Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gay Marriage Becomes Legal in Arizona, Couples Wed

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gay Marriage Becomes Legal in Arizona, Couples Wed

Article excerpt

PHOENIX * Same-sex marriage became legal Friday in Arizona, a sharp turn in a state that became ground zero in the clash over gay rights less than a year ago when the state Legislature passed a bill allowing businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians.

Same-sex couples lined up to marry at the courthouse in downtown Phoenix immediately after Attorney General Tom Horne announced that the state was giving up its fight.

David Larance and Kevin Patterson, who were among the couples who sued to overturn Arizona's same-sex marriage ban, reflected on the effect of the ruling. "The best way I can describe it, is that it gives me such peace of mind," Patterson said, choking back tears.

Shortly after, they were married to cheers on the courthouse lawn. "This is a great day," Patterson said. "I never thought this would happen in Arizona."

The decision bookends two weeks of nonstop court rulings across the nation, with judges striking down bans on same-sex unions and conservative state officials pushing back in a struggle that has increasingly gone in favor of gay marriage supporters.

Since Oct. 6 when the U.S. Supreme Court let stand rulings that struck down same-sex marriage bans same-sex couples have begun to wed in several new states.

In the West, for example, couples have since tied the knot in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho and Nevada, making Montana the lone state under the jurisdiction of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals where same-sex couples can't legally wed.

The federal government, meanwhile, announced Friday morning that it will recognize same-sex marriages in seven new states and extend federal benefits to those couples, which brings the total number of states where gay and lesbian unions have federal recognition to 26, plus the District of Columbia.

Based on the flurry of recent court decisions, including separate decisions Friday that apply to Arizona and Alaska, more than 30 states now extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Arizona's governor, Jan Brewer, who has clashed with President Barack Obama over immigration and border security, said in a statement that federal courts had gone against the will of voters and eroded the state's power. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.