Arizona Equality Official Website tracking the progress of the complaint
filed against the State of Arizona on January 6, 2014,
for Marriage Equality.

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  New Information on the Website Regarding the Complaint ...

Channel 12 Coverage of Today's Decision
Will KnightSeptember 12, 2014 - U. S. District Court Judge John Sedwick granted Lambda Legal plaintiff, Fred McQuire a restraining order against the state of Arizona forcing the state to recognize his California marriage to his partner of over 45 years. George Martinez who passed away in late August. The order also forces the state to list Fred as his surviving spouse on his death certificate. 

Jeremy Zegas of Why Marriage Matters and Will Knight from Aiken Schenk Hawkins & Ricciardi who represent the plaintiffs in Connolly v Roche, appear on KPNX Channel 12's Six O'Clock News.  They respond to the recent developments and impact of the ruling by Judge John Sedwick to Lambda Legal's emergency request regarding Fred McQuire and his late partner, George Martinez.

Thank you Jeremy and Will for your perspectives.

US 9th Circuit Rules Arizona MUST Recognize Marriage of Same-Sex Couple

Judge SedwichThe marriage of George Martinez and Fred McQuire, a gay couple married in California, must be recognized in Arizona.

This decision gives some hope to the plaintiffs in our case on that way the court "may" lean on their case.  Although not certain, other courts and the major change of public opinion may pave the way to a more diverse Arizona and a state that welcomes all people.

Marriage Equality Events Throughout Arizona

Flagstaff PrideDecision DayThere will be many Marriage Equality events held throughout Arizona upon the decision of the judge.  We are all hoping that they will be celebrations.

Regardless of the outcome, these events will still be celebrations as we plan for the future of full inclusive and diversity within our great State of Arizona.

In addition to the regular Press Conference to be held at our lawyer's offices, there will be other events held by many organizations throughout the state.

Gay Couples Can't Have Biologically Create Children Therefore...

John SedwickThe very strange argument put forth by the State of Arizona's lawyers are saying, “namely the natural capacity to create children and to provide those children with their biological mother and biological father.”

What about the marriages of senior citizens and straight couples that can't biologically have children, etc.   Is the State of Arizona going to tear up and void these marriages also?

Ill Gay Veteran Pleads With Judge to Recognize His Marriage

Jamie Ross of Courthouse News writes on August 27, 2014, "A same-sex couple from Arizona asked a federal judge to recognize their marriage because one is dying of cancer and wants to leave his spouse his military veteran's benefits.  George Martinez and Fred McQuire, who have been together for 45 years, were married in July in California, a month after Martinez, 62, was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and told he only has months left to live.  They met in Arizona in 1969 when McQuire was serving in the Air Force, and became a couple a year later.

Where do candidates for governor stand on gay marriage?

Andrea Hiland of the Arizona Republic asked the candidates for governor where they stand on the issue of same-sex marriage .

Voters who support same-sex marriage really should read this article carefully.

Arizona Couple Asks Federal Judge to Recognize Their Marriage Before One Dies

JusticeA gay couple from southern Arizona wants a federal judge to immediately order the state to recognize their marriage because one of the men is terminally ill.

Lawyers for George Martinez and Fred McQuire of Green Valley say the order is needed so McQuire can be recognized as Martinez's survivor when he dies. That will allow him to take care of his affairs and collect larger Veterans Affairs and other benefits.

Former Arizona Attorney Generals Grant Woods and Terry Goddard Support Gay Marriage

Grant WoodsTwo former Arizona Attorneys General say they support gay marriage. Republican Grant Woods and Democrat Terry Goddard are part of the group Arizona Lawyers for the Freedom to Marry. The group says gay marriages should be recognized under the law. Woods tells KFYI, "I think it's the civil rights issue of our time."  A lawsuit challenging Arizona's gay marriage ban is making its way through federal court, with a ruling expected to come down soon. Woods says if he was still Attorney General, he wouldn't defend the ban because he believes it is unconstitutional.

AZ ruling on gay marriage ban expected soon

Heather MacreA major ruling on same-sex marriage in Arizona is expected any day now.  A lawsuit challenging the state's gay marriage ban is making its way through federal court.  Terry Pochert and Joe Connolly, of Maricopa, are one of seven couples leading the charge to give same-sex couples the right to marry in Arizona.  "To me, it's very simple," said Pochert. "Two people love each other, and are committed to each other for a lifelong relationship.  We just want the same rights that any other couple in a long term relationship would have."  In 2008, Arizona voters amended the state constitution  to include the definition of marriage as only between one man and one woman.  Other states did the same

What if: Court allows same-sex marriage in Arizona?
MontiniArizona Republic has a short article with opposing points of view.

When They Stopped Waiting - Article in The Arizona Republic
Terry Pochert and Joe Connolly

Shaun McKinnon and his print/video colleague, Patrick Shannahan, from the The Arizona Republic and tell the story of why we are fighting the ban on same sex marriage her in AZ and how it came together. The lawsuit is Connolly v Roche.

Arizona Now Waits!

The local newspapers now are reporting on the anticipation of its citizens as the marriage equality lawsuit now sets with the courts.

We Wait! Connolly vs. Roche now in the Judge's hands

John W. SedwickAlia Beard Rau, reporter from the Arizona Republic, writes about the status of the two lawsuits filed again the State of Arizona regarding marriage equality in Arizona.  Although the article features photos from the second case, all the papers for the first case were filed with the court on July 21, 2014.  Our case now waits the decision from the judge.

