rejected a ban on same sex marriage and civil unions, it was then passed in 2008 when it included only marriage. Arizona is not as conservative as many people think.

  14. Ken says

    Sigh. Obviously some people posting here are political novices if they think it is okay to sit around and wait for judges to hand us our civil rights rather than fight for them by using all avenues available to us.

  15. nosaj says

    And obviously, Ken, some people don’t know why Prop 107 failed. It had absolutely nothing to do with gay marriage. The ban on straight civil unions is the ONLY reason it didn’t pass, and the campaign fighting it, led by none other than Kyrsten Sinema, gained the support of unions and senior citizen groups by highlighting civil unions and avoiding showing gay couples in the campaign materials.

    Despite a few liberal pockets in Tuscon and areas of Phoenix, Arizona is every bit as conservative as people think.

  16. Ken says

    Well, I’d love to see a new poll on this, one last year showed 45% support for marriage equality and 44% opposed in Arizona. This is similar to what we saw in Maryland a couple years ago we know how that turned out. And the ban in Arizona passed with 56% which is below what most other state bans have received. Not saying this is a sure winner but there are definitely some positive signs.

  17. Peter M. says

    “Pritts said he is a registered Republican and voted in 2008 for John McCain and just this year for Mitt Romney, both of whom are on record as opposing same-sex marriage.”
    Oh boy, another delusional gay Republican. After voting for a candidate who was not only advocating for a ban of same-sex marriage but also was against civil unions, he suddenly discovers his support for equality. Well, better late than never I guess.

  18. Luke says

    I have lived in Arizona my entire life. The Arizona electorate is split basically evenly in thirds. There are about a million registered republicans, a million independents and a million democrats. Arizona is very conservative, yes, but the big issue that conservatives are worried about here, and rightly so, is illegal immigration. We do have legal medical marijuana, and democrat Janet Napolitano was our governor before (shudder) Brewer. People in Arizona are reasonable, and I actually think this could have a (very slight) chance of going somewhere. He has my support!

  19. Luke says

    Also, another quick note, after the election this year, Arizona is sending a majority democratic house delegation to Washington for the first time in 45 years. Of our 9 representatives, 5 of them are democrats. This also includes Kyrsten Sinema, a bisexual atheist who just won her election in Arizona’s 9th district. Us Arizonans aren’t as crazy as you people think. Unfortunately, all you see on the news are our crazies like Brewer and Arpaio.

  20. Booker says

    As far as “not voting on civil rights” and banking on the Supreme Court, the vote won’t take place until 2014 and the court may well rule before then. If it does, and makes the vote irrelevant, duh, that would be great. But there’s no reason not to pursue every avenue in the meantime. And no, I don’t think this is a NOM conspiracy.

  21. Benji says

    AZ was a red state, I doubt this will pass. On the other hand public support has grown for gay marriage. I think that Scotus will pass on deciding Prop. 8 making it legal, on the DOMA issue I think the court will rule that it is unconstitutional. That would open up the flood gates that the religious right fears as state after state reverse’s their laws on SSM.

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