Majors v. Horne
On September 12, U.S. Diustrict Court Judge John Sedwick granted a Temporary Restraining Order in the case of Fred McQuire and George Martinez, who passed away earlier this summer. The ruling ensures that Fred will be listed on George's death certificate and be granted the survivor benefits that all other married couples receive.
A broader ruling is still pending in this case on whether same-sex couples throughout Arizona have the freedom to marry.
On March 13, 2014, Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit in Arizona on behalf of seven same-sex couples - and the surviving spouses of two other same-sex couples - seeking the freedom to marry or respect for legal marriage licenses received in other states. A briefing schedule has been set, with plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment due August 1, the state's reply due September 5, the final reply due October 6, and all briefs due October 27.
"Every day that same-sex couples in Arizona are denied marriage, the government sends a message that their families are not worthy of equal dignity and respect," Lambda Legal Senior Council Jennifer Pizer explained.
The plaintiffs include married same-sex couples, couples who want to marry in Arizona, and individuals whose same-sex spouses have passed away without Arizona ever respecting their status as a married couple. The lead plaintiffs are Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey, who are both in their 70s and have been together for more than 55 years.
Connolly v. Roche
On January 6, 2014, private lawyers in Arizona filed a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of four same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry and respect for their out-of-state marriages in Arizona. The lawsuit argues that laws in Arizona that restrict marriage to different-sex couples and refuse to respect legal marriages of same-sex couples who married in other states violate the United States Constitution's commitment to equal protection and due process.
The plaintiffs include Terry Pochert and Joe Connolly, who have been together for 19 years and legally married in California in 2008, as well as Mason Hite and Christopher Devine, who also married in California. Two other couples, Suzanne Cummins and Holly Mitchell (together 7 years), and Clark Rowley and David Chaney (together 5 years) are unmarried but wish to marry in Arizona. Two of the couples have adopted children through the state's foster-care system.
The complaint was amended on February 10, 2014.