2002 & 2003
In October, Don Hamill established the first Rainbows Festival in Phoenix. The event drew in 25,000 people by providing excellent entertainment and a family friendly environment. Today, the Rainbows Festival is managed by Phoenix Pride.
In September, the Tucson Mayor and City Council unanimously approved the first Domestic Partner Registry in the State of Arizona at the recommendation of the city's Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues.
Evan Wolfson established Freedom to Marry, a national campaign seeking marriage equality. The campaign reshaped national conversation by focusing on the love and commitment of LGBT couples.
2004 & 2005
In May, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. The court found the prohibition of same-sex marriage unconstitutional because it denied dignity and equality to all individuals. In the following six years, marriage became legal in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa and Washington D.C.
In November, Arizona voters, by a margin of 48.2% to 51.8%, defeated Proposition 107, a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage and any legal status similar to marriage.
ONE Community, a coalition of LGBT and allied businesses, organizations and individuals who support diversity, inclusion and equality for all Arizonans, was co-founded by Angela Hughey and Sheri Owens.
In November, California voters approved Proposition 8, making same-sex marriage in California illegal. The passing of the ballot gained national attention and inspired the NOH8 campaign, a photo project that used celebrities to promote marriage equality.
In Arizona, voters by a margin of 56.2% to 43.8%, also passed Proposition 102, a constitutional amendment that defined marriage in Arizona as the union of one man and one woman.
2009 & 2010
In October, President Barack Obama signed the Matthew Shepard Act into law. The measure expanded the 1969 U.S. Federal Hate Crime Law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
In December, President Barack Obama signed the DADT Repeal Act into law. It repealed the 1993 Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy and allowed the LGBT community to serve openly in the U.S. Military.
A chapter of Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP), an advocacy group for those who identify as both undocumented and LGBT, was established in Arizona. QUIP provides valuable resources and support to community members who are affected by homophobia and SB 1070, an anti-immigration law in Arizona.
In February, President Barack Obama stated his administration would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act which banned the recognition of same-sex marriage.
The city of Bisbee and Tucson approved civil unions between same-sex couples. This expanded the rights of couples to inheritances, property ownership, and guardianship.
In United States v. Windsor, a landmark LGBT Civil Rights case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. This moment in history affirmed that all married couples deserve equal rights. In the weeks leading up to the decision, the LGBT community of Arizona planned a few protests and march.
In September, Equality Arizona, ACLU of Arizona,Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and Freedom to Marry announced the formation of Why Marriage Matters Arizona, a grassroots public education campaign to build support for the freedom to marry in Arizona. The campaign shared the personal stories of several LGBT families throughout Arizona.
In February, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, a controversial bill that would have allowed businesses to deny services to customers based on their religious beliefs. Following the initial passage of the bill, there were local and national protests by businesses, civil rights groups, and LGBT rights groups. This bill also prompted Arizona Senator Steve Gallardo to come out as gay.
In October, the U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick ruled that Proposition 102 was unconstitutional. Attorney General Tom Horne did not appeal the decision, thus making Arizona the 31st state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage.