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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriages (SSM) and LGBT rights In Arizona.


2003 to 2014-OCT:

The path to same-sex marriage in Arizona.

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Throughout this web site, the acronym "LGBT" refers to
Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender persons.

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Arizona was the Number31st state to attain marriage equality.

Overview: The 11 year path to attaining same-sex marriage in Arizona:

The journey began with a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Lawrence v. Texas. The basic question behind the lawsuit was whether a state could create a law that criminalizes behavior merely because it was considered immoral by much of the public. The Court decided by the narrowest of margins (5 to 4) that it could not.

In 2003, the court issued its ruling. It overturned a law in Texas that criminalized sexual behaviors by adult, consensual, same-sex couples in private that were not criminal if the same activity was performed by adult, consensual, opposite-sex couples in private. This court ruling decriminalized such behaviors by same-sex couples throughout the entire U.S.

As predicted by Justice Antonin Scalia at the time, this decision would pave the way to legalizing same-sex marriage.

During 2003, a gay couple launched a lawsuit at the Arizona Court of Appeals in an attempt to attain marriage equality in the state. They lost.

During early 2014, two separate groups of same-sex couples filed a pair of lawsuits in Arizona's federal District Court: Connolly v. Jeans and Majors v. Horne. They sought permission for same-sex couples to marry in the state, and for Arizona to be forced to recognize same-sex marriages solemnized out-of-state.

On 2014-OCT-07, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which has jurisdiction over Arizona and eight other states in the U.S. West ruled in favor of marriage equality for Nevada and Idaho. This made the principle of marriage equality binding throughout the Circuit Court's nine states.

Finally, on Friday, 2014-OCT-17, federal District Court Judge John Sedwick released his ruling in the cases Connolly v. Jeans and Majors v. Horne. As with so many other federal and state court decisions, Judge Sedwick affirmed marriage equality. His ruling was based on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He did not issue a stay in his ruling. The Attorney General decided to not appeal the court''s decision. Same-sex couples started to marry almost immediately.

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Topics contained in this section:

  • Part 1: 2003: The Lawrence v. Texas decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.  2003: The first lawsuit in Arizona fails to achieve marriage equality.

  • Part 2: 2012 to 2014-OCT: Opinion polls. Two lawsuits filed in District Court. Ruling affirms same-sex marriage. Various reactions.

  • Part 3: Part 3: 2014-OCT: More reactions to same-sex marriage. Arizona becomes the 31st state with marriage equality. Reactions.

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Site navigation:

Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > SSM > SSM menu > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > SSM > SSM menu > here

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Copyright © 2003 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2014-OCT-21
Author: B.A. Robinson

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