/ Modified sep 18, 2013 9:47 a.m.

New "Freedom to Marry" Campaign Launches

Coalition of civil rights organizations; year-long education effort planned, then possible ballot measure.

Several organizations kicked off a public education campaign this week to build support toward a law allowing same-sex marriage in Arizona.

Why Marriage Matters Arizona is a coalition of civil rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, the Human Rights Coalition Foundation, Freedom to Marry and Equality Arizona.

The effort is going to be a year-long public education effort to explain why these organizations want anybody in Arizona to be able to get married.

Recent federal decisions, including the Supreme Court’s voiding of the Defense of Marriage Act, set the stage for this campaign, said Paula Aboud, a former state lawmaker, and the co-chair of the Southern Arizona contingent of Why Marriage Matters Arizona.

”The fact that DOMA was resolved at the Supreme Court, to the extent that it was, the fact that freedom to marry has been happening in other states in the country, we feel that Arizona is ready," she said.

The campaign promoting equal marriage rights for all Arizonans is a way to gear up for a possible 2016 ballot initiative, Aboud said. A similar effort for the next year’s statewide ballot recently folded.

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