A New Era for Same-Sex Marriage in Arizona (Part 3)

by | Jun 26, 2013 | Child Custody, Parenting, Same Sex Marriage

A New Era for Same-Sex Marriage in Arizona (Part 3)

Written by: Tracy Augustin

After months of speculation, it is clear that today does mark a new era for same-sex marriage in the country, but maybe not for Arizonans…yet.

As discussed in our two-part posting in May of 2013 (click here for Part I and click here for Part II, the Supreme Court has officially ruled the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional (DOMA).  (DOMA was passed in 1996 and meant that same-sex couples who were legally married in their states were not considered married in the eyes of the federal government).  The practical effect of DOMA meant that same-sex couples did not receive the benefit of immigration rights, Social Security survivor benefits and family leave (just to name a few), because they were not considered “legitimate families.”  After today’s ruling, however, DOMA is now unconstitutional.  The essence behind the Court’s ruling was equality:  DOMA did not treat same-sex marriages equally to straight marriages.

What does the recent SCOTUS decision mean for AZ?
What does the recent SCOTUS decision mean for AZ?

So, what does this mean for the State of Arizona?  Well, at this point, nothing.  Until Arizona takes the steps to change the law stating that marriage is between one man and one woman, same-sex marriage is still against the law in Arizona.  Not to worry, though, there is buzz that the issue of same-sex marriage will be taken to the citizens of Arizona once again; this time instead of trying to deny gay couples marriage rights, the initiative will be to legalize same-sex marriage.

If the state legislature changes the law or the citizens of Arizona vote to allow same-sex marriage, one thing is clear: same-sex marriages will be treated equally to straight marriages in Arizona.  This means same-sex couples in Arizona will be afforded the same rights and responsibilities as straight couples. The impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona Family Courts will be huge.  Stand by!

To read the Court’s opinions, click here:


1. Hollingsworth v. Perry

2. United States v. Windsor


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