Forgotten Arizona?

Jim Burroway

August 23rd, 2008

Remember when Arizona became the first and only state in the nation to defeat an anti-marriage amendment in 2006? I don’t know about you, but I’d that that this victory would be one worth preserving. But our national LGBT leaders, movers and shakers — and ordinary contributors — haven’t come through yet:

Funding for a proposal to constitutionally ban gay marriage has hit at least $1.3 million. The largest contributors to Proposition 102 are two Mesa couples, David and Nancy LeSueur and Wilford and Kathleen Andersen, Gary and Lori Wagner of Peoria, and the Pete King Corp. of Phoenix, each of who gave $100,000.

Opponents have so far accumulated less than $8,000.

This disparity is shocking. As of our filing deadline last Thursday, we had only been able to raise $8,000. Since then, we’ve had a great fundraising event at Congressman Raul Grijalva’s office on Friday, and we plan on having more events in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, please do what you can to preserve our 2006 victory and donate to Vote No on Prop 102.

Samantha Davis

August 23rd, 2008

The economy of fighting these amendments is not in our favor. For us, loosing is not an option, for them loosing means they just need to try again next year. Furthermore, they seem to have a bigger war-chest than we do.

I believe that the anti-gay crowd intends to bleed us dry financially, and knows they can do it. If we aren’t careful they will do just that.

Dave Hughes

August 25th, 2008

Our biggest problem is that no one has truly stepped up and taken leadership. The LGBT community as a whole is either waiting for some clarity on leadership and direction, or they’re just appalling unaware and unmotivated.

Equality Arizona is more concerned with electing more supportive representatives and senators to our legislature. That’s a noble and worthwhile goal. By law, they must keep their fundraising from candidates separate from their fundraising for issues, so Barb McCollough founded VoteNoProp102. I signed up to volunteer for that group immediately after the site went live, and had an email exchange with Barb. So far, I have heard nothing. I sent Barb another email last week, and received an out-of-office auto-reply stating that she is on vacation. People deserve vacations, but somebody should be covering her email in her absence. I also sent an email via the web site. No response to date.

Then, Kyrsten Sinema re-founded Arizona Together, the org that successfully beat Prop 107 two years ago. They are only accepting donations, but they offer no opportunity for people to volunteer and give no indication what they might do with the money. Last week, I contacted Kyrsten and offered to volunteer, and her response was “stay tuned!” I also asked both her and Barb whether these two groups are coordinating, and Kyrsten said that Barb has deferred to Arizona Together to lead this effort. I haven’t heard anything more about volunteering, and the web site has not been updated. She sent out a fundraising email a few days ago which indicated that Focus on the Family has contributed a lot of money to Yes For Marriage, the pro-Prop 102 group.

I contacted HRC, because I was concerned that they are giving all their money to California and leaving us out in the cold. I received a couple of prompt replies from them. They are sending one of their people to Arizona until November to work for the cause. I still don’t know how he fits in with VoteNoProp102 or Arizona Together, and apparently no money has arrived yet.

I just visited, and I see that you, Jim, along with Becky Corran are now running this effort. Are you coordinating with Arizona Together and HRC?

I am ready to give money and to volunteer. So far, nobody has taken me up on my offer to volunteer, and I’m reluctant to give money to any of these groups with it seems like nobody is running the ship.

Maybe this is what is holding back many others in our community too.

We need to get our $#!T together fast. We need to work together and get information out to the community and engage our allies. Someone needs to lead.

Feel free to contact me. I assume can see my email address. I live in Chandler.

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