Arizona points to procreation to defend gay marriage ban

Attorneys for Arizona have dusted off a vintage argument to defend the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples.

Marriage can’t include gay couples, court papers filed Wednesday argue, because “the State regulates marriage for the primary purpose of channeling potentially procreative sexual relationships into enduring unions for the sake of joining children to both their mother and their father.” By that argument, the marriages of the couples challenging the ban do not serve the state’s purpose.

Arizona cites reproductive ability to support gay marriage ban

Howard FischerAttorneys for the state are telling a federal judge there's a good reason Arizona won't let gays marry: They can't reproduce, at least not without the help of a third person.

Defendant Document 77

Defendants' Motion for Leave to File Overlength Reply in Support of Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment

Defendant Document 77-1

[Proposed] Order Granting Defendants' Motion for Leave to File Overlength Reply in Support of Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment.

Defendant Document 78

Defendants' Reply in Support of Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment.

Meagan and Natalie - Wake Up Arizona! Don't Put Stress in More lives!
Meagan and Natalie MetzMeagan and Natalie Metz are partners and fellow plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the State of Arizona.  The importance of legalizing their relationship in the State of Arizona is now more important than ever.

EQ AZ - Redesigned Website

A we proceed through the steps of our lawsuit against the State of Arizona and updated within our own website, there are many organizations within the State of Arizona that are continually fighting for all aspects of LGBTQ inclusion in all areas of social, political and family environments within this great state of Arizona.

Same-sex couples could soon get leave time in Arizona

Same-sex couples in Arizona could soon see an expansion of protections if a new proposal is implemented. 

The United States Department of Labor has introduced a proposal that would change who qualifies under the federal Family and Marriage Leave Act. 

Public Trial Not Expected in Arizona

The Daily ReporterLawyers for Arizona and a group of gay and lesbian couples who sued the state over its ban on same-sex marriage want a judge to decide the case without holding a full trial.

The attorneys told U.S. District Court Judge John W. Sedwick they believe he can instead rule based on arguments each side will file in the coming months. The lawyers are split on whether oral arguments are needed, with lawyers for Arizona saying none are necessary. Lawyers for the couples want oral arguments to be set for later this year.

The lawsuit filed by national gay-rights organization Lambda Legal on behalf of seven couples and two surviving spouses argues that the U.S. Constitution's equal protection and due-process clauses are violated by the state law barring them from being married. The state of Arizona is fighting the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in March.

Why It's Important for Marriage Equality in Arizona

What if tragedy....This is a story by Shane.  It explains why we are fighting so hard for marriage equality right here in Arizona. - The Plaintiffs

This video was originally released on May 7, 2012, on the one year anniversary of my partner Tom Bridegroom's tragic death. It quickly went viral and led to the feature documentary film, BRIDEGROOM, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2013. The film went on to have its television premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network and is now available on Netflix and iTunes. It has won multiple Audience Awards at film festivals and just recently was awarded the GLAAD New Media Award for Best Documentary.

But it all started with this video. I believe that by sharing our personal stories, we can change the world. May 7, 2014 marks the third anniversary of Tom's death and in his honor I ask that everyone uploads their own videos, photos, or written stories to social media to help inspire others. You may even save someone's life. Use the hashtag #TapTapTap to join the global conversation.

Same-sex Marriage Lawsuit & Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice
Both sides in a lawsuit over Arizona's gay marriage ban want a federal judge to decide the case himself without having to go to full trial. Associated Press reporter Bob Christie, who is covering the issue, will discuss the lawsuit. Newly-appointed Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court Scott Bales will discuss the court and his plan for advancing justice.

George Takei - A Proud Gay American

George Takei

We were fortunate to meet George Takei and his partner Brad Altman at the HRC dinner this past March in Phoenix. A handshake, a hug and a word of encouragement from George and Brad helped make our same sex marriage fight here in Arizona, just a bit easier.  But our struggle pales in comparison to the personal story of Mr. Takei during World War II. Take sixteen minutes of your time to learn about his struggle and how he now fights for equal rights throughout this great land we call home, a land we call America.

As a child, George Takei, his siblings and parents, all United States citizens, were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a "security" measure during World War II. Seventy years later, Takei looks back at how the experience shaped his surprising, personal definition of patriotism and democracy.

Marriage Update - The State of Marriage - An Interview with Lawyer Shawn Aiken

Shawn AikenGlenn Guillickson writes in Echo Magazine, "Arizona could soon join the list of states where same-sex marriage bans have been struck down. 

As judges across the country rule in favor of marriage equality, a decision on a lawsuit challenging Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage could be just months away.

But if the ban is struck down, don't expect Arizona gays and lesbians to rush to marry, according to the attorney who has been leading the case.

Watch the Stories of the Plaintiffs

CameraWatch the testimonials of all the plaintiffs in this lawsuit.  

These are real couples, real relationships and real feelings.  

We hope these videos bring a sense of the importance marriage equality in Arizona means to these couples.

Simplot and Sinema Working to Help Legalize Gay Marriage

Kyrsten SinemaEugene Scott in the Arizona Republic writes, "Several high-profile Phoenix residents are working to help the city legalize gay marriage soon.

Former Phoenix Councilman Tom Simplot and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema,D-Ariz., recently attended a gathering at Phoenix's Royal Palms Resort about the Marriage Opportunity Project.

The October event will bringnational leaders to Washington, D.C., to make proposals to "deepen the meaning of 'marriage equality' ... to include social class as well as sexual orientation."

