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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Oct 23, 2014

One day following a landmark ruling made by a federal appeals court declaring same-sex marriage restrictions as unconstitutional in Arizona, the US Supreme Court has moved the issue back into a gray area. Arizona was among four other Western states to rule same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional.

Jeremy Zegas, project director for same-sex-marriage advocacy group Why Marriage Matters Arizona, said, “We’re basically in the same place we were yesterday, from a practical standpoint, for same-sex couples in Arizona.” He added, “We’re close, but not quite over the finish line.”

Bans in Idaho and Nevada against same-sex marriage were ruled as a violation to couples’ rights under equal protection provided by the 14th Amendment, as outlined by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals earlier in the week. Arizona’s legal classification is encompassed by the San Francisco-based circuit, meaning whatever the court rules also directly applies to the state.

Idaho has since implored the US Supreme Court for an emergency stoppage to the ruling in order to facilitate a proper appeal – Justice Anthony Kennedy later granted request, although the halt will be temporary. Kennedy notified plaintiffs that they’d need to issue their arguments regarding an unnecessary stoppage by the end of the week. A full court will later determine whether the stoppage will continue.

Same-sex marriage has made tremendous strides in recent years, momentum that only seems to be growing on a national stage. The US Supreme Court announced they will not hear cases challenging restrictions in five states, potentially opening the door for same-sex couples to tie the knot.

Speculation indicates that it would be unlikely that the courts issue a stay in Arizona after lifting same-sex restrictions throughout other cases. Despite the legal tug-of-war, Arizona remains in limbo as same-sex couples await word from Attorney general Tom Horne or US District Judge John Sedwick.

Original story reported by AZ Central.