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High Court's Same-Sex Marriage Action Could Impact Arizona

PHOTO: Efforts to overturn Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage could be aided by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday not to hear legal cases from several states trying to preserve marriage equality bans. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Commerce.
PHOTO: Efforts to overturn Arizona's ban on same-sex marriage could be aided by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday not to hear legal cases from several states trying to preserve marriage equality bans. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Commerce.
October 7, 2014

PHOENIX - The U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday not to hear cases trying to preserve same-sex marriage bans in Utah and several other states could have an impact on legal efforts to overturn Arizona's ban on marriage equality.

Jeremy Zegas, project manager at Why Marriage Matters Arizona, says the Supreme Court action could have a positive impact as legal efforts to overturn Arizona's marriage equality ban move through the courts.

"Clearly the writing is on the wall that bans on same-sex marriage are not constitutional, and the Supreme Court seems to see it that way," says Zegas. "We're hoping we'll be able to move forward quickly."

By not hearing cases in Utah and several other states, Zegas says the Supreme Court essentially legalized same-sex marriage in all of those states.

Clifford Rosky, board chairman at Equality Utah and a law professor at the University of Utah, says the Supreme Court is signaling it supports lower-court rulings that have determinined bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

"It's the strongest possible signal that the court could have given about the future of the freedom to marry in the United States," says Rosky. "So in a matter of a couple of days you'll have same-sex couples being permitted to marry, and their marriages being recognized in something like 30 out of 50 states. This is really the end of the story."

Rosky says Utah has exhausted its legal options to challenge marriage equality after losing multiple appeals in lower courts.

Other states where same-sex marriage is now legal this week include Indiana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Virginia.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