Quantcast


Twitter icon


Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Persons
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
 Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

Sponsored links

 

 

 

 

 

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.


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

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.
2014-OCT: The second try succeeds.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule
Throughout this website, the acronym "LGBT" refers to
Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender persons.

horizontal rule

2003-JUN-26: The U.S. Supreme Court decision, Lawrence v. Texas:

In late 2003-JUN, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Lawrence v. Texas. This case involved a Texan law that had criminalized certain consensual sexual behaviors by same-sex couples. The same behaviors were quite legal if performed by a consenting male and female adult in private. It was an unusually broad ruling with many ramifications. Not only did it declare a Texas anti-sodomy law unconstitutional, but it invalidated all remaining state anti-sodomy laws across the U.S. Further, it severely restricted the ability of states to enforce morality through legislation. The minority report by Justice Antonin Scalia warned that other lawsuits would build on the Lawrence v. Texas decision. He wrote:

"The court has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda. ... The court has taken sides in the culture war....This reasoning leaves on shaky, pretty shaky grounds, state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples."

Justice Scalia wrote that the majority Justices pretended that they have left enough freedom in their ruling:

"... so that we need not fear judicial imposition of homosexual marriage, as has recently occurred in Canada.v... Do not believe it...[The majority opinion in this case] dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions, insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned." More details.

His prediction may soon come to fruition. On 2013-MAY-01 to 05, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press conducted a poll, indicating that 72% of American adults believe that legal recognition of same-sex marriage is "inevitable." 6

This ruling represents a watershed in the movement towards LGBT equality and same-sex marriage. It is difficult to see how much movement could be made towards marriage equality as long as same-gender sexual behavior was a criminal act in some states.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule

2003-JUL-07: The first attempt to achieve marriage equality in Arizona fails:

On 2003-JUL-01, Harold Donald Standhardt, 34, and Tod Alan Keltner, 36 or 37 (sources differ), -- a gay couple -- applied for and were refused a marriage license. They filed a special action on JUL-05 with the Arizona Court of Appeals, asking that the state marriage law -- which restricts marriage to the union of one man and one woman -- be declared unconstitutional. Defendants are the State of Arizona and Michael K. Jeanes, the clerk of Maricopa County Superior Court who refused to issue the license. According to their lawsuit, Standhardt and Keltner:

"... have been in [a] committed relationship for over six years and have lived together and resided in Maricopa County for over five years." 1

They own a travel agency together. The lawsuit asserts that the 1996 ban on gay marriages violates various state and federal constitutional protections, including the Arizona Constitution's right to privacy. Standhardt commented:

"We have the same basic rights as any other couple."

Clearly, they do not or they would have been able to marry. Still, a good case can be made that they should be able to marry because of the due process and equal protection clauses in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. These clauses require the federal and state goverments to treat people equally. By extension, this would imply that couples should be treated equally, independent of the partners' sexual orientation or gender.

Normally, lawsuits begin at a lower trial court and are later appealed to the the state's Court of Appeals. However, the latter court can accept lawsuits directly. They have chosen to do so in this case. This case is similar to other lawsuits in Massachusetts and New Jersey which also seek to expand the definition of marriage to include all committed, loving couples -- both opposite-sex and same-sex. The fundamentalist Christian legal group, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), filed a brief, arguing that the plaintiffs:

"vastly exaggerate the significance of last month's privacy ruling [in Lawrence v. Texas] and notes the Supreme Court repeatedly has upheld marriage as the union of one man and one woman." 2

"The plaintiffs claim that the ... Supreme Court decision held that homosexuals have a 'privacy' right to marriage." 2

They also referred to a 2002 decision by the Arizona Supreme Court in a case concerning state funding for abortions for poor women. The court decided that the state could not enact laws that grant any citizen privileges while denying them to others.

Kathleen McCarthy, a local lawyer and specialist in family-law said she believes the U.S. Supreme Court decision will give a boost to the lawsuits. She said:

"It will ease the ability to challenge these lawsuits." 3

Kent Burbank, executive director of Wingspan -- a gay-positive group said:

"Many of us are concerned about the backlash."

He added that a same-sex test lawsuit should be carefully chosen so that it has the maximum chance of winning. 4

Attorney Len Munsil, president of The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), a conservative group opposing marriage equality, said:

"We have said all along that gay marriage was the goal, and now there is an effort to bring it to Arizona. Despite the Supreme Court’s claim to the contrary, their decision in Lawrence will open the floodgates for this type of litigation." 5

CAP is part of a 50-state partnership associated with the fundamentalist Christian group, Focus on the Family. In an interview with the Tucson Observer, Munsil said:

"Marriage is not an institution created by American law. It has multiple thousands of years of being a relationship between a man and a woman. We're looking at discarding that in one generation." 4

His prophecy may come true. In late 2013-JUN ten years to the day after the Lawrence v. Texas ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling in Windsor v. United States. It overturned Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and required the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages that had been legally solemnized in various states. This gave legally married same-sex couples, and their children, access to 1,138 federal programs, protections, and benefits that previously were restricted to married opposite-sex couples.

horizontal rule

2014-OCT: The second try suceeded:

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

On Friday, 2014-OCT-17, federal District Court Judge John Sedwick released his ruling in the case v. As with so many other federal and state court decisions, Judge Sedwick's 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. Same-sex couples started to marry almost immediately.

horizontal rule

Discussion of same-sex marriage in Arizona continues in the next essay.

horizontal rule

References:

  1. "Ariz. gay couple sues to overturn marriage ban," Associated Press, at: http://www.nyblade.com/
  2. "Razing Arizona," Washington Update, Family Research Council, 2003-JUL-23.
  3. Carol Sowers, "Suit challenges state law against gay marriage," AZCentral, 2003-JUL-15, at: http://www.azcentral.com/
  4. "Lawsuit challenges Arizona's ban on gay marriage," Tucson Observer, at: http://www.tucsonobserver.com/ This appears to be a temporary article.
  5. "Two men seek to be married in Arizona," News release, The Center for Arizona Policy, 2003-JUL-14, at: http://www.azpolicy.org/
  6. Poll: Gay Marriage Viewed As 'Inevitable' By Most Americans, Huffington Post, 2013-JUN-06, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

horizontal rule
Site navigation:

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

 

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

horizontal rule

Copyright © 2003 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2014-FEB-23
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or return to the Same-sex Marriage menu, or choose:

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Hot, controversial topics

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?


Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

 
Sponsored links