Mayor Satish Hiremath is running for mayor again and is asking for our votes.  Unfortunately, as of now, I cannot vote for him.  When I vote for a mayor, I want that person to demonstrate quality leadership on key issues that affect our community. 

I had hoped back in December, 2013 Hiremath would have displayed such leadership when I appeared in front of the town council. At that meeting, I requested the mayor join the U.S. Council of Mayors and support their resolution endorsing marriage equality for same-sex couples. I let Mayor Hiremath know that five other Arizona mayors including Rothschild of Tucson and Stanton of Phoenix had already joined this coalition. One more has been added since that time.

I also indicated that the Arizona Technology Council, the state’s largest trade association for technology businesses, announced it would add issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality to its lobbying platform agenda. While they recognized LGBT equality as a fundamental human rights issue, they also noted it was good for the “bottom line.” 

I thought this line of reasoning would resonate with Mayor Hiremath since he advocates bringing technology companies to Oro Valley.

Unfortunately, neither my public statement nor the fact that several Oro Valley residents showed up in support of my request convinced Mayor Hiremath to show leadership on the crucial civil rights issue of our time. Subsequently I am not aware of any public statements the mayor has made showing support for marriage equality in Arizona; nor has he taken any leadership steps encouraging his Oro Valley town council board members to pass a civil union bill for our community. 

Since I appeared in front of the mayor last year, many more states now allow gay couples to marry; the number is now 19 including Washington, D.C. Two of our neighboring states New Mexico and California enable gay couples to marry. Recently, Governor Brewer stated that her views on marriage equality are evolving.

The time is ripe for Mayor Hiremath to use his leadership and sign on to the marriage equality movement. While marriage equality cannot be passed in Arizona on a city level, our public officials should promote civil union laws and show their support for a fundamental human right-one that the Supreme Court has recently upheld when they ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.


Denise Rose,

Oro Valley

(3) comments

John Flanagan

Since when does a town government have to be pressured into endorsing gay marriage? What about the residents of Oro Valley who oppose it? Many Americans, millions in number, do not believe it is a Constitutional "fundamental" right for two men or two women to enter into a relationship exclusively and historically reserved for heterosexual couples for thousands of years. Be as it may, nobody is calling for discrimination against gays, but many do not affirm or celebrate a lifestyle choice considered unnatural and immoral. Political leaders who want to be popular with progressives may feel compelled or intimidated to jump on the gay marriage bandwagon, but in doing so they show their contempt for the constituents who oppose it, and in doing so, will forfeit votes now and in their political future.


I have to agree with Mr. Flanagan's comments; I'm not sure why an opinion on gay marriage is of any concern to a town mayor. In fact, what business does a town mayor have in voicing an opinion on gay marriage at all? His job, as with all of the town council members, is to represent the citizens of Oro Valley. All of them, including the majority who might not agree with you.


SkipS, I'm not sure why you think the majority of Oro Valley citizens might not agree with Ms. Rose.

Ms. Rose, I wonder if you have checked with Pat Straney, the candidate opposing Dr. Hiremath, to find out his feelings regarding marriage equality for same sex couples.

I absolutely support marriage equality for all, but I will still vote for Dr. Hiremath. I think he has been a proven leader in our town. I am very happy with the status quo and would like to see it continue.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.