PHOENIX (BP)–Arizona’s Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal on the issue of same-sex “marriage” May 25, leaving intact the state’s ban on homosexual “marriage.”
The justices refused without comment to hear an appeal from two homosexual men who had sued the state in an effort to acquire a marriage licenses and overturn the state’s defense of marriage act. However, the men lost on both the trial court level and the state appeals court level before appealing to the state supreme court.
A similar effort in Massachusetts resulted in legalized same-sex “marriage” there.
“This is a fantastic victory in the defense of marriage,” Gary McCaleb, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, said in a statement. “We are extremely pleased at the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision not to hear this case. Arizona’s marriage laws are clear, the Arizona Court of Appeals understood that, and now the Supreme Court has agreed. The plaintiffs simply had no case.”
The Alliance Defense Fund filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of Arizona state Sen. Mark Anderson.
The nation’s major homosexual activist organizations refused to sign on to the case, choosing instead to place their efforts in other states where a friendly ruling seems more likely — such as Massachusetts and New Jersey.
In a 3-0 opinion last October, an Arizona appeals court ruled against the two homosexual men. The ruling came down just over one month before Massachusetts issued its ruling that eventually legalized same-sex “marriage.”
“Although same-sex relationships are more open and have garnered greater societal acceptance in recent years,” Arizona Judge Ann A. Scott Timmer wrote, “same-sex marriages are neither deeply rooted in the legal and social history of our Nation or state nor are they implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.”
The state asserted that it had an interest in banning same-sex “marriage” because of the link between traditional marriage and procreation. In its October ruling, the appeals court agreed.
“Indisputably, the only sexual relationship capable of producing children is one between a man and a woman,” the court said. “… We hold that the State has a legitimate interest in encouraging procreation and child-rearing within the marital relationship, and that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is rationally related to that interest.”
The court also rejected the argument that the ban on same-sex “marriage” is similar to the now-illegal ban against interracial marriage. The Supreme Court struck down interracial marriage bans in its 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision.
“Implicit in Loving and predecessor opinions is the notion that marriage, often linked to procreation, is a union forged between one man and one woman,” the appeals court wrote. “… [R]ecognizing a right to marry someone of the same sex would not expand the established right to marry, but would redefine the legal meaning of ‘marriage.'”
The case was Standhardt v. Arizona. It could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, because the lawyer for the two homosexual men relied in part on federal arguments. He initially filed the case shortly after the nation’s high court issued its Lawrence v. Texas decision striking down anti-sodomy laws.
The lawyer, Michael S. Ryan, asked if he would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, told The Arizona Republic, “That’s a very big step, and I would have to consult with my co-counsel on the case
“So I can’t answer that yet.”
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit