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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Oct 6, 2014

September marked the first month in Arizona history where gay marriage has been legalized. Last week a federal judge issued an emergency order requiring the state to recognize a California marriage between same-sex partners, Fred McQuire and George Martinez.

Less a social victory and more a peace of mind ruling, McQuire’s partner recently passed away from pancreatic cancer. The circumstances of Arizona law regarding same-sex marriage prevented McQuire from listing his spouse as deceased.

The latest ruling means the couple’s marriage is the only legal of its kind in Arizona. Could this significant development ultimately open the door to more recognized rights among Arizona same-sex couples? It helps to consider national trends.

Gay marriage is winning important rulings around the country in a national trend. It’s currently one of the most active causes, driving advocates out in droves in support for more progressive legislation. While many of these narrow victories are only small developments, they’re still critically important according to state attorneys.

McQuire is among several other same-sex couples involved in one of two separate lawsuits aimed at challenging the state definition of marriage. At present, that definition describes marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

State attorneys highlight that Arizona’s argument maintains the law doesn’t discriminate is baseless. They believe that the reason couples like McQuire and Martinez are predominantly not recognized in marriage is strictly a matter of sexual orientation.

The judge who ruled in favor of McQuire and Martinez will ultimately make the final ruling regarding the same-sex marriage definition lawsuits. This could be enough to finally turn the tide for same-sex couples looking to have their marriages recognized in Arizona or others simply seeking to get married in the first place.

Common belief is the presiding judge in this case will wait until the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issues an opinion regarding similar cases in surrounding states.

Original story reported by AZ Central.