Same-sex marriage ruling could affect Arizona's ban

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX --- Same-sex marriage proponents in Arizona hope the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling announced Tuesday will quickly affect cases here.

"It opens the door to the possibility in the very near future. It could be tomorrow or this week or next week," Jeremy Zegas, with Why Marriage Matters Arizona, told 3TV.

His organization is petitioning Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne to drop his defense of the state's ban on same sex marriage, which voters approved in 2008.

"One way [to bring gay marriage to Arizona] would be for the Attorney General to simply stop defending the unconstitutional ban," Zegas said.

Horne called the 9th Circuit's ruling "expected," but says he will not end his defense of Arizona's ban.

"As Attorney General, it's my obligation to defend all laws passed by the legislature, or in this case, the voters. I'm elected to enforce the law as it exists," Horne told 3TV.

Lawyers in Arizona's pending same-sex marriage cases are asking the federal district judge in Phoenix who is overseeing them to make an immediate ruling, in wake of the 9th Circuit judges labeling gay marriage bans discriminatory and unconstitutional.

Horne would not speculate on how quickly the federal judge in Arizona might act.

"That's up to him. They have life tenure and nobody controls their timing," Horne said.