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Arizona Becomes 31st State with Same-Sex Couples’ Freedom to Marry

NEW YORK - Today Arizona Republican Attorney General Tom Horne announced that he will not appeal a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick, which held that Arizona’s law denying the freedom to marry to same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Arizona is now the 31st state where same-sex couples can marry, up from 19 at the beginning of October.

Marc Solomon, national campaign director of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

“Today’s ruling in Arizona affirms what nearly every court in the past year has held: loving and committed same-sex couples are guaranteed the freedom to marry by the U.S. Constitution. It is time for the courts to finish the job and end marriage discrimination throughout the land.”

Judge Sedwick was nominated as a federal district judge by George H.W. Bush in 1992. His ruling follows a favorable marriage ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in cases out of Idaho and Nevada. The circuit court holds jurisdiction over Arizona, as well as Montana and Alaska. Last week, Patrick Morrisey, the Republican attorney general of West Virginia, also declined to defend his state’s anti-marriage law in court.

As of last week, a majority of Americans live in a freedom to marry state. Once the pro-marriage rulings from the 4th, 7th, 9th, and 10th Circuits are fully implemented, same-sex couples will have the freedom to marry in 35 states plus the District of Columbia, representing nearly two-thirds of the American people.

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Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Headed by Evan Wolfson, one of America's leading civil rights advocates and lawyers, Freedom to Marry brings new resources and a renewed context of urgency and opportunity to this social justice movement.

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