Bobby Parker

Out of the ashes of Prop 102 rises the Arizona LGBT Political Coalition

Filed By Bobby Parker | January 20, 2010 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Arizona, bisexual, HRC, lesbian, log cabin republicans, prop 102, stonewall democrats, transgender

The passage of Prop 102 in Arizona, writing discrimination into our state's constitution like its counterpart Prop 8 in California, required our LGBT community to realize that if we didn't stop the bickering and infighting going on among our groups we'd never find the unity needed to be able to mount an effort to win anything. What it takes is a fresh approach and willingness to do coalition-building.

Arizona Stonewall Democrats reached out last September and October to Equality Arizona and HRC in Arizona to explain what our goals are for the upcoming election cycles and offered to work together in a united effort to elect progressives to the Legislature. Both have now responded, and, together with the Arizona Log Cabin Republicans, we have formed the Arizona LGBT Political Coalition. Each organization will take the part of the whole that we have historically taken, and working together where possible to share resources and information, we are united in the common goal of promoting overall agenda of equality for all.

This organization has risen out of the ashes of past attempts that have in essence burned out former participants. That's why the Phoenix rising from the ashes is a good analogy. Below is an explanation of what the 'Phoenix' is all about, and is a mighty good visionary statement for what I see happening in Arizona now.

From Mythicalrealm comes the following explanation of the power of the Phoenix.

The Mythical Phoenix Rising

"A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration." - The Feng Shui Handbook, feng shui Master Lam Kam Chuen

I'm not saying we have created "intense excitement" but the deathless inspiration part holds true. We are all inspired daily by those who have gone before to secure all of the benefits we already have. It's not enough, and so it's up to us to do what is left to do.

Together we have established goals in the following areas:

  • State and Local Advocacy

  • Voter Registration, Permanent Early Voter List, and Get out the Vote

  • Education and Outreach

  • Candidate Support and Fundraising

  • Developing and implementing Earned Media Campaign

We met with the editor of a local LGBT magazine who will help us get the word out. We hope those who have contacts in Arizona through Bilerico will pass the information along.

We invite other organizations or individuals that agree with our goals to join us. Email: [email protected]

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Bobby, you're not going to win any friends here in Arizona by ignoring the other groups who agreed last Saturday to work with this coalition and make it a truly broad-based effort. (Yes, I live in Arizona and was there on Saturday. I'm sorry we didn't have a chance to chat.)

Bobby Parker was quite specific when he mentioned the entity that has formed by its name: Arizona LGBT Political Coalition. This is not the same thing as the committee that formed at the January 14th HERO-sponsored meeting. Whatever that entity is has no name yet, and I doubt he has the data about all attendees and invitees.

This Arizona LGBT Political Coalition is great news. Bobby worked hard to make that happen, starting months ago. We need to get organized and moving on the political front, and these folks in the Arizona LGBT Political Coalition are moving things along. I'm certain they're open to other affiliates and allies.

Good luck with the coalition!

Abby - what were those other groups?

There were about 15 organizations present, including Arizona TransAlliance (which is affiliated with the above coalition and will likely be mentioned going forward after I have a word with Erica, lol) and TransMentors International.

Among the other parties were East Valley LGBTQ For Change (focused on Mesa), We Are Family (which purports to be a replacement for EQAZ), Central Arizona Rainbow Equality, and, although unknown, TransEquality Arizona.

By no means exhaustive -- PFLAG was there, H.E.R.O. was obviously there, and several more, but I can't recall all the names.

Bobby's point here was not to reflect that meeting, however -- the meeting merely served as a means for this group, which had held closed door, private sessions previously to hammer out this coalition, to introduce itself to the wider body of organizations in the community.

As is known to Bobby, I'm one of the people they kinda sorta need to impress, given I'm running for office. It's not the other way around, either, despite what some might think.

It is not just a bunch of gay men. There are lesbians involved. Arizona Stonewall Democrats has a Trans woman (the aforementioned Erica) as a member of its committee, and within the coalition's parts are the EQAZ folks.

What's notable here is that in Arizona, the Stonewall Democrats and the Log Cabin Republicans sat down together in a room and didn't kill each other.

More than once.

Yeah, I noticed none of the trans organizations were mentioned. I guess this is a coalition of gay men.


I sent you a private email, but wanted to respond here. No one is excluding anyone who agrees with our goals and wants to add their strength to our organization. It seems like you missed the bottom line of the article: We invite other organizations or individuals that agree with our goals to join us. Email: [email protected] The only two comments to this article are by those who feel excluded, but I can assure you that is a holdover from another time. We are a political coalition with political goals. Come, join us and lend your strengths to ours.