Same-sex weddings are to begin immediately in Arizona, after a judge struck down the state’s marriage ban.
District Judge John Sedwick ruled today that the state’s 2008 constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman was no longer enforceable.
Marriages are set to begin immediately, after the state’s attorney general Tom Horne has said he will not appeal the ruling – as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld similar rulings from other states.
Mr Horne said in a letter to clerks: “Effective immediately, the clerks of Arizona county superior courts cannot deny a marriage license to any otherwise eligible licensees on the grounds that the license permits a marriage between persons of the same sex.
He added in a press conference: “It’s my view that the constitution does not deal with this issue, and it’s for the people to decide.
The courts disagree with me, and I respect they have the right to make the decision.”
Judge Sedwick said: “This court hereby declares Article 30, Section 1, of the Arizona Constitution unconstitutional because they deny same-sex couples the equal protection of the law.
“It is further ordered that defendants are hereby ordered to permanently cease enforcement of those provisions of Arizona law declared unconstitutional by this order.
“The court declines to stay the effect of this order.”