RRM CEO Leads AZ Same-Sex Marriage Drive
A Phoenix business owner and former commercial litigator wants to get a same-sex marriage initiative on the 2014 Arizona ballot.
The proposed measure would legalize same-sex marriage in the state and undo a gay marriage ban approved by Arizona voters in 2008.
Warren Meyer is one of the two co-chairs of Equal Marriage Arizona. That Scottsdale group filed the proposed ballot measure with the Arizona Secretary of State Monday (June 17). Meyer is the owner and president of Recreation Resource Management (RRM), a Phoenix company that operates campgrounds and parks in 11 states, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.
It operates campgrounds and park facilities in Sedona, Flagstaff and Tucson as well as locations in California, New Mexico and Washington state.
Meyer has a Harvard MBA and previously held marketing posts with Honeywell International.
The other co-chair is Erin Ogletree Simpson, a former commercial attorney and litigator with Lewis & Roca LLP.
The law firm is one of the largest commercial firms in the Phoenix market and the Southwest.
The same-sex measure needs to get 259,200 valid voterer signatures to qualify for the 2014 ballot.
“This measure will define marriage in Arizona as being a union of two persons. It will ensure the protection of religious freedoms by specifying that religious organizations, religious associations, and religious societies in Arizona will not be required to solemnize or officiate any particular marriage or religious rite of marriage,” reads language filed with the secretary of state in Phoenix on Monday.
Scottsdale publicist Sally Baker is helping the group with its organizing efforts.
The proposed measure comes as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the legality of a gay marriage ban in California and federal same-sex marriage laws passed in the 1990s.
Learn more about Meyer by visiting his blog at www.coyoteblog.com.
On Monday, he posted the following on his blog:
Today I have registered as the chair of Equal Marriage Arizona. We are seeking to place a proposition on the ballot in Arizona in 2014 to broaden the definition of marriage from "a man and a woman" to "two persons". We are also adding language to protect religious freedom, specifically: “a religious organization, religious association, or religious society shall not be required to solemnize or officiate any particular marriage or religious rite of marriage in violation of its Constitutional right to free exercise of religion."
Gary Johnson's Our America organization has been kind enough to sponsor us, as have the Log Cabin Republican's national organization. My co-chair in Arizona is also chair of the Arizona chapter of Log Cabin Republicans.
I suppose in an ideal libertarian world, marriage would not even be subject to state administration. But the fact is that there are scores of provisions, from inheritance laws to financial and medical privacy laws, that give special privileges to couples who are officially married, such that it is a real equity issue that some couples are denied the ability to marry. Perhaps there was a time when some hoped that contracts or civil unions might be an adequate substitute, but I know too many single-sex couples struggling with the deficiencies in these alternate, and deficient, marriage substitutes.
We are not seeking a referendum on sexual choices or lifestyles. We are seeking a initiative expanding liberty by providing for equal marriage, for what could be more fundamental to personal freedom than choosing who one will marry?
More to follow.
PS — I am turning off comments on this for a while, as it likely will get some media attention today. Y'all know I traditionally have the most open comments policy on the web, moderating for spam only. However, many people, including some in the media, still do not understand the difference between blog posts and comments, and tend to try to count political coup over the more outrageous comments. As a minimum, since most bloggers moderate, they assume that I do as well (no matter how many times I say I don't) so that any obscene or deeply insensitive statements are assumed to be tacitly approved by me, since I did not moderate them. Rather than moderate comments for content, I would prefer just to turn them off.