The group that tried to gather signatures to get gay marriage on Arizona ballots in 2014 has called it quits.
In recent weeks, it surfaced that major funding sources for Equal Marriage Arizona had pulled out. Now, it's ending the campaign.
Equal Marriage Arizona, a citizens initiative to amend the Arizona Constitution to provide for equal marriage for same-sex couples in this state filed earlier this year, is formally suspending efforts to gather petition signatures to place the initiative on the ballot in November 2014. While the initiative received broad support among those in the LGBT community, as well as from individuals across the political spectrum, several state and national groups working for marriage equality advised that they would not support the effort mostly out of concerns about timing. Those groups have expressed interest in working with representatives of EMA on a possible 2016 campaign, which EMA would also support.
Completed petitions may be returned to the campaign at 32531 North Scottsdale Road, Suite 105-132, Scottsdale, AZ 85266 for destruction and any questions may be directed to 480-625-8620.
Equal Marriage Arizona thanks all who volunteered to assist in circulating petitions and encourages those same individuals to continue working toward equal marriage in this state.
Although there certainly seems to be a momentum shift toward tolerance of gay marriage, consider this: In 2008, Arizona voters approved Proposition 102, which declared, "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." Equal Marriage Arizona was pushing to get the opposite result in 2014, during the mid-term elections on the federal level, when there's historically lower voter turnout.
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However, that may not have affected the outcome, since voters approved the state's medical-marijuana in 2010, a mid-term election -- although Arizonans also voted in a U.S. Senate race and a gubernatorial race that year, so there may have been more voters than in a typical off-year, when there's no presidential election.
It's still unknown if Equal Marriage Arizona could have collected the required number of signatures to make the ballot next year, since the organization's chairman just recently told New Times it hadn't formally begun the signature-gathering campaign, and didn't plan to do so for some time, due to a variety of factors.
Maybe 2016 is the answer; we'll have to wait and find out.