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Gay Couple Files Order Asking Arizona To Recognize Out-Of-State Marriage

A gay couple in Arizona, one of whom has been given mere months to live, have asked a federal judge to have their out-of-state marriage recognized in their home state. The two men have been together for over four decades and were married in California earlier this summer.

CoupleThe AP reports:

Lawyers for George Martinez and Fred McQuire of Green Valley say the order is needed so McQuire can be recognized as Martinez's survivor when he dies. That will allow him to take care of his affairs and collect larger Veterans Affairs and other benefits.

The men have been a couple for 45 years and were married in California last month after Martinez was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

According to Lambda Legal, "Fred suffers from pulmonary disease and Parkinson’s, and George was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago that resulted from his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. While the prostate cancer is in remission, this past June George was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer."

Martinez explains that both men journeyed to California to marry even though both were very ill.

It’s been a devastating blow. We knew we wanted to get married, and had hoped to be able to do it here, in Arizona, where we live. But now we can’t wait. Even though we are very sick and disabled, we decided we had no choice but to make the difficult and exhausting trip to California. We felt like we had to struggle to survive the journey, but we did because we wanted to get married and it was our only option. All we’re asking is that Arizona respect that marriage, respect the life we’ve built together for almost half a century, and allow us to spend these last months together in peace and love.

Martinez & McQuire are one of the three couples who filed a lawsuit in March demanding Arizona recognize out-of-state gay marriages.


Arizona State Football Player Edward 'Chip' Sarafin Comes Out As Gay

Football

Arizona State Linebacker Edward “Chip” Sarafin has come out as gay, becoming the first college football player to publicly come out while he is still an active player. The 6’6", 320-pound redshirt senior shared his revelation in an interview with Compete magazine, a periodical that focuses on gay sports. Sarafin talked about seeing bullying when he was in high school and his recent experience coming out to his teammates:

"I went to school at Highland High, and it is definitely not the most diverse school. It’s probably 80 percent Mormon and 80 percent Caucasian. So there is definitely a disparity there in the types of people that you meet. I know a lot of times a lot of people who were bullied because they were different were actually bullied by athletes, and that made me really angry ... the athletes are supposed to be the role models, the heroes of the community ...,” Sarafin waxes.

Of his own coming out, Sarafin began telling his team-mates last spring. “It was really personal to me, and it benefited my peace of mind greatly.”

Sarafin says that he told his teammates mostly for himself and because he wanted them to hear it straight from him instead of the college rumor mill that all players find themselves subjected to at some point.

Meanwhile, OutSports reports that Arizona State coach Todd Graham issued a statement in support of Sarafin:

"We are a brotherhood that is not defined by cultural and personal differences, but rather an individual's commitment to the Sun Devil Way. Chip is a fifth-year senior and a Scholar Baller, a graduate and a master's student. His commitment to service is unmatched and it is clear he is on his way to leading a successful life after his playing career, a goal that I have for every student-athlete. Diversity and acceptance are two of the pillars of our program, and he has full support from his teammates and the coaching staff.”

Michael Sam also sent Sarafin some love, offering him words of encouragement and support on Twitter:

(photo via Compete)


Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Pledges To Stand Up To Gays, Immigrants: VIDEO

Mexigov_2

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Andrew Thomas just released his first campaign ad. It states, “he’s the only candidate who has stopped illegal immigration, stood up to the gay lobby, and opposed liberal judges.”

Thomas helped write Arizona’s infamous “show me your papers” law requiring police to racially profile anyone they suspect of looking like an undocumented immigrant.

In 2010, he resigned as Maricopa County Attorney to run for attorney general of his state and lost. In 2013, he was stripped of his legal license and disbarred as an attorney. AZ Central explains why:

Among the most serious findings were that he and his former prosecutors pressed unwarranted criminal charges, obtained indictments, filed a federal racketeering lawsuit and initiated investigations against his political enemies and those of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio from 2006 to 2010.

On the “Push Back against Liberal Bullies” section of Thomas' issues page, it reads:

Liberal professors and other zealots in higher education, subsidized by federal tax dollars, indoctrinate young people and stifle free political expression by conservatives and others at our colleges and universities.

Gay-rights activists assail anyone who believes in marriage between a man and a woman.

Unelected activist judges, appointed and egged on by Obama, rule by decree, gutting or throwing out our laws against illegal immigration.