Simplot, who represented central Phoenix, was the first openly gay person elected to the Phoenix City Council. And Sinema, who represents part of central Phoenix, was the first openly bisexual person elected to Congress. Both officials have been vocal about their desire to see Phoenix legalize same-sex marriage. ..."

Alliance Defending Freedom Works to Restrict Religious Liberties

Joe ConnollyScottsdale, Arizona based Alliance Defending Freedom purports to work “For Faith. For Justice.” as their logo shows. The “About” page of the ADF website shows a “History of Success” where “Since its founding in 1994, Alliance Defending Freedom has made a significant impact for God’s Kingdom through its winning legal efforts to preserve religious freedom for people of faith”.

Oh, REALLY... At least thirty people see this differently. I suspect more.

Echo Magazine - Flagstaff Event

Echo Magazine's Article about Flagstaff Event and the plaintiffs in our lawsuit, Meagan and Natalie Metz.

Is Gay Couple Going to be Forced to Leave Arizona

Amid a call for equality for gay marriage across the nation, a Valley couple says they have to leave Arizona to protect their family.

Dr. Patric and Levi Schine married in August in California. They welcomed twin girls into the world in December. But now they say Arizona state law does not support their family.

Why Marriage Matters Is Collecting Signature on Petition

Tom HorneTell Attorney General Horne: Stop defending Arizona's marriage ban!

As we anticipate a ruling from the Ninth Circuit that could potentially impact Arizona, more historic cases—Connolly v. Roche and Majors v. Horne—is making its way through state court, directly challenging Arizona’s law banning same-sex couples from the freedom to marry.

This could be the case that brings marriage equality to Arizona once and for all—but only if Attorney General Tom Horne stops defending our state’s harmful marriage ban.

That's why thousands of Arizonans are calling on AG Hornel to drop their defense of our state’s marriage ban.

KTAR Interview with Shawn Aiken

Rob and KarrieRob and Karie on KTAR-FM interview Shawn Aiken, lead attorney.  The interview was held Thursday afternoon, June 26, 2014.

Father's Day - Gay Latinos Celebrate

Luis Ortega plans to spend Father’s Day with his son, Robert, at their favorite park – where they will honor the memory of Luis’ late partner and Robert’s other dad, Christian Barco, who died suddenly last year.

Hard numbers are difficult to come by, but Ortega appears to be one of a small but growing number of adoptive gay parents in Arizona, where advocates had feared that a 2011 law giving preference to married couples would discriminate against gays.

Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Arizona

The Williams InstituteIf marriage is extended to same-sex couples in Arizona, the state would see an economic boost as same-sex couples plan their weddings and as their out-of-state guests purchase goods and services in the state. This study estimates the impact on the state’s economy and on state and local sales tax revenue.

Marriage Equality Conversation in Arizona

On Friday, June 27, 2014, a community conversation discusses the role of a fair and impartial judiciary as a Flagstaff couple takes their fight for marriage equality to court. Arizona Advocacy Network, a progressive, non-partisan civic engagement organization is hosting the happy hour event, The Fight for Marriage Equality in Arizona: Taking it to the Courts. 

Arizona Lawsuit Documents - Timeline

Click the title to view summary of all documents currently filed or received from the court.

Marriage Equality Favor Democrats in Coming Elections

The public increasing endorsement of marriage equality is also favoring the Democrates in the coming elections

Look Out Arizona!, Gay Marriage Just Might be Inevitable in Arizona

Laurie Roberts writes in the Arizona Republic, "It's been a good week for those who support same-sex marriage.  

First, federal judges in Pennsylvania and Oregon struck down their states' bans on same-sex marriage. Now, a new Gallup Poll indicates that 55 percent of Americans support "marriage equality".

Most telling: 79 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 support legalizing same-sex marriage. That's nearly double the number of young adults who supported it 18 years ago, when Gallup first asked the question."

Kids React to Gay Marriage

KidsWith over 16 million hits on YouTube, this video simply speaks for itself.

The Power of Sharing

United NationsThe United Nations Free & Equal campaign presents a message on this International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Share your story and change hearts and minds -- we are all the foundation for this movement for equality.

You can watch this video with Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish (as well as Persian) captions by clicking the small, square "CC" button in the bottom of the YouTube screen and selecting language.

Bisbee, Arizona - Gay Rights Update

Bisbee, ArizonaGay rights in a small Arizona town just north of the Mexican border.

Luther on Marriage, for Gay and Straight by Kirsi Stjerna

Lutheran Theological Seminary at GetysburgSeminary Ridge Review is published by Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.  The article below is from the Spring 2014 issue (Volume 16, Number 2).

Luther on Marriage, for Gay and Straight by Kirsi Stjerna - Kirsi Stjerna is Professor of Reformation Church History and Director of the Institute for Luther Studies at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and Docent/Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Theology at University of Helsinki. Her degrees are from University of Helsinki and Boston University. In anticipation of the 2017 Luther anniversary, Stjerna serves as one of the general editors for the forthcoming Essential Luther (6 volumes, Fortress Press).

The Actual Motion for Summary Judgment Available as PDF Downloads

Special NoticeApril 21, 2014, was a big day for Plaintiffs and Lawyers in the case against the State of Arizona regarding the ban of same-sex marriage.

You can read the actual Motions as PDFs. CLICK HERE


Motion for Summary Judgment Filed on April 21, 2014

Shawn AikenGay and lesbian couples challenging Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage are asking a federal court for a pretrial ruling in their favor.  The motion asked for summary judgment declaring that the ban violates constitutional protections for due process of law and equal protection under the law.  The lawsuit was filed in Phoenix in March on behalf of seven couples.  The case is one of two Arizona same-sex marriage ban challenges filed this year and pending in federal court in Phoenix.  Lawyers for the state denied that Arizona's ban violates constitutional rights.  Arizona lawmakers approved a state law barring same-sex marriages in 1996, and voters in 2008 amended the Arizona Constitution to include a ban.

