PHOENIX — Eight homosexuals have filed a class action lawsuit against officials in Arizona in an effort to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex ‘marriage.’
Six men and two women are represented in the challenge, four of which have adopted children with their partner through the state’s foster care system.
The suit alleges that current laws violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, and points to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor, which declared unconstitutional key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“We’re saying, ‘Look, follow that rationale and make the same declaration as to the law in Arizona,’” attorney Shawn Aiken told AZ Central. “It’s that simple.”
The Arizona legislature passed a law in 1996 defining marriage as being between a man and a woman, and in 2008, voters approved a constitutional amendment 56 to 44 percent that reiterated the state’s stance on marriage.
“Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state,” Proposition 102 declared.
A similar law was rejected two years earlier.
Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy, which worked for the passage of the 2008 amendment, told reporters this week that she believes that homosexuals are trying to find a back door to get their way.
“Throughout this country, those in favor of same-sex marriage are trying to obtain through the courts what they have not been able to obtain by a vote of the people,” she said. “We would hope the courts would defer to the Arizona voters that clearly defined marriage as only being between one man and one woman.”
Similar lawsuits are pending across the country, including in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky and Texas. Reports state that a total of 25 legal challenges have been filed.
Most suits are identical in nature, asserting a violation of the 14th Amendment and pointing to the high court’s DOMA ruling. As previously reported, last year, some speculated that the Supreme Court decision–although centered on a federal matter–could have an national impact on the states. Within weeks of the ruling, justices across the nation were already citing U.S. v. Windsor in their decisions.
“It’s a pattern that’s emerging–and it’s striking,” professor David Cruz from the University of Southern California told the Wall Street Journal. “Judges are embracing [the Supreme Court’s] principles.”
“Needless to say, if other courts follow this lead, we’ll have coast-to-coast legal gay marriage as a matter of Full Faith and Credit with the only limitation on gay couples [being] their ability to travel to a pro-SSM state temporarily to get hitched,” concurred the website Hot Air.
The Arizona case is set to be heard later this year and will be decided by Judge John Sedwick, appointed by George H.W. Bush.