PFOX Billboard Removed
December 26th, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, complaints began to pour in over a billboard for PFOX, which was put up as a “public service” by Clear Channel Outdoors along the I-19 corridor in Tucson. Fortunately, Wingspan, Tucson’s LGBT community center, was able to get the billboard removed, but without an explanation of why it was put up in the first place. Here’s the KVOA-TV report:
[Hat tip: Jason Cianciotto at Wingspan]
November 15th, 2008
Tucson got a jump on the Join the Impact protests taking place this morning all across America with a protest last night. Tucson’s protest against the defeat of Proposition 102 began in front of the county courthouse, where marchers gathered before their walk to La Placita Plaza for a rally.
The timing of the march was quite ironic. There are Justice of the Peace precincts located throughout Pima County, but if you actually wanted to be married in Pima County’s historic courthouse by the Justice of the Peace, the day to do that was Friday. So as nervous couples gathered at the courthouse entrance to await their turn before the Judge, an estimated 1,000 demonstrators were milling about under the courthouse dome to await the start of the rally.
The march got underway at dusk, ending at a rally at La Placita Plaza where Wingspan Executive Director Jason Cianciotto debuted Wingspan’s Families You Know campaign. The goals of the campaign is to “raise awareness, confront prejudice, and begin a conversation where all families are respected, valued, and not exploited for short-term political gain.”
Wingspan Statement on Arizona Senate Debacle
June 28th, 2008
In 2006, Arizona voters became the ﬁrst in the nation to defeat an anti-marriage ballot measure. Today, our State Senate, led by President Tim Bee, rejected that democratic process in an attempt to distract voters from issues that truly have an impact on families, including the rising costs of food, gas, and healthcare.
Senator Bee is grossly mistaken if he thinks he can ride an anti-family agenda to victory in his campaign to unseat Gabrielle Giffords in Congressional District 8 — analysis of voting data from 2006 revealed that voters there rejected the ﬁrst anti-marriage amendment by a 10 point margin, with 54.6% voting against Prop 107 and only 45.4% voting for it. This was an even wider margin than statewide results (51.8% vs. 48.2%).
The time has come for elected representatives and the anti-gay industry in Arizona to be held accountable for harming Arizona families. I came back home to Arizona two months ago ready for this ﬁght. A political sea change is approaching this November, and our legislature is in store for a rude awakening. Just as we did in 2006, a broad coalition of Arizonans — young and old, men and women, gay and straight — will come together and defeat this ballot measure, again.
Welcome to Tucson, Jason Cianciotto
April 14th, 2008
From this morning’s Arizona Daily Star:
Jason Cianciotto has been named the new executive director of Tucson’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community center. Cianciotto is a former member of the youth group and a grant writer.
… He most recently served as research director for The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Policy Institute in New York City. He also was the Task Force’s primary spokesman at press conferences.
Tucson is pretty small as cities go. When including the suburbs — and every scorpion and rattlesnak — our population just barely made it to over a million recently. But Tucson’s Wingspan LGBT community center rivals community centers in cities four times its size. (Phoenix still doesn’t have one. Heh, heh!)
Wingspan celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year, but its roots go back to the late 1970’s following the murder of Richard Heakin. The community’s horror over that hate crime transformed Tucson, making it one of the first cities in the country to pass anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation. Anti-violence programs remain a core part of Wingspan’s work, but it has branched out to include youth groups, community outreach, health and wellness programs, senior programs, and transgender support and advocacy.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jason a few times. I’m sure he’ll do a wonderful job with Wingspan.