By Eduardo Ramirez & Ray Ceo Jr.
Like many Democrats, gays, and Latinos, we were outraged and disappointed in Catherine Miranda’s endorsement of Doug Ducey. In her word-heavy, nonsensical endorsement, Miranda said she supports Ducey because he believes in “opportunity for all.”
But Doug Ducey doesn’t believe in opportunity for all. His campaign slogan may say he does, but he doesn’t. His actions speak louder than words.
Like many gay couples in Arizona, we want the same opportunity to get married and raise our family as everyone else. We want a nice house, sure, and a white picket fence to boot. But mostly, we want to know that no matter what, we have the same rights as everyone else. Should one of us fall ill, we want the same opportunity to visit our partner in the hospital. We want to have a wedding. And we want to pay the same in taxes as other married couples. We also want kids, and have the state legally recognize us both as parents. We know that Ducey doesn’t want to make this opportunity available to us. His support of the “license to discriminate” bill, SB1062, illustrates that. We certainly don’t want a Governor who would kick us out of his ice cream shop because we are in love, and choose to express that love by holding hands in public. We think all Arizonians deserve the same opportunity to eat ice cream as everyone else.
We also both love our families very much. Both of us come from families who migrated to this country at one point or another because of the opportunity that is America. We deserve the opportunity to try for the American Dream. From Italy to Mexico, we know that opportunity for all means everyone, not the select few that Ducey believes are worthy enough.
Ducey’s endorsement of Sheriff Joe illustrates his willingness to deport first, ask questions later. To support a man who racially profiles us, speaks to Ducey’s character. It shows that he doesn’t have any. Both of us fear being harassed by racially profiling police officers when we get pulled over. English was not the first language for both of us, and sometimes finding the right English words takes longer. With Ducey as Governor, we fear that the inability to speak eloquent English without first thinking about it could cause suspicion. Neither of us wants to have to carry our papers proving we are United States citizens, either. We both deserve the opportunity to walk down the street, drive, and, yes, even eat ice cream, in peace.
We also want the opportunity to vote, without restrictive laws, that work to disenfranchise us. We both deserve that opportunity. On the primary Election Day, we walked to the polls, hand in hand, because that’s our right and responsibility. We may have been called “fags” by a passer-by, but we braved that to because it’s our duty as Arizonians, and as Americans. It was hot out, that day, over 100 degrees and humid, so afterwards we enjoyed some tasty ice cream, together.
We both support Fred DuVal because Fred believes in giving us the same opportunities as everyone else. It’s that simple. He supports us as a couple, as individuals, as a third and first generation American, and most importantly, Fred wouldn’t kick us out of his ice cream shop.