Open Letter to Arizona LGBT Community:
How Much Do You Really Want Equality?
How much do you want equal access to and security in employment?
How much do you want equal opportunity to live where you want?
How much do you want equal recognition of your relationships?
How much do you want equal rights to live open and true to what and who you are?
How much do you want equal protection under the law?
How much do you want to be an equal citizen of this nation?
The campaign for LGBT equality in Arizona isn't over. It won't be over until we and our allies have secured equality through an amendment to the Arizona constitution. Equality in employment, housing, and marriage is still not ours, but can be.
If we really...really...want equality, then it will be up to us to organize, strategize, and work hard to achieve it. Full equality requires commitment from us AND from you. Lessons of the past teach us we can't expect others to do it for us. We must do it for ourselves. Together! NOW!
Besides our losing Prop 102 in 2008, the Democrats actually lost ground in the legislature. In response, we have acted to resurrect the Arizona Stonewall Democrats (AZSD), pledging to fight for equality with new blood, new leadership, new energy, new transparency, and a new plan. It is time for us to stop playing defense and go on the offense!
We are the Stonewall Democrats. Stonewall because we have the same scrappy determination to make change as did the original participants in the four-day Stonewall uprising; Democrats because some Republicans have been unwilling to champion our cause, while others have been willing to demonize our community for political gain.
Our plan, the Equal Means Equal campaign, starts with the LGBT community and its equality allies turning out in force to help the Arizona Democratic Party win a majority in both houses of the state legislature in 2010. Many legislative races in 2008 were lost by a few hundred votes. We will be the margin of victory. Democrats can and will win in 2010 with our help.
Once Democratic control of the legislature has been secured, our plan is to have an equality amendment referred to the 2012 ballot. Our amendment will guarantee equality for all citizens, regardless of race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Our opponents used the institution of marriage against us in 2008. The Equal Means Equal campaign will use the stronger institution of equality to win in 2010. The American value of equality started with the Declaration of Independence: "All men are created equal [and] endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."
Our effort begins now! Join us and together we can secure our full equality.
Bobby Parker, Chair
Arizona Stonewall Democrats