2020 Candidate Endorsement Process
Why does EQAZ Endorse Candidates?
Equality Arizona endorses passionate, informed, and viable candidates running for Congressional, local, statewide, and legislative offices who have a proven track record of supporting and fighting for equal rights and legal protections for LGBTQ+ Arizonans and who are committed to advancing equality for an intersectional LGBTQ+ community in their capacity as elected officials.
Equality Arizona believes in building and developing a bench of strong openly LGBTQ+ and ally leaders and candidates for higher office. Equality Arizona considers endorsement of all candidates, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and party affiliation. We believe the best way to do this is through an open endorsement process that puts candidates in contact with LGBTQ+ community members and constituents.
Equality Arizona invites every registered candidate for races we choose to endorse into the process. The endorsement process is an evaluation tool for the community to access a candidate’s commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and an educational tool to inform candidate knowledge and their potential policy positions if elected to office.
Endorsement by Equality Arizona requires completion of a candidate interview, evaluation of the candidate’s policy positions, general knowledge, and past record against the endorsement criteria, and a signed commitment to our elected for equality program.
Key Candidate Considerations
Candidate must be 100% in support of LGBTQ+ equality to earn our endorsement, that being said there are many ways to work for LGBTQ+ equality and candidates should feel free to offer alternatives to policy we have suggested, as long as it gets up to full equality for LGBTQ+ people.
Candidate must be viable and able to run a competitive campaign.
Candidate’s prior depth of work in support of full LGBTQ+ equality is a key factor.
If the candidate is endorsed will that endorsement diversify and expand support for LGBTQ+ equality and social justice?
Endorsement Criteria – For policy at the level of their decision making
Candidate understands that discrimination disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable LGBTQ+ people and supports comprehensive non-discrimination.
Candidate supports stopping all forms of harm and violence faced by LGBTQ+ individuals from interpersonal to state sanctioned harm and violence, including conversion therapy.
The candidate supports affirming, inclusive, and affordable healthcare for all LGBTQ+ individuals and families.
Candidate supports affirming inclusion in every aspect of life for LGBTQ+ youth, elders, parents, and families.
Candidate supports racial justice as a priority for our society and within the LGBTQ+ community.
Candidate supports LGBTQ+ inclusive schools for LGBTQ+ students, teachers, staff, and parents.
Candidate understands that an open and fully inclusive civil society is absolutely necessary for every American to have liberty and freedom.
Participate as a Community Member
Equality Arizona has a unique endorsement process that includes our political endorsement committee and Equality Arizona members and Arizona LGBTQ+ individuals to participate. This means that our process is public, unlike most endorsement processes. While most endorsement interviews happen behind closed doors and only with a small handful of people, Equality Arizona instead offers an opportunity for small d democracy by making these interviews public and by providing a mechanism for the community we work for and represent to provide feedback on the interviews.
While this may be intimidating to some candidates, or candidates may have concerns about taking public positions in support of LGBTQ+ equality in Arizona, it is our priority to work for and achieve full equality for LGBTQ+ Arizonans. If you are a candidate, it is true, that your public support of LGBTQ+ equality could be used against you your race - but you can successfully win office, in any political party in Arizona, while also publicly supporting LGBTQ+ equality. In fact, being support of equality for all, is a simple American value that you can use to rally support and set you apart from your competition. Finally, we only offer our endorsement to candidates who publicly support LGBTQ+ equality in Arizona. The interview is not about right and wrong, its about telling voters how you will work for LGBTQ+ equality if you are elected or re-elected to office.