same-sex couples

Maricopa County marriage licenses up after same-sex ruling

Maricopa County marriage licenses up after same-sex ruling

While Arizona's most populous county gave out more than triple the average number of marriage licenses after same-sex marriage became legal last week, other counties saw no uptick at all.

Maricopa County issued marriage licenses to 292 couples last Friday and 184 on Monday, up from an average of 98 each business day.

In Pima County, Arizona's second-most populous and home to Tucson, clerks issued an average of 60 licenses each day through Tuesday, up from an average of 25 this time of year.

Officially, no one tracks the gender of applicant couples, and neither county informally recorded the number of same-sex couples. Read more »

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Utah Supreme Court Lifts Hold On Same-Sex Adoptions

Utah's Supreme Court lifted its stay on same-sex adoptions Thursday, two weeks after the state dropped its legal fight over the issue.

In May, the state's high court placed a hold on several district judges' rulings that ordered the Utah Department of Health to issue birth certificates to same-sex couples who were adopting children. The stay halted any movement on the issue until judges could decide whether or not the adoptions were legal under state law.

Thursday's ruling clears the way for those adoptions to proceed. Read more »

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Memo to clerks: You can object to gay marriage

Memo to clerks: You can object to gay marriage

The conservative group that handled the legal defense of Arizona's overturned gay-marriage ban is advising court clerks they don't have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if the clerk has religious or moral objections.

Four days after same-sex couples were allowed to marry for the first time in Arizona, the Maricopa County Clerk of the Court's Office said one employee has already made such a request. And the issue may be headed for the legislative agenda. Read more »

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Arizona gay marriage: Couples get married, celebrate

Arizona gay marriage: Couples get married, celebrate

The pastor who performed the ceremony, the Rev. John Dorhauer, quickly slipped off his own ring to use as a substitute.

Across Arizona, court clerks took the historic step of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Licenses were quickly updated with new wording, including a third option of "spouse" in addition to "bride" and "groom."

Several couples held marriage ceremonies within minutes or hours of getting their certificates. Others began making plans for more formal ceremonies with families and friends.

The concrete patio outside the Maricopa County clerk of the Superior Court's office, near Fifth Avenue and Jackson Street, became the scene of a pop-up wedding chapel by midmorning Friday. Read more »

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Gay-marriage ruling brings new legal questions

Gay-marriage ruling brings new legal questions

Same-sex couples in Arizona this weekend celebrated their newly won right to marry. But their fight for equality under the law isn't over.

Arizona is not among the 30 states with laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, potentially leaving them vulnerable to workplace discrimination. And a number of laws include wording that could allow the state to discriminate against same-sex couples, including a 2011 statute that explicitly gives a married man and woman preference in adoptions.

And then there are details to be worked out when same-sex couples arrive at the hospital to have a baby, and then when Arizona same-sex couples face less joyful firsts, from the first couple to seek a divorce to custody battles. Read more »

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Ariz. businesses celebrate gay marriage with discounts, deals

Ariz. businesses celebrate gay marriage with discounts, deals

Businesses in Arizona seized on the lift of the gay-marriage ban as a marketing opportunity, offering discounts to same-sex couples on everything from bar tabs to hair stylings to hotel stays.

Social-media accounts began humming with electronic deals for gay couples minutes after Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced he would not appeal a U.S. District Court decision striking down the state's ban.

"Let the honeymoon food come to you," read a promotion for Sunfare, a Deer Valley-area company that delivers specialized meals Valley-wide. "Sign up for Sunfare anytime this week for 25 percent off your first three family dinners." Read more »

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Horne concedes same-sex marriage ruling applies to AZ

Horne concedes same-sex marriage ruling applies to AZ

Attorneys representing the state and more than a dozen same-sex couples have filed their legal arguments over whether a federal appeals court ruling overturning same-sex marriage bans should apply to Arizona.

The fate of Arizona's law defining marriage as between only a man and a woman rests on a rulingfrom U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick, and a decision from Attorney General Tom Horne as to whether he will comply or continue to fight as similar laws around the country fall.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit last week declared laws banning same-sex couples from marrying in Idaho and Nevada violated couples' rights to equal protection under the 14th Amendment. Arizona is part of the San Francisco-based circuit. Read more »

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Lambda Legal urges federal judge to strike down Arizona gay marriage ban

Lambda Legal urges federal judge to strike down Arizona gay marriage ban

 Lambda Legal on Wednesday urged a federal court judge in Phoenix to issue an immediate ruling striking down Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The filing follows last Tuesday’s ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals striking down gay marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho, which came just a day after the announcement from theU.S. Supreme Court denying review of seven marriage lawsuits from the 4th, 7th and 10th Circuits that had struck down similar bans in Virginia,Indiana, Wisconsin,Oklahoma and Utah. Read more »

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Next Gay Marriage Fight: Religious Exemptions

Next Gay Marriage Fight: Religious Exemptions

Alarmed by the broad expansion of same-sex marriage set in motion by the U.S. Supreme Court, religious conservatives are moving their fight to state legislatures — seeking exemptions that would allow some groups, companies and people with religious objections to refuse benefits or service for gay spouses.

But winning sweeping carve-outs for faith-affiliated adoption agencies or individual wedding vendors will be an uphill battle. Public attitudes against exceptions have hardened, and efforts by faith groups in states where courts, not lawmakers, recognized same-sex unions have had little success. Read more »

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Gay marriage in Arizona? 9th Circuit strikes down Nevada, Idaho ban

Gay marriage in Arizona? 9th Circuit strikes down Nevada, Idaho ban

A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down gay marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that gay couples' equal protection rights were violated by the bans. Arizona is part of the San Francisco-based circuit, so its ruling would seem to apply to this state as well.

However, officials at the Arizona Attorney General's office and the Maricopa County Clerk of Appeals would only immediately say that they were reviewing the ruling.

Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, said it is "premature" to direct county clerks to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Read more »

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