The streets of Arizona will be filled with streaming rainbow flags for the next week as same-sex marriage supporters take on a 99-mile Arizona march to demonstrate the 99 years the state has denied full marriage equality, reports Fox 11 News.
The demonstrators are using the Arizona-wide march to educate its citizens on the plight of same-sex couples.
“There’s 1138 rights that a gay couple or same sex couple does not have that a married couple does,” march participant Karon Bohlender told Fox 11. “We just want to be treated equally.”
Arizona currently has a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage based on a 2008 ballot measure, but it had originally been the first state to reject the ban when it was first brought to the ballot in 2006. The gay marriage debate has continued to be a conflicting issue for its citizens. Phoenix-based gay rights political advocacy group Equality Arizona is focusing its current efforts on repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the federal level.
The state does have domestic partnership registries in some cities, such as Phoenix, that grant same-sex couples certain rights that would have been given if they were legally allowed to marry. These include the right to visit their partner in any health care facility located in the city with the registry.
However, for same-sex marriage supporters, a smattering of rights is not the same as full-blown marriage equality, and they are taking to the streets to get their voices heard. Supporters plan to end their Arizona march on the Capitol steps in Phoenix on Sunday.