Karen Bailey and Nelda Majors, a couple since college, explain Thursday why they are part of a newly filed effort to get a federal judge to rule that they have a legal right to wed despite a voter-approved state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.
Credit Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer
After recently being denied marriage licenses, two same-sex Flagstaff couples joined a lawsuit Monday challenging the state’s one-man-one-woman definition of marriage. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the lawsuit seeks to overturn a 2008 voter approved amendment to the state constitution.
A state lawmaker who also is a pastor unveiled legislation today designed to protect him and other religious leaders from being forced to marry same-sex couples. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer explains.
Six years ago Arizona voters narrowly rejected a measure to outlaw not only gay marriage but also civil unions. But in 2008 a scaled-back proposal to solely constitutionally define marriage as between one man and one woman passed on a 56-44 margin. And similar measures have been approved across the nation. That is until this year when voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington approved allowing gays to wed. And Minnesotans rejected a ban on same-sex weddings. With that in mind, Scottsdale Republican Tanner Pritts said he formed Arizona Advocates for Marriage Equality.
A federal court ruling today voiding California's ban on same-sex marriage could eventually affect a similar law here.
In a divided ruling a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the 2008 California initiative banning same sex marriage runs afoul of the equal protection provision of the U.S. Constitution. The court's rulings hold precedent for all Western states, including Arizona, where voters approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage also in 2008.