Thomas ignores the fact that the judge who blocked key provisions of his “show me your papers” law was in fact appointed by former President Bill Clinton. And he has 

Not that it matters. Current polling has Thomas far behind Arizona’s other GOP gubernatorial candidates Ken Bennett and Doug Ducey — neither of whose websites even mention LGBT rights.

See Thomas’ ad AFTER THE JUMP…

Mexigov

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Study Finds Gay Marriage Could Bring Arizona $62 Million

To many, the "sincerely held religious belief" rhetoric that's made the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby so controversial may have sounded familiar. In March, Arizona legislature was abuzz with the same phrasing.

ArizonaWhile the legislature from the state of Arizona may object to gay rights for moral reasons, would they object as much if they knew how much it would add to the state's economy?

A new report from The Williams Institute, a think tank at the UCLA School of Law, has released a new study that predicts the economic impact of legalizing same-sex marriage in Arizona. The report estimated same-sex couples would generate a total of $47.5 million in direct wedding spending over the first three years of legalized marriage, and that marriage would bring $5.1 million in sales-tax revenue alone. An especially enticing fact for unemployed AZ citizens: new spending on wedding ceremonies could lead to nearly 520 new jobs in the state.

Speaking with AZcentral, Rocco Menaguale, an artist and designer from Phoenix, pointed out that legalizing gay marriage could lead specifically to new jobs in the state's burgeoning creative industries. Said Menaguale:

The architecture, interior-design and even construction industries are just starting to bounce back from the recession... Supporting marriage equality would start to attract more people to Arizona who want to live here, buy stuff here and come in for travel. It really would effect the whole creative community.

Head to AZcentral for a more in-depth breakdown of the statistics, including a state-by-state comparison of how gay marriage impacts the economy.


Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Says She Would Consider Bill Protecting Gays from Discrimination

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Governor Jan Brewer, who four months ago was at the center of a contentious debate in her state surrounding a bill (SB1062) that would have allowed religion-based discrimination against gays (she vetoed it), told Capitol Media Services on Tuesday that she would consider expanding the state's civil rights laws to cover gay people if a bill were presented to her:

On Tuesday, Brewer said the question of whether Arizona should expand its anti-discrimination laws comes down to looking at the issue from the opposite perspective of SB1062: Is there a real problem with discrimination that drives a need for such a change?

“That’s something we don’t see a lot of anymore, because of people’s changing patterns of discrimination,” she said.

The governor suggested that state lawmakers might want to hold hearings on the issue.

“If it needs to be addressed, it needs to be debated in the Legislature,” Brewer said.

“Testimony needs to be presented,” she continued. “Let the representatives of the people who have been elected by the populace of the state of Arizona determine and get it up to the governor.”

And what would she do with it?

“I don’t know what would be in that bill or how they would write it,” Brewer said. “But I certainly would evaluate it and do what I thought was the right thing to do for the state.”


Eagle Scout Loses Summer Job with Boy Scouts After Being Outed on Facebook: VIDEO

Bryant_wahls

Eagle Scout Garrett Bryant was fired from his job by the Boy Scouts after being outed on Facebook, NBC News reports:

Under Scouting policy, gay youth are welcome, but gay adults are not. As a 19-year-old college freshman, Bryant knew that his chance to work again at a Boy Scout camp this summer — and hold any other future leadership position — depended on how well he hid his status as a gay man from his friends and colleagues in Scouting.

But with one Facebook post, Bryant was out — out as a gay adult in Scouting and, according to three sources in local Scouting, out of that summer job.

He thought the post was vague enough: In a moment of exuberance last month over meeting his first boyfriend, Bryant changed his Facebook status to “in a relationship,” adding no comment or details. But the status change prompted revealing, congratulatory comments from non-Scouting friends who knew his sexual orientation, such as “Oh, good for you, man, what's his name?’”

Although Bryant deleted the comments it was over for him and camp leaders told him they would not hire him back to Camp Geronimo, outside of Phoenix, because they had seen the posts.

Bryant did everything he could to keep his sexual orientation private, and thought he wouldn't fall under the Scouts' discriminatory policy because of his age, but to no avail.

Bryant spoke with MSNBC's Ari Melber and Eagle Scout and LGBT ally Zach Wahls last night on The Last Word. His story was also covered by the Arizona Republic.

Watch both segments, AFTER THE JUMP...

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