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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Some Christian Churches Say 'Stay Away, We Don't Want You'

Joe Connolly and Terry Pochert with George Takei
Joe Connolly and Terry Pochert with George Takei at a HRC Gala in 2014.


Saying no to a couple has consequences beyond forcing them to look for another church. It can cause conflict within a couple who wants to be part of a faith community or house of worship. It may ultimately may result in them leaving, noted Terry Pochert, who married his husband, Joe Connolly, in California in 2008.

“When a church says ‘we don’t want you here,’ what you’re finding is mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers are no longer attending that church. In churches that are affirming (of same-sex couples), not just gay people are being welcomed but extended families are starting to come back to church,” Pochert said.

Pochert and Connelly filed suit, Connolly v. Roche, to have their out-of-state wedding recognized by Arizona. Their case, along with Majors v. Jeanes, led to U.S. District Court judge John Sedwick to rule against the state’s ban in October. The defendants in the Connolly case filed an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in November 2014.


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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.

© 2014 Arizona Equality