Ruling Sought

TV 13The case is one of two Arizona same-sex marriage ban challenges filed this year and pending in federal court in Phoenix.  Lawyers for the state deny that Arizona's ban violates constitutional rights.

Arizona Same-Sex Wedding Bring Planning Disappointments
Arizona RepublicMegan Finnerty from the Arizona Republic writes, "The headlines, Twitter updates and scrolling TV news tickers could give the impression that gay couples across America are buying his-and-his cake toppers and registering for hers-and-hers hand-towel sets."

Natalie and Meagan's Intimate Ceremony and Arizona Reception

Natalie and MeaganWith the Pacific Northwest winds blowing their hair and the Seattle skyline as their backdrop, Arizona-based couple Natalie and Meagan exchanged vows on the very spot Natalie had proposed months earlier. Their intimate ferry ceremony in front of 10 of their closest loved ones was filled with color, love and laughter. Once they returned to their home city of Flagstaff, Ariz., they celebrated with a casual yet classic reception at one of their favorite downtown restaurants.

Court Denies Request to Merge Additional Lawsuit With Original Lawsuit

The original lawsuit (Case No. 2:14-cv-00024 JWS) filed against the State of Arizona with the court on January 6, 2014, is slowly making its way through the court system. While this case is actively before Judge John W. Sedwick, a new case (Case No. 2:14-cv-00518 NVW) has been filed by Lamda Legal.  Lamda Legal has asked that the two cases be consolidated into one. For several reasons. the court has issued an Order From Chambers on April 15, 2014 which denied the consolidation. Although the consolidation was denied, the later second case will be transfered to the docket of Judge John W. Sedwick.  This allows both cases to be heard by the same judge, but separately.

Echo Magazine: ​Second lawsuit

Echo Magazine

Pizer said there's nothing inconsistent about filing a lawsuit similar to the one filed earlier this year by Phoenix attorney Shawn Aiken, and suggested that the two groups could collaborate.

In a telephone interview with Echo Magazine, Aiken said that he was informed of the Lambda Legal lawsuit two days before it was filed. He said the lawsuits outline similar arguments.

"It never hurts to have a second lawsuit on a question of this importance," Aiken said. He said there's a "genuine interest" in having the two groups work together.

Meet Arizona Families: Joe Connolly and Terry Pochert

"If I could marry you, I would ask you right now," Joe Connolly said from across the table to Terry Pochert. The two men exchanged onion rings at that very moment, a silly gesture that meant much more. Despite how much they loved each other, it was 1995, and the thought of same-sex couples having the freedom to marry was a distant dream. Instead, Terry and Joe made a promise to one another that they would live their lives together in love.

Nearly 19 years later, Terry and Joe are still happily in love, and their dream of being husband and husband has nearly come true. Their love story has come a long way, not unlike the road to marriage equality in Arizona -- but their journey is not over.

HRC, The Human Rights Campaign, Provides Support for Plaintiffs in Current Lawsuits

Plaintiffs in Lawsuit Against State of ArizonaThe Human Rights Campaign, the national organization working for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights, gathered together in the Phoenix area yesterday during their 2014 Gala.

Many of the plaintiffs from the two lawsuits currently in front of the Federal 9th Circuit Court attended the event to hear speakers and watch as the community presented awards to many of the Arizona corporate businesses and are fighting for equal rights within the state.

Lambda Legal Files Motion to Consolidate Recently Filed Case with our Case Filed on January 6, 2014

Section III of the motion title, "The Court Should Transfer This Case To Judge Sedwick," the motion asks to consolidate the cases to avoid any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or delay.

Since both cases call for determinations of substantially the same questions of law, involve a common defendant, and would entail substantial duplication of labor if they are heard by different Judges, the motion is seeking not to cause any delay.

Arizona Tucson Star Mentions Sister Case Along With Our Clients

Arizona Daily StarSeven plaintiff couples and the legal team who filed suit on January 6, 2014 to overturn Arizona’s ban on same sex marriage applaud and support the seven plaintiff couples, two surviving spouses and Lambda Legal in their parallel March 13, 2014 filing. Our separate yet parallel efforts to overturn discriminatory Arizona laws targeting the LGBTQ community are a testament to our resolve for our freedom and to fight for equality, for those that can, those who cannot, and those who have gone before us. 

Shawn Aiken Comments on New Lawsuit

KTAR.comThe lawsuit is separate from a class-action lawsuit filed by four same-sex couples in January. Phoenix attorney Shawn Aiken, who filed the lawsuit, initially filed it against Horne and Gov. Jan Brewer as well as three Arizona county clerks. He has since dropped Horne and Brewer at the request of Assistant Attorney General Kathleen Sweeney and to avoid a prolonged series of legal motions. He plans to file a motion next month, asking the judge in the case to make a decision about the lawsuit without waiting for a trial. 

Aiken and his team have expressed support for Lambda Legal's suit, but both said there are no plans to join the two filings. 

ABC News 15: Lambda Legal Sister Lawsuit

ABC News 15 - Taking ActionThe Associated Press quotes the lead lawyer, Shawn Aiken, "My attitude is to the extent that if we both succeed, great. If they succeed where we fail, that's good too."

