Americans for Marriage Equality

State ResourcesArizona

Status: Marriage equality.

In Connelly v. Brewer, seven same-sex couples, represented by private counsel, challenged Arizona's marriage ban in federal court. The plaintiffs argued that denying them access to marriage violated their rights to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. Their complaint was filed in January 2014.

In Majors v. Roche, seven same-sex couples and two surviving spouses, represented by Lambda Legal, challenged Arizona's ban in federal court. Their complaint was filed on March 12, 2014.

On October 7, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down marriage bans in both Idaho and Nevada. The following week, Lambda Legal asked a federal judge to immediately strike down the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, given that Arizona falls under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit.

On October 17, U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick struck down the state’s ban. Soon after Sedwick’s decision, Attorney General Tom Horne announced that he would not challenge it, and went further to say that such a challenge would be unethical in his view. In a statement, Horne said it would be an ethical violation for him to continue defending a law that has no chance of survival “for the purposes of delay rather than to achieve a result.” Same-sex couples were able to begin marrying that same day.