On October 17, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick ruled that Arizona's anti-marriage amendment is unconstitutional. Arizona Attorney General Horne announced just hours later that he would not appeal the ruling, meaning that same-sex couples immediately had the freedom to marry in the Grand Canyon State!
The ruling comes ten days after the United States Court of Appeals in the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in cases from Nevada and Idaho on October 7. Because Arizona is in the 9th Circuit and this ruling is binding throughout the circuit, the path was nearly immediately paved for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Arizona.
On September 12, U.S. District 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. Follow the Marriage Litigation in Arizona.
Marriage supporters from across the state also joined together to form Why Marriage Matters Arizona, a public education campaign designed to begin the conversation about the freedom to marry for all loving, committed couples in the state.
In November 2006, a proposed anti-marriage constitutional amendment was rejected at the ballot in Arizona. With this, Arizona became the first state to reject an anti-marriage constitutional amendment, by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent.
In November 2008, however, anti-gay forces in Arizona pushed through an anti-marriage constitutional amendment that excluded same-sex couples from marriage.
Several jurisdictions, including Bisbee and Tucson, have passed protections for domestic partners.
In Arizona, a majority of voters support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, with 55% saying they support marriage, and just 35% saying they oppose marriage (Behavior Research Center, September 2013). A separate poll found that 79% of Hispanic respondents approve of marriage for all couples. (Public Policy Polling, May 2012)
GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:
- Why Marriage Matters Arizona is the grassroots public education campaign to build support for the freedom to marry in Arizona.
- The ACLU of Arizona is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, the state Constitution, and state and federal laws.
- Equality Arizona is the state's largest LGBT civil rights organization working to secure, protect and defend the rights and welfare of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Arizona.
- Stonewall Democrats of Arizona is a statewide organization in Arizona dedicated to securing and protecting the rights of LGBT people in Arizona.
- Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.
- The Human Rights Campaign works to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:
According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 15,817 same-sex couples are living in Arizona, representing 6.6 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.
Blog Posts Related to Arizona
Today, October 29, former journalist Sue Green published an opinion piece in The Advocate outlining the story of her parents fighting for marriage before she was born, and how she continues the fight for the freedom to marry for everyone.
Today, October 17, U.S. District Court Judge John Sedgwick ruled in favor of the freedom to marry in Arizona in a federal legal case that challenged the state’s anti-marriage constitutional amendment.
Now, as momentum surges across the country, it is more important for supporters to do all they can to speak out for the freedom to marry nationwide. Here's what's going on in the 4 other states set up for the freedom to marry soon, plus the 15 where same-sex couples continue to be denied the freedom to marry.
Resources Related to Arizona
The Southern Poverty Law Center provides a detailed listing of anti-gay groups know for their dangerous propaganda aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Find results for states with anti-gay ballot measures in the 2008 election.
Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Arizona.