LGBT Advocates Suspicious of Former Gay Marriage Foe’s Equality Campaigns in Arizona and Florida

The HuffPost's Lila Shapiro reports on suspicions about the underlying motive behind Republican strategist Tim Mooney's campaigns to legalize same-sex marriage in Arizona and Florida. Mooney campaigned against same-sex marriage in Utah in 2004 and worked to get Rick Perry elected governor of Texas.

Writes Shapiro:

Yet Mooney is the unlikely figure behind a pair of under-the-radar ballot initiatives to legalize same-sex marriage in Arizona and Florida. The campaigns, called Equal Marriage Florida and Equal Marriage Arizona, began in June, just before the Supreme Court announced its landmark ruling on same-sex marriage.

In recent months, as word of these efforts has spread through the gay rights community, veteran strategists have responded with suspicion and alarm, and have declined to lend their support.

In interviews with The Huffington Post, a dozen gay rights advocates noted that same-sex marriage remains unpopular among some demographic groups in both Florida and Arizona. They argued that the time is not yet right to bring the issue to a vote in those states, especially without enlisting the broader gay rights community to build support among voters.

Some advocates go further, suggesting Mooney's campaigns are aimed at draining resources from gay rights groups, or at opportunistically profiting from the gay rights movement's momentum.

Read the full piece here.


  1. Pete N SFO says

    Are there other initiatives or candidates scheduled for the ballot that would benefit by having conservatives riled up about the gays?

    I would expect that there are a lot of absentee voters in both these states.

  2. Jon B says

    There are probably conservative Latino candidates running on the Republican ticket in both states, and he figures that by putting this on the ballot, he can pull some of the Catholic Latinos over to the Republican ticket.

  3. jamal49 says

    This is where the adage about a wolf in sheep’s clothing comes into clear play. Never, ever trust a Republican.

  4. Stan D says

    I don’t know that much about Tim Mooney, beyond what you can find in a Google search or his Linkedin or Facebook profiles, but he may be doing what I call “getting with the program” in which a political consultant or politician who was previously ambivalent towards gays has evolved and embraced gay rights, like Ken Mehlman did. I embrace it when otherwise Republican or conservative political operatives “get with the program.”
    In any event, it would be reasonable to believe that when the gay rights movement have achieved success in eliminating all legally sanctioned discrimination, that their reason for being will cease and the organizations will dissolve. If gay rights organizations succeed in accomplishing the tasks at hand, it would be reasonable to believe that they will become a victim of their own success. We’ve already seen OutServe-SLDN declare backruptcy.

  5. Ken says

    A ballot initiative in Florida is seems hopeless right now given the 2/3 vote requirement there. But polls in Arizona, where only a simple majority is needed, show that it might have a real shot at passing. For some reason the gay community seems to prefer a go slow approach. Really really slow. Remember, many opposed taking Prop 8 and DOMA to the federal courts. Many opposed putting marriage equality on the ballot in Maine.

  6. David R. says

    If Tim Mooney were really another Ted Olson, he’s work with existing organizations and not go it alone. His real goal is to GOTV with his red meat conservative base.

  7. Howard says

    I just read the whole Huffington Post article, and the most suspicious part of this whole story is Tim Mooney’s refusal to return reporters phone calls. If he were sincere about this effort you would think that he would want as much publicity as possible, which means speaking to reporters!

    I am hoping that he is sincere, but something doesn’t feel right about this.

  8. Joseph says

    PS – Look at the zeros/O’s…it’s looking like a four person marriage…let people ni love marry the people THEY love…there are a lot of plurals going on here.

    Maybe I’m a crazy. We’ll see.

  9. J.J says

    We need to keep putting pressure on bigoted politicians who think they can reject gay civil rights. There’s just too many vocal LGBT openly out & proud to enable bigotry to ever win again.

  10. says

    I think the campaign also has the support of Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson as well. We have to reach out beyond the base. Perhaps we could just focus on Arizona only for the time being.