Arizona Denies Claims

KTARLawyers for the state of Arizona deny that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates equal-protection and due-process rights.  The state Attorney General's office made the denial in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the ban.  The seven same-sex couples who filed the lawsuit allege the ban violates equal-protection and due-process rights. They also alleged the ban denies them the benefits associated with marriage, such as spousal pension benefits, spousal survivorship rights and the ability to make medical decisions for each other. 

Arizona House Bill HB 2481: Another Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Joseph Connolly - JoeCall to Action! One battle was won this week in the defeat of Arizona SB 1062. The war is NOT over! Seriously!  Arizona State Representative Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park has introduced Arizona House Bill HB 2481.

As a person of faith, I know that any ordained minister, priest or pastor can refuse to marry any couple, straight or gay, for any reason. Government cannot tell a church how to run its ministry. It's called Freedom of Religion. It's in a document called the U. S. Constitution. And the Arizona Constitution cites it as the "supreme law of the land". Rep. Montenegro has sponsored this bill and he himself is a pastor in an Apostolic Church. On the surface it seems innocuous but it too has implications and unintended consequences like SB1062. Initially I was upset that a pastor was writing legislation for himself. Until *I* read the bill.... 

On the surface, HB 2481 is trying to put "protections" in place for "religious" leaders who may not want to "solemnize a marriage". It is being presented as a bill to protect religious leaders from having to perform marriage they may not want to do. Sound familiar? 

Video: Tucson couple joins lawsuit to legalize same sex marriage in Arizona

KGUN-TV, Tucsion, ArizonaAs the SB 1062 battle wages on, another fight is pushing Arizona to the front lines of the gay rights debate. Jeffrey Ferst and Peter Bramley are the seventh same sex couple to join a mass lawsuit, challenging Arizona's ban on same sex marriage. They are the only Tucson couple to do so. "We believe in each other.  We believe in our marriage," said Ferst.  "So it's very easy for us to take this step and go public because somebody needs to do it." That suit was first filed in January. Both Ferst and Bramley say joining the pool of plaintiffs, as SB 1062 comes to a head, underscores the importance of their fight.

Gov. Brewer's Delay in Action Is Now Causing Conventions to be Pulled from Arizona

HNBAThe HNBA announced today that it has pulled its 40th Annual Convention previously scheduled for Phoenix, Arizona in September 2015.

On Monday, February 24th, the HNBA denounced the Arizona legislature’s passage of SB 1062.  The HNBA also called for Governor Jan Brewer to veto the legislation and still hopes that she will do so.  As set forth in its February 24th press release, SB 1062 discriminates against members of Arizona’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.  

The proposed legislation also impacts other citizens that are either traveling through Arizona or that are doing business or have business interests in the state.  Accordingly, the HNBA’s Board of Governors voted unanimously to immediately pull the Annual Convention. 

Tucson couple joins suit to overturn gay marriage ban

Arizona Daily StarOn a recent afternoon, a couple walked up to the clerk’s counter at Pima County Superior Court seeking a marriage license. Once there, however, they struggled to fill out the marriage license application because Peter Bramley and Jeffrey Ferst are both men. The state of Arizona doesn’t allow same-sex marriage, nor does it recognize such marriages performed in other states. “They were very nice,” Ferst said of the clerk’s office employees. Bramley, 59, president of a public relations and marketing firm, and Ferst, 58, an artist, first crossed out the word “bride” on the application and replaced it with “groom.” The court’s staff members said they couldn’t accept the document because it had been altered, but offered to let them fill out the form again with one of the men filling in the category for bride. Bramley opted for the designation. However, Ferst and Bramley did not get married at the courthouse that day. The couple have since joined in a lawsuit filed in January that challenges Arizona’s same-sex-marriage ban

Tucson Couple Joins Lawsuit - Peter Bramley and Jeff Ferst

KVOA-TVA local couple has joined a federal lawsuit that challenges Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage. Peter Bramley and Jeff erst are joining six other Arizona couples to try and overturn the state's voter-approved law. Back in 2008, more than 56 percent of Arizona voters approved a change to the state constitution, defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Bramley and Ferst were married in California last October, but now want Arizona to acknowledge it. "We wanted our marriage to be recognized the same as any other marriage is," Ferst said. The two joined the lawsuit in hopes of overturning Arizona's constitution, which prevents them from enjoying the many benefits of marriage.

Backlash Against Arizona Anti-Gay Bill

Video Segment: Backlash Against Arizona Anti-Gay Bill.  Lawsuit against gay parents claiming that such a relationship harms children.

We Need Your Help Now!

Without too much fanfare, our state legislator has passed the so-called Religious Freedom Bill.  Under the mask of a mis-leading title, the bill will allow businesses and employers to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of religious belief and sexual orientation.

Can you call Governor Brewer at 602.542.4331 or 520.628.6580 and ask her not to sign the SB1062/HB2153 bills? 

The Ungodly View of Religious Freedom

Arizona RepublicNow comes the latest from the Sue-Us-It-Ain’t-Our-Money Republican-controlled Arizona legislature. The state Senate has passed SB 1062, which simply put would allow business owners to discriminate against gays – and others – under the guise of exercising their religious beliefs. Critics of the legislation call it a “license to discriminate.” That’s understating it. Imagine the potential abuse when anyone in a business can refuse to accommodate a potential customer because doing so somehow infringes on his faith. Only in Arizona would lawmakers pass such an ungodly law in the name of religious freedom.

