by Jim Nintzel
A round-up of comments from this year's candidates on today's marriage equality ruling, which has paved the way for gay marriage in Arizona:
Congressman Ron Barber:
Today is an historic day in Arizona — a day that is long overdue — as each of our fellow citizens now has the right to make a legally binding, lifelong commitment to the person they love.
With today’s ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick and the acknowledgment by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne that the ruling is binding on Arizona, our state now joins the many others where a ban on same-sex marriages has been ruled unconstitutional.
I am overjoyed that all Arizonans will now be able to have the same rights and the same responsibilities that my wife Nancy and I have shared during our 47 years of marriage.
As Americans, our civil rights must never be denied. As Arizonans, we believe that liberty is a cause worth fighting for. This ruling sends an emphatic message that no one should be treated differently under the law because of who they are or who they love.
Couples in committed relationships who want to marry should not face interference from politicians of either party. Marriage equality is a just cause, and now is the time for families to celebrate their newfound freedom.
Attorney General Horne made the right decision regarding an appeal. I accept the determination of the courts and will honor their decision.
Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick:
Today is a great day for all Arizonans and their loved ones. I have long said that our government should treat every person equally regardless of who they love. And while today shows we have come a long way, we must remain steadfast in our efforts to move our state forward.
Republican Speaker of the Arizona House Andy Tobin, who is challenging Kirkpatrick:
I agree with the determination to honor the decision of the court. As a legal matter, I support the rule of law and the finality of this determination and recognized this issue is now settled.
Democrat Terry Goddard, candidate for Secretary of State:
Today's legal decision isn't just a victory for gay and lesbian Arizonans whose equality under the law is rightfully being recognized. Today is a recognition that basic fairness trumps short-term political interests and crass attempts to divide our state.
It was only nine months ago that the Arizona legislature voted to legalize discrimination by passing SB1062. Today, we're celebrating diversity and equality.
I want to congratulate every Arizonan who fought for this day. When I first started working and campaigning with LGBT groups in the early 1980s, it was hard to believe this day would come. I can't express how glad I am that it has.
I hope today's news gives politicians more courage in the future to stand with communities who aren't being treated fairly—no matter what the political pressure.
Congressman Raul Grijalva:
Today, Arizona joined 30 other states and the District of Columbia in recognizing that marriages should be determined by the love two people share — not by who those two people happen to be. History shows how freedoms and rights that are not extended to everyone are not secure for anyone. The push for marriage equality across America is an acknowledgement of that fact, and I am glad that Arizona is on the right side of history on this issue.
This issue speaks to who we are as a nation. The rights and liberties we cherish must be secure for every American, period. While today’s ruling is a tremendous step in the right direction, our work on this issue will not be done until every state and territory in the United States recognizes same sex marriages as Constitutionally protected and not subject to the whims or judgments of anyone except the two people involved.
Dr. Randall Friese, candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 9:
My wife Susan and I could not be happier that marriage equality has finally come to Arizona. This is truly a monumental day. On a personal note, it is especially exciting as this is also our seventh wedding anniversary. Susan and I will now have two things to celebrate every Oct. 17.