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Suit Filed To Overturn Arizona Marriage Ban

Jim Burroway

January 7th, 2014

Four couples have filed suit in Federal District Court in Phoenix, claiming that a longstanding state law and the 2008 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violate the equal protection and due process provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

“A state law that singles out homosexuals for disfavored treatment and imposes inequality on them” violates the principle of equal protection under the law, he argued to Sedwick. He said that is precisely the effect of Arizona’s restrictions, denying gays the right to marry a chosen partner and denying them the “benefits and protections of marriage.”

The lawsuit also asks the court to compel the state of Arizona to recognize marriages from other states.

But Aiken has a fallback position, at least for two of the couples who were legally wed in California but reside in Arizona. Two of the couples are from Maricopa County and one is from Pinal County. The residence of the fourth couple was not available.

He said the U.S. Constitution already requires Arizona to honor opposite-sex marriages performed in other states. Aiken said Arizona has no legal right to decide same-sex marriages performed legally elsewhere are not entitled to legal recognition.

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