3TV Interview with Clark Rowley and David Chaney

Clark Rowley and David ChaneyNow that the revised complaint has been filed with the State of Arizona, David and Clark explain their reasons for pursuing and working with the other couples for the success of this lawsuit.

Two Flagstaff couples join same-sex lawsuit

Arizona Daily sunTwo Flagstaff couples have joined a federal class-action lawsuit seeking to overturn Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage.

An amended complaint filed in U.S. District Court by two Flagstaff attorneys Monday added Meagan and Natalie Metz, Renee Kaminski and Robin Reece to a lawsuit asking the federal courts to declare Arizona’s laws against same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

The Metzes, who are legally married in the state of Washington, filed an application in Coconino County Superior Court for an Arizona marriage license so their marriage would be recognized in this state. That application was denied under a law passed by the Arizona Legislature in 1996 that made same-sex marriages the only exception to a state law recognizing legal marriages performed outside Arizona as valid.

TV 12 Report - Flagstaff Couples Joining Suit

Flagstaff CouplesFlagstaff couples now joining lawsuit.

TV3 Interview with Shawn Aiken - Response to Holder
TV3 Shawn AikenAttorney General Eric Holder says he is set to extend the federal government's recognition of same-sex marriages even in the 34 states that don't consider it legal. Listen to Attorney Shawn Aiken's response and how it affects the couples law suit with the State of Arizona to change the State's constitution.

Courage - Glenn Gullickson, Echo Magazine Managing Editor

Glenn GullicksonGlenn Gullickson write in Echo Magazine, January 30, 2014, "With the Winter Olympics in the spotlight, the LGBT community watches Sochi, Russia, and wonders if athletes will make a courageous gesture in support of LGBT rights in a country where laws oppress the gay community.

It's another reminder that despite some shortcomings, Americans are part of a pretty great system that's sometimes taken for granted. It's a system that still needs improvement, but it offers methods to make changes.

But even at home it still takes courage to stand up for LGBT rights. ..."

Arizona same-sex couples challenge state laws

KPCCAcross the country the legal landscape for same-sex marriage is changing, and fast. In the Southwest in recent weeks, courts in New Mexico and Utah have delivered victories to gay marriage proponents. Now in neighboring Arizona, some gay and lesbian couples are challenging their state’s definition of marriage

Same-Sex Couples Challenging Arizona Marriage Laws

Texas Public RadioAcross the country the legal landscape for same-sex marriage is changing, and fast. In the Southwest in recent weeks, courts in New Mexico and Utah have delivered victories to gay marriage proponents. Now in neighboring Arizona, some gay and lesbian couples are challenging their state’s definition of marriage. From the Fronteras Desk in Phoenix, Jude Joffe-Block reports

NPR All Things Considered - January 17, 2014

FronterasFriday, January 17, 2014 - All Things Considered. Marriage Equality Segment by NPR Senior Field Correspondent Jude Joffe-Block.

Echo Magazine - January 16-19, 2014

Echo MagazineThe attorney representing four gay couples challenging Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage in federal district court said he hopes that there will be a decision in the case this year. "It's time for this issue to be decided in Arizona," Shawn K. Aiken said about the class action lawsuit he filed Jan. 6 in U.S. District Court in Phoenix. Aiken is representing three male couples and one female couple in a bid to legalize same-sex marriage by overturning Arizona's one man-one woman constitutional definition of marriage approved by voters in 2008. In the brief filed with the court, Aiken said that it's expected that the same-sex marriage issue will eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Arizona Republic - EJ Montini - First-class people; secondclass citizens

AZ Central Logo - The Arizona RepublicEJ Montini writes, "They look like us. They have jobs like us. Drive cars like us. They live in our neighborhoods. They go to the same grocery stores, restaurants and movie theaters. Their kids attend the same schools as our kids. They work hard. They pay taxes. They vote. They’re first-class people, and they’re wondering why we keep treating them like second-class citizens. “Yes, that’s the heart of it,” said attorney Shawn Aiken. “This is discrimination, and that’s why you take the issue to court.”  Last week four same-sex couples, two of them with children, filed a class-action lawsuit challenging Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage."

MSNBC Shawn Aiken - Friday, January 10, 2014

MSNBCInterview from Friday, January 10, 2014, with Shawn Aiken, lawyer for four Arizona couples who filed a law suit against the State of Arizona for equal rights regarding same-sex marriage.  See for more details.

Eight, Arizona PBS - Horizon - 5:30 pm - January 9, 2014

PBS Channel EightSame-sex Marriage Lawsuit  in Arizona 
Eight, Arizona PBS - Horizon - 5:30 pm - January 9, 2014

Ted Simons interviews Shawn Aiken, lawyer for the Plaintiffs

Four same-sex Arizona couples have filed a suit against Arizona’s law that restricts marriage to opposite-sex couples. Shawn Aiken, the plaintiff’s attorney, will talk about the suit.

Slow, steady campaign for same-sex marriage in Arizona

The BuglePHOENIX -- Gays hoping to wed in Arizona should not look for legal relief soon.

The four couples who filed suit Monday to void Arizona's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages are not asking U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick for an immediate injunction. That could have forced the issue into court within weeks.

Instead, attorney Shawn Aiken is biding his time. He wants a full-blown trial on the merits -- and, then, hopefully, a permanent injunction requiring the state to start issuing marriage licenses to gays.

But that could take months -- or even longer.

At the same time, Sedwick's willingness to strike down both a long-standing state law and a 2008 voter-approved state constitutional amendment could turn on what is now playing out in Denver. That is where the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is going to hear arguments about a federal judge's ruling in Utah saying that gays can legally wed in that state.

