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Former AZ Attorneys General Join Legal Group Supporting Marriage Equality

PHOTO: Terry Goddard is among the former Arizona attorneys general who have formed an organization of legal professionals who support marriage equality in the Grand Canyon State. Photo courtesy of Terry Goddard.
PHOTO: Terry Goddard is among the former Arizona attorneys general who have formed an organization of legal professionals who support marriage equality in the Grand Canyon State. Photo courtesy of Terry Goddard.
August 7, 2014

PHOENIX – Two former Arizona attorneys general are part of a recently formed organization supporting marriage equality in the Grand Canyon State.

Former Attorneys General Terry Goddard and Grant Woods are among more than 150 attorneys who have come together to form Arizona Lawyers for the Freedom to Marry.

Goddard, who served as attorney general from 2003 to 2011, says his legal opinion is that marriage is a fundamental right for all Americans.

"As a lawyer, I believe in equal protection, and what courts across the country have been saying about the freedom to marry is that you can't have one set of rules for one part of the population, and another set for another part,” he points out. “It's basic fairness under the law."

There are multiple court cases in play that aim to overturn Arizona's voter-approved ballot initiative, Proposition 102, which amended the state constitution to define a marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Meanwhile, Grant Woods, who served as attorney general from 1991 to 1999, says he believes the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately side with several lower court rulings, which have found same-sex marriages bans are discriminatory.

"I think that's where the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately come down,” he says. “And it's certainly where the federal courts have been coming down, who have examined these laws state by state.

“There's no rational basis for the state to discriminate in that way."

The State of Utah's legal effort to preserve its ban on same-sex marriage is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Some legal analysts say a Supreme Court ruling supporting marriage equality in Utah, or any other state, would basically legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