Equality Arizona

Arizona Loses an Icon of the LGBT Movement

Gerrie Mayer Gibbons, loving wife of Martha Jones since August 25, 2002 and partner of 25 years, passed away on Friday, Jan 20th.

Gerrie and Martha have been stalwarts in the many battles for LGBT dignity and rights here in Arizona over the past two decades and their contributions will be long remembered.

In the late 1980’s, the AIDS crisis hit Phoenix with devastating consequences and these brave women stepped up to help the community form voluntary groups to assist those that were affected by this horrible disease. The Arizona AIDS Project’s initial success owes much to their efforts. Both Martha & Gerrie served on the Steering Committee for the 1988 display of the National AIDS Memorial Quilt which was shown in its entirety at the Phoenix Convention Center.

When the need to take a political stand in Arizona arose in the early 1990’s, Gerrie was one of the early board members of the Arizona Human Rights Fund, now known as Equality Arizona.  By chairing several dinners, funds were raised to support efforts which brought down the horrendous sodomy laws in Arizona and imposed harsher penalties for hate crimes directed at the LGBT Community.

Gerrie’s articles in Echo magazine related the problems our community was experiencing and sought ways to mobilize all of us to respond with action that would lead to victories. Gerrie was inducted into Echo magazine’s Hall of Fame in 2007 and that same year received the Equality Arizona Individual Human Rights Award. Gerrie was a licensed psychologist and her loving counsel helped many of us persevere in our quest for equality.

She will be greatly missed and our thoughts and deep-felt love go out to Martha (pictured right with Gerrie on their wedding day in Provincetown, MA), as well as to Gerrie’s family and friends.

Media Contact: Bill MacDonald, billmac4@gmail.com or 602-820-8043