Lawsuit Filed in Arizona Challenges Gay Marriage Ban

The Christian PostFour couples in Arizona filed a class action lawsuit against the state this week, challenging its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The arguments employed in the lawsuit reportedly reflect the lawsuit that ultimately overturned Utah's ban on same-sex marriage. "We are asking for relief on behalf of all married and unmarried same-sex couples in Arizona," attorney Shawn Aiken, who is representing the four same-sex couples in the lawsuit, said in a statement. "Now is the time to take up this issue." The lawsuit reportedly argues that the Supreme Court's June ruling, which struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act and thus awarded some federal benefits to same-sex couples, should be reason for Arizona to legalize same-sex marriage. The rationale behind this argument is that same-sex couples receiving federal benefits should also have their union recognized by individual states. "We're saying, 'Look, follow that rationale and make the same declaration as to the law in Arizona,' " Aiken said, according to the Arizona Republic. "It's that simple." Those being represented in the recent Arizona lawsuit include Joseph Connolly and Terrel Pochert from Pinal County, Suzanne Cummins and Holly Mitchell of Maricopa County, Clark Rowley and David Chaney of Maricopa County, and Mason Hite and Christopher Devine, also of Maricopa County.

Marriage Equality in the Courts - now includes Arizona

Blog for ArizonaThe Supreme Court on Monday morning put on hold a federal judge’s decision striking down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, thus stopping a wave of such marriages across the state.  The Court’s order reinstates the state ban and will keep it intact until after a federal appeals court has ruled on it.

The order appeared to have the support of the full Court, since there were no noted dissents.  The ruling can be interpreted as an indication that the Court wants to have further exploration in lower courts of the basic constitutional question of state power to limit marriage to a man and a woman.  Had it refused the state’s request for delay, that would have left at least the impression that the Court was comfortable allowing same-sex marriages to go forward in the thirty-three states where they are still not permitted by state law.

The order, however, cannot be interpreted as a dependable indication of how the Court will rule on the issue when it finally decides to do so directly.

Lawyer Hopes Ariz. Marriage Suit Gets Decided in 2014

Edge on the NetPHOENIX - An attorney who filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Arizona’s same-sex marriage ban said Tuesday he hopes to get a decision from a federal judge before the U.S. Supreme Court rules on any similar challenge from another state.

The lawsuit filed by four same-sex couples who live in Arizona came Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court halted same-sex marriages in Utah while a federal appeals court considers the long-term question of whether gay couples have a right to wed in that state.

The nation’s highest court didn’t rule on the merits of the Utah case or on same-sex marriage bans in general, but is expected to eventually decide the issue.

Arizona gay marriage ban challenged

The Washington BladePHOENIX—Four gay couples on Jan. 6 filed a federal class-action lawsuit that seeks to overturn Arizona’s same-sex marriage ban.

“We are asking for relief on behalf of all married and unmarried same-sex couples in Arizona,” attorney Shawn Aiken told the Arizona Republic. “Now is the time to take up this issue.”

The lawsuit names Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne as defendants.

Arizona voters in 2008 approved a state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The U.S. Supreme Court in June declined to hear Brewer’s appeal that asked the justices to allow her to ban state employees from receiving benefits for same-sex partners.

Arizona's Gay Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional

Top Class ActionsOn Monday, four same-sex Arizona couples filed a class action lawsuit, claiming the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

In the class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs cite the U.S. Supreme Court’s June U.S. v. Windsor decision, which found a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. As a result of this decision, legally-wed gay couples can file joint federal tax returns and are entitled to survivor benefits.

Marriage equality suit filed in Arizona

MSNBC LogoThree-hundred-and-sixty miles away from the conservative stronghold of Utah – where the U.S. Supreme Court left in legal limbo hundreds of same-sex marriages on Monday – four gay couples in Arizona began the courtroom battle of changing another red state’s marriage laws. In a federal class-action lawsuit filed Monday, plaintiffs argue Arizona’s 17-year-old ban on same-sex marriage violates gay couples’ constitutional rights to equal protection and due process under the 14th Amendment. The case is one of dozens of suits filed across more than 15 states against laws prohibiting gay couples from marrying, and one of the first federal challenges in the 9th Circuit since the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for federal agencies to begin recognizing same-sex marriages. That case, United States v. Windsor, which gutted the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA,) as well as two more landmark decisions, Loving v. Virginia, which struck down bans on interracial marriage, and Lawrence v. Texas, which invalidated anti-sodomy laws, all play significant roles in the Arizona complaint. Its language also reflects what marriage equality advocates and opponents alike believe to be inevitable–that the nation’s highest court will soon have to answer the question of whether any ban on same-sex marriage falls in line with the U.S. Constitution.

KVOA-TV Lawyer hopes marriage suit gets decided in 2014

KVOA-TVAn attorney who filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Arizona's same-sex marriage ban says he hopes to get a decision from a federal judge before the U.S. Supreme Court rules on any similar challenge from another state. The lawsuit came Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court halted same-sex marriages in Utah while a federal appeals court considers the long-term question of whether gay couples have a right to wed in Utah. The Supreme Court didn't rule on the merits of the Utah case or on same-sex marriage bans, but is expected to eventually decide the issue. Attorney Shawn Aiken says that he hopes to get a decision this year in his clients' challenge to the Arizona law and believes the Supreme Court wouldn't likely resolve the issue until 2015

Tucson News Now - Lawyer hopes marriage suit gets decided in 2014

Tucson News NowAn attorney who tiled a lawsuit seeking to overturn Arizona's same-sex marriage ban says he hopes to geta decision from a federal judge before the U.S. Supreme Court rules on any similar challenge from another state.

