Arizona Hub

Eric Holder Announces Federal Government Will Recognize Gay Marriages in Six More States


U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the federal government will recognize same-sex married couples in six additional states: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Last week, Holder made a similar announcement regarding federal recognition of same-sex marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Colorado. 

Via press release:

The Attorney General’s announcement means couples married in these states will now qualify for a range of federal benefits, including those administered by the Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs.

“With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving of full equality for all Americans,” the Attorney General said. “We are acting as quickly as possible with agencies throughout the government to ensure that same-sex married couples in these states receive the fullest array of benefits allowable under federal law.”

In addition, the Attorney General also announced that the Department of Justice has determined it can legally recognize marriages performed in Indiana and Wisconsin this past June. These marriages were performed immediately after federal district courts ruled that those states’ bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, but subsequent developments created confusion about the status of those marriages. Based on the Attorney General’s announcement, however, those couples married during that period will now have their unions recognized by the federal government.

Governor Jan Brewer Has Meltdown Over Marriage Equality in Arizona


Governor Jan Brewer is not happy that marriage equality has come to Arizona.

Said Brewer in a statement, following today's federal court ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban:

In 2008, Arizona voters approved a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Now, with their rulings, the federal courts have again thwarted the will of the people and further eroded the authority of states to regulate and uphold our laws.

“It is not only disappointing, but also deeply troubling, that unelected federal judges can dictate the laws of individual states, create rights based on their personal policy preferences and supplant the will of the people in an area traditionally left to the states for more than two hundred years. As Justice Scalia opined, such action is tantamount to ‘an assertion of judicial supremacy over the people’ and is an image of the judiciary ‘that would have been unrecognizable to those who wrote and ratified our national charter.’

“Simply put, courts should not be in the business of making and changing laws based on their personal agendas. It is not the role of the judiciary to determine that same-sex marriages should be allowed. Historically and traditionally, that power belongs to the states, and to the people. If society wants to recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions, that decision should be made through our elected representatives or at the ballot – not the courts.”

Marriage Equality Arrives in Arizona: PHOTOS


With a federal judge striking down Arizona's gay marriage ban today and Attorney General Tom Horne announcing he would not be appealing the decision, marriage equality has offically arrived in the Grand Canyon State. 

Pictured below are Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey, two of the plaintiffs in the state's gay marriage case. 

Two more photos, AFTER THE JUMP...

Also, this:

[top photo via Twitter]

Continue reading "Marriage Equality Arrives in Arizona: PHOTOS" »

Arizona AG Pushes Back Against Marriage Equality But Concedes Ban is Unconstitutional: VIDEO

Arizona's Attorney General Tom Horne appears to have conceded that marriage equality is coming to Arizona, but he is pushing back as much as possible before that happens, Arizona Central reports:

HorneIn legal documents filed Thursday, Republican Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne wrote that he believes a recent appeals-court ruling striking down similar marriage bans in other states applies to Arizona. But he asked U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick to wait to overturn the law until the appeals court issues its legal mandate.

The Arizona Daily Star adds:

What Horne is arguing to U.S. District Judge John Sedwick is that the appellate court issued, but then withdrew, its “mandate” to Nevada and Idaho to start issuing marriage licenses.

While both states have, in fact, started allowing gays to wed, Horne told Sedwick he cannot legally rely on the 9th Circuit ruling to void the Arizona law — at least not yet, calling any effort to void Arizona’s laws based on the 9th Circuit ruling “a gamble.”

[Lambda Legal attorney Jennifer] Pizer, however, said Horne and his staff have not identified a single issue that would make Arizona’s ban on gay marriage legally different than the ones already overturned.

“And yet these lawyers working for Tom Horne are blocking the door to prevent this particular group of people from being able to enter the room where everybody else lives,” Pizer said. “It’s hardly an honorable position for the state.”

Horne referred all calls to Rob Ellman, the state’s solicitor general, who works for him. Ellman would not comment.

Watch a report from 3TV, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Arizona AG Pushes Back Against Marriage Equality But Concedes Ban is Unconstitutional: VIDEO" »

Lambda Legal Asks Federal Judge to Immediately Strike Down Arizona's Gay Marriage Ban

On the heels of last week's Ninth Circuit decision striking down Nevada and Idaho's gay marriage bans, Lambda Legal has filed for summary judgment on behalf of Nelda Majors, Karen Bailey and other couples in a case challenging Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage. 

Said Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Jennifer C. Pizer:

Karen Bailey and Nelda MajorsNelda and Karen [pictured] have been waiting since the Eisenhower Administration; the time is now. None of these loving and committed couples should have to wait even one day longer for the equal treatment that the Constitution promises. The indelible writing is on the wall, both with the 9th Circuit ruling and last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to review circuit court rulings out of the 4th, 7th and 10th Circuits striking down similar bans in five states nationwide. Equality plus liberty add up to marriage for same-sex couples here in Arizona, too.

The federal judge in question, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick, last month ordered Arizona to recognize the marriage of a gay man who lost his spouse to cancer last month and was subsequently denied death benefits because of the state's same-sex marriage ban.

Read the filing below:

AZ Secretary of State Candidate Blasts Opponent's Vote For Anti-gay Religious Discrimination Bill in New Ad: WATCH

Az ad

Terry Goddard, the Democratic Secretary of State candidate in Arizona, has a new ad out blasting his opponent state Sen. Michele Reagan on her vote earlier this year for the controversial bill that would have allowed religious-based discrimination against LGBT citizens (the bill was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer). 

The ad, titled "Fairness," tells the story of Melanie Puskar-Blakely and Tonya Blakely and how their family would have been treated as second class citizens if Reagan had had it her way.  


Continue reading "AZ Secretary of State Candidate Blasts Opponent's Vote For Anti-gay Religious Discrimination Bill in New Ad: WATCH" »


Towleroad - Blogged