Today I have registered as the chair of Equal Marriage Arizona. We are seeking to place a proposition on the ballot in Arizona in 2014 to broaden the definition of marriage from "a man and a woman" to "two persons". We are also adding language to protect religious freedom, specifically
“a religious organization, religious association, or religious society shall not be required to solemnize or officiate any particular marriage or religious rite of marriage in violation of its Constitutional right to free exercise of religion."
Our press release is here. Gary Johnson's Our America organization has been kind enough to sponsor us, as have the Log Cabin Republican's national organization. My co-chair in Arizona is also chair of the Arizona chapter of Log Cabin Republicans.
I suppose in an ideal libertarian world, marriage would not even be subject to state administration. But the fact is that there are scores of provisions, from inheritance laws to financial and medical privacy laws, that give special privileges to couples who are officially married, such that it is a real equity issue that some couples are denied the ability to marry. Perhaps there was a time when some hoped that contracts or civil unions might be an adequate substitute, but I know too many single-sex couples struggling with the deficiencies in these alternate, and deficient, marriage substitutes.
We are not seeking a referendum on sexual choices or lifestyles. We are seeking a initiative expanding liberty by providing for equal marriage, for what could be more fundamental to personal freedom than choosing who one will marry?
More to follow.
PS -- I am turning off comments on this for a while, as it likely will get some media attention today. Y'all know I traditionally have the most open comments policy on the web, moderating for spam only. However, many people, including some in the media, still do not understand the difference between blog posts and comments, and tend to try to count political coup over the more outrageous comments. As a minimum, since most bloggers moderate, they assume that I do as well (no matter how many times I say I don't) so that any obscene or deeply insensitive statements are assumed to be tacitly approved by me, since I did not moderate them. Rather than moderate comments for content, I would prefer just to turn them off.