The lawsuit came Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court halted same-sex marriages in Utah while a federal appeals court considers the long-term question of whether gay couples have a right to wed in Utah.

The Supreme Court didn't rule on the merits ofthe Utah case or on same-sexmarriage bans, but is expected to eventually decide the issue.

Attorney Shawn Aiken says that he hopes to get a decision this year in his clients' challenge to the Arizona law and believes the Supreme Court wouldn't likely resolve the issue until 2015.

Arizona Couples Sue for Marriage Equality

The AdvocateFour Arizona same-sex couples have filed a suit in federal court seeking to strike down their state’s constitutional provision limiting marriage to male-female couples.

The suit, filed Monday, names Arizona governor Jan Brewer, state attorney general Tom Horne, and Maricopa County Superior Court clerk Michael Jeanes as defendants, reports Phoenix radio station KTAR. Maricopa County includes Phoenix, the state’s capital and largest city.

Suit to overturn Arizona gay-marriage ban filed

Arizona Daily StarHoward Fischer with the Capitol Media Services writes in the Arizona Star, "PHOENIX — Gays hoping to wed in Arizona should not look for legal relief soon.

The four couples who filed suit Monday to void Arizona’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages are not asking U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick for an immediate injunction. That could have forced the issue into court within weeks.

Class-action lawsuit challenges Arizona marriage equality ban

Equality on TrialRe-write of the story that orginally appeard on the KTAR Radio website in Phoenix, Arizona:

Four Arizona same-sex couples filed a lawsuit yesterday in federal district court seeking to invalidate the state’s ban on marriage equality.

Four Gay Couples Challen Arizona's Gay Marriage Ban

On Top MagazineA lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of four gay and lesbian couples challenges the constitutionality of Arizona's gay marriage ban. Arizona voters in 2008 approved Proposition 102, which limits marriage to heterosexual couples, two years after rejecting Proposition 107, which sought to prohibit gay couples from marriage, civil unions and possibly domestic partnerships.

Suit filed to allow same-sex marriages in Arizona

AZ Family TV3Jared Dillingham of 3TV writes, "PHOENIX (AP) -- Four couples have filed a class-action lawsuit seeking to make same-sex marriage legal in Arizona. The suit filed Monday claims a voter-approved ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. It seeks to allow same-sex couples to be married and recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states. "I think most people expect that this issue will eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court," said attorney Shawn Aiken, who filed the suit. "It would make our lives better and simpler and easier," plaintiff Mason Hite told 3TV. Hite and his husband, Chris Devine, were married in California, but have lived together in Phoenix for more than a decade."

Suit filed to allow same-sex marriages in Arizona

The State - South CarolinaSouth Carolina's Homepage, The State, reports: PHOENIX — Four couples have filed a class-action lawsuit seeking to make same-sex marriage legal in Arizona.

The suit filed Monday claims a voter-approved ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. It seeks to allow same-sex couples to be married and recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states.

"I think most people expect that this issue will eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court," attorney Shawn Aiken, who filed the suit, told Phoenix radio station KTAR ( ).

The suit names Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne among the defendants. There was no immediate response Monday night from either Brewer's of Horne's offices.

Suit filed to allow same-sex marriages in Arizona

The Arizona RepublicFour Arizona same-sex couples are challenging Arizona’s definition of marriage as between only one man and one woman.

Their federal class-action lawsuit echoes arguments used in a challenge to Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. The Utah case was thrown into legal limbo Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court halted same-sex marriages in the state while the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers the arguments.

“We are asking for relief on behalf of all married and unmarried same-sex couples in Arizona,” said attorney Shawn Aiken. “Now is the time to take up this issue.”

Suit Filed to Allow Same-Sex Marriages in Arizona - ABC 15, Phoenix

ABC 15 NewsPHOENIX - Four couples have filed a class-action lawsuit seeking to make same-sex marriage legal in Arizona.

Rob Hunter on Gay Marriage

This segment includes Rob Hunter's opinion on gay marriage.


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Same-Sex Marriage and ChildrenSame-Sex Marriage and Children is the first book to bring together historical, social science, and legal considerations to comprehensively respond to the objections to same-sex marriage that are based on the need to promote so-called "responsible procreation" and child welfare. Carlos A. Ball places the current marriage debates within a broader historical context by exploring how the procreative and child welfare claims used to try to deny same-sex couples the opportunity to marry are similar to earlier arguments used to defend interracial marriage bans, laws prohibiting disabled individuals from marrying, and the differential treatment of children born out of wedlock. Ball also draws a link between welfare reform and same-sex marriage bans by explaining how conservative proponents have defended both based on the need for the government to promote responsible procreation among heterosexuals. 

In addition, Ball examines the social science studies relied on by opponents of same-sex marriage and explains in a highly engaging and accessible way why they do not support the contention that biological status and parental gender matter when it comes to parenting. He also explores the relevance of the social science studies on the children of lesbians and gay men to the question of whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. In doing so, the book looks closely at the gay marriage cases that recently reached the Supreme Court and explains why the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans cannot be defended on the basis that maintaining marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution helps to promote the best interests of children. Same-Sex Marriage and Children will help lawyers, law professors, judges, legislators, social and political scientists, historians, and child welfare officials-as well as general readers interested in matters related to marriage and families-understand the empirical and legal issues behind the intersection of same-sex marriage and children's welfare.

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