Equal Marriage Arizona on Hold

I wasn't really going to post on this but since it is making the news, Equal Marriage Arizona (of which I am co-chair) is putting on hold our efforts to amend the Arizona Constitution in 2014 and will defer to 2016.

At some point when this quiets down, I will write an extended article about the experience, which was certainly a learning exercise for me (and by the way did nothing to dissuade me from my general default stance of avoiding politics like the plague).

We honestly thought that an effort initiated and led by Republicans and libertarians was the right choice for a heavily red state like Arizona, and I am still convinced of that.  In fact, I think we knocked some of the Conservative opposition on their heels, and several Conservative commentators publicly stated that ours was a dangerously (for them) effective approach.  In addition, a number of prominent Republicans took me aside and thanked me -- they felt that getting this passed would help save the party from its worst impulses.

From the beginning, I had some nervousness that our language was not perfect (though the lawyers were happy with it), but it was polling well and even more than a year in advance we were polling over 50% of probable voters in 2014.

The buzz saw we ran into was not from the  Conservative opposition but from those we thought of as our allies.  Several prominent LGBT and gay marriage groups turned against us early, and pressured nearly every other group on the Left to oppose us, even getting a number of groups who had endorsed us early to withdraw their endorsements.

The reasons for this were myriad, and I may write that story at some future date.  Some of the wounds were self-inflicted on our part, and some were frankly due to my failings as a leader in this political arena.  But I am convinced that these groups were never, ever going to support us.   Some groups honestly worried that 2014 was too early in Arizona.  Others had... other concerns.  Scott Shackford of Reason makes some pretty good guesses, but there were issues beyond these.


  1. oneteam:

    You are so spot on with so many issues, Warren. Saddens me when you take stances like this, however.

    I think people should be able to do whatever they want in their personal lives. (LIbertarian here!) But giving a segment of society special (set apart from tradition) status based upon their chosen actions of bucking natures tradition, is just a precursor to codifying protection based on every predilection of the human condition. Slippery slope.

    Defining terms... "Chosen actions" means that people "choose" with whom to have sex. We don't choose our attractions, but we do choose our behaviours. If the only metric for something being good and just for society is whether we are born with the predilection or impulse, then there are many members of NAMBLA that would love to argue for their acceptance into society, based on that qualification. Not to mention cleptomaniacs and all sorts of other compulsions our brains are "born" with.

    NAMBLA members aren't allowed to marry their chosen partners because nature and our healthy society has determined that an adult man/woman relationship is good for the continuance of a healthy society. They can marry, as long as they adhere to the tradition as it stands. Same with gays... they can marry as long as their marriage meets the standards of tradition. And there are MANY people who marry normally (opposite sex), who identify as gay. Because they know that it is the best union for the raising of children.

    I have several gay friends and my heart aches for their struggle. And if anyone here accuses me of hating gays, you're dead wrong. I just believe that codifying actions based on any given predilection isn't the answer.

  2. mike:

    I applaud your efforts to try to make a significant change for a cause you believe worthy. Most of us just watch from the sidelines and act only with our vote, myself included. I suspect you learned a great deal about yourself and those you encountered and I hope you share some of that with your regular visitors. The political arena may not be your forte, but you bring a lot to the table and it would be interesting to read your introspection from the experience.

  3. oneteam:

    Here is something that you might not have seen. This is the road we're heading down where we nuance any sense of morality out of our society, so as to not upset the immoral senses of the offended...


  4. mesaeconoguy:

    1. I salute you for trying this, but
    2. There are so many larger critical issues right now, e.g. the impending national socioeconomic disintegration, that are far more in your wheelhouse.

    I'll give you a buzz tomorrow/this weekend.

  5. obloodyhell:


    I already made my case when you announced this folderol.

    It ignores individual religious rights like the plague while handing GLBT assholes yet another stick to beat their opposition with instead of using reason and compromise. It provides GLBT assholes yet another path to ram their beliefs down everyone else's throats.

    No, not every GLBT person is an ASSHOLE, but enough of them are, and they, being typical liberals, cannot allow any dissent of their opinions and beliefs, and will use whatever means available to silence and punish anyone who doesn't agree with anything they say.

    Fuck em. >:-/

  6. nehemiah:

    UH OH, the obscenity filter most be broken.

  7. Jack Nunn:

    What "individual religious rights" are being ignored? Your church will not be forced to marry gays any more than the Catholic church is forced to marry Jews.

  8. Jack Nunn:

    Gay couples are not asking for special status; they are asking for the same status as other couples.
    The metric is not "we are born with the predilection or impulse" but is "does it cause harm". What harm is caused by gay marriage?
    As for tradition does that mean you support polygamy? It has a much longer tradition than monogamy. How many people in the bible had multiple wives? Or is it only traditions you approve of. Not that long ago it was tradition that you not marry outside your race or religion. Should we code those traditions into law?