11am- With a federal judge’s order agreeing with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and prior decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, same sex marriage has just become legal in the state of Arizona.
After Attorney General Tom Horne made the decision not to appeal the decision Friday morning, Horne’s office sent letters to the court clerks in every county in the state informing them that they must accept requests for marriage licenses from gay couples immediately.
La Paz County Superior Court Clerk Megan Spielman said she had received Horne’s letter (see a copy below) and was in the process of updating her forms to reflect the new order.
“I’m preparing to issue them as soon as the forms are updated,” Spielman said, adding that she was assuming she would be issuing some today as people have been waiting for this news.
Spielman added that the current licenses say ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ on them, and that she is ordering new forms to reflect the change in state law. “In the meantime I can cross off the applicant title and leave it up to the couple,” she said.
The letter from Horne’s office states that, beginning immediately, court clerks may not deny a marriage license to any otherwise lawful applicants on the basis of being the same sex.
In some other parts of the state of Arizona couples were waiting in lobbies as Horne made the announcement, the inevitability of this change in the law having been expected for a while now.
Arizona becomes the 31st state in the union to legalize same sex marriage.
UPDATE: Spielman’s office issued this press release:
Today, the ban on same sex marriage has been ruled unconstitutional in the State of Arizona.
As the Clerk of the Superior Court, I would like to inform all citizens of La Paz County, effective immediately, our Office will be issuing marriage licenses between persons of the same sex.
This Office looks forward to serving ALL of our citizens with its continued commitment to excellent service.