Same-sex marriage in Arizona
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U.S. state of Arizona since October 17, 2014. The state had denied marriage rights to same-sex couples by statute since 1996 and by an amendment to its State Constitution approved by voters in 2008. Two lawsuits in federal court that challenged the state's policies ended with a decision that the ban was unconstitutional and the state did not appeal that ruling.
- 1 Same-sex marriage
- 2 Domestic partnerships and civil unions
- 3 See also
- 4 References
In 1975, the Arizona State Legislature passed an emergency bill defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman after the Arizona Supreme Court invalidated a same-sex marriage license granted to a couple.
In 1996, the Arizona state legislators passed a ban on same-sex marriage and the recognition of same-sex marriages performed outside of the state. Republican Governor Fife Symington, whose victory in the 1994 election was based in part on campaigning against his opponent's support of same-sex marriage, signed the bill into law.
Arizona voters have twice considered amendments to the State Constitution that would deny marriage rights to same-sex couples. On November 7, 2006, voters defeated Proposition 107, a state initiated constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage and any legal status similar to marriage, by a margin of 48.2% to 51.8%, departing from the national trend that saw seven other states approve similar constitutional amendments the same day. 
On May 12, 2008, the Arizona House of Representatives voted 33 to 25 in favor of Proposition 102, a constitutional amendment which defines a valid marriage in Arizona as the union of one man and one woman. On June 25, 2008, the Arizona State Senate, by a vote of 14 to 11 in favor, passed the amendment. On November 4, 2008, Arizona voters passed Proposition 102 by a vote of 56.2% in favor to 43.8% against.
On June 17, 2013, Equal Marriage Arizona filed an initiative to present voters with an amendment that would substitute a gender-neutral definition of marriage in place of the one added to the State Constitution in 2008. It needed to gather 259,213 valid signatures by July 3, 2014, to have the initiative appear on that November's ballot. The group suspended its efforts in September 2013, announcing that "The various LGBT advocacy groups in the state and nationally announced they weren't going to throw their support behind the initiative. Without their help, we aren't able to do it." Other groups contended that 2016, a presidential election year, would prove a better opportunity.
There were two lawsuits regarding the recognition of same-sex marriage in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. Both were consolidated by U.S. District Judge John W. Sedwick, who ruled in favour of a right to same-sex marriage:
Connolly v. Roche
On January 6, 2014, in Connolly v. Roche, originally Connolly v. Brewer and later Connolly v. Jeanes, four same-sex couples filed a class-action lawsuit in district court seeking to have Arizona's definition of marriage ruled unconstitutional. Two of the plaintiff couples were married in California and two have adopted children through Arizona's public foster-care system. The amended complaint named as defendants three county court clerks acting in their official capacities and added two couples from the Flagstaff area and one couple from the Tucson area for a total of seven couples.
Majors v. Horne
On March 13, Lambda Legal filed a suit in the same court on behalf of seven same-sex couples and a widow and a widower, each the surviving spouse of a same-sex couple. Several are the parents of minor children and most married in other states, including California, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and Washington. The case was Majors v. Horne. On September 12, U.S. District Judge John Sedgwick ordered that the state record a death certificate for plaintiff George Martinez as the husband of Fred McQuire.
District court ruling in both cases
On October 17, 2014, U.S. District Judge John W. Sedwick, ruling in both cases, declared Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and enjoined the state from enforcing its ban, effective immediately. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said the state would not appeal the ruling and instructed county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
On November 18, Arizona announced it would appeal the district court rulings to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The state solicitor, Robert Ellman, said the state hoped to avoid paying the original plaintiffs' attorneys fees should the U.S. Supreme Court uphold bans on same-sex marriage. On December 1, all parties asked the court to suspend proceedings pending action by the U.S. Supreme Court in similar cases from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit agreed to that request the next day, suspending proceedings until March 25, 2015.
Both appeals were rejected in September and December 2015, respectively. The state was ordered to pay $200,000 in the Connolly case and $300,000 in the Majors case in attorneys fees for the plaintiffs.
Beatie v. Beatie
On August 13, 2014, Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that Arizona's constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage did not prevent the trial court from granting a divorce in a case in which one of the spouses was a transgender individual and had been married in a jurisdiction which had recognized their marriage as consisting of the union of one man and one woman.
|% support||% opposition||% no opinion|
|Public Religion Research Institute||April 5-December 23, 2017||1,444||?||63%||28%||9%|
|Public Religion Research Institute||May 18, 2016-January 10, 2017||2,042||?||62%||28%||10%|
|Public Religion Research Institute||April 29, 2015-January 7, 2016||1,560||?||56%||36%||8%|
|Public Religion Research Institute||April 2, 2014-January 4, 2015||952||?||58%||33%||9%|
|New York Times/CBS News/YouGov||September 20–October 1, 2014||2,808 likely voters||± 2.6%||47%||40%||13%|
|Public Policy Polling||February 28-March 2, 2014||870 voters||± 3.3%||49%||41%||10%|
|Rocky Mountain Poll||April 3–16, 2013||700 households||± 3.8%||55%||35%||10%|
|Public Policy Polling||November 17–20, 2011||500 voters||± 4.4%||44%||45%||12%|
|Northern Arizona University||February–March, 2004||410 residents||?||?||60%||?|
|Northern Arizona University||October 3–20, 2003||610 random residents||± 4%||42%||54%||4%|
Domestic partnerships and civil unions
There have been several proposals to promote a voter initiative legalizing civil unions by groups of private citizens, including one gay rights activist from the United Kingdom. Polls have indicated that a measure creating the status civil union statewide would have a high likelihood of passage. In 2010, Equality Arizona, which opposes such a "separate-but-equal" status, announced it was considering other ways to respond to the passage of Arizona Proposition 102.
State employee benefits
Arizona began providing benefits to same-sex partners of state employees in 2008. A 2009 statute made domestic partners of state employees ineligible for health benefits, but a group of state employees in same-sex relationships persuaded a federal District Court to issue an injunction preventing the law from taking effect. The statute and that injunction were the subject of a lawsuit, Diaz v. Brewer. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the injunction and the Supreme Court rejected certiorari on June 27, 2013. The Ninth Circuit certified the lawsuit as a class action in December 2013, allowing the injunction to cover all similarly situated couples.
Local civil unions
On June 4, 2013, the Bisbee City Council approved an ordinance legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples; it took effect 30 days later. On June 19, 2013, the Tucson City Council unanimously approved a civil unions ordinance. On July 5, the first civil union was established in Bisbee.
The councils of several towns and cities followed Bisbee and Tucson in adopting a civil union ordinance: Jerome on July 30, Sedona on September 24, Clarkdale on November 12, and Cottonwood on December 17. A proposal for such an ordinance failed in Camp Verde in February 2014.
Local domestic partnerships
The cities of Flagstaff, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Tucson, along with Pima County, offer domestic partnerships. The city of Mesa recognizes domestic partners of city employees provided that they "have executed a domestic partner affidavit satisfactory to [the city]."
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- Governments Offering Benefits
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