Lawyer Referral Service

LRS Blog


Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on May 8, 2014

The movement for gay-rights continues its strong push in Arizona, where advocates are rallying against the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages. Many advocates in the state feel Arizona is ready to turn the page on their nationally deemed conservative reputation on gay rights.

Arizona recently made national news earlier this year with controversial Senate Bill 1062. The bill would have made it legal for business owners to refuse service to gay individuals on the grounds of religious freedom. After the bill was overwhelmingly rejected, it seems to have done more to invigorate gay-rights activists in its wake.

Seven AZ same-sex partners and several other surviving same-sex spouses have filed a joint lawsuit that directly challenges Arizona’s marriage ban. Originally organized by the national gay-rights organization Lambda Legal and Phoenix-based law firm Perkins Coie, this current lawsuit arrives on the heels of a familiar challenge issued in January.

The lawsuit raises an objection over what they deem a violation of Arizona’s statute and Constitution, both of which define marriage as between one man and one woman. The advocates maintain this is a direct violation of the equal-protection and due-process rights originally parented by the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

Advocacy groups are taking additional steps to change the culture of same-sex marriage in Arizona. Equality Arizona are one such group, currently introducing the Why Marriage Matters Arizona campaign with a goal to begin garnering public support. The aim is to drum up enough support prior to a 2016 ballot measure that would seek out additional rights for same-sex couples within Arizona.

The situation in Arizona is echoing around the US among nearly two dozen different lawsuits, all of which are challenging the sanctions set in place by same-sex marriage laws. The Appeals Court will begin hearing arguments later this summer.