Radical Activist Judge Defies Arizona Constitution

By Cathi Herrod, President, Center for Arizona Policy

“Today, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick ruled narrowly that Arizona must recognize the marriage of two men who were legally married in another state. This decision was driven by politics, not constitutional law.

While the ruling is narrow, Judge Sedwick also stated in his order that Arizona probably would be required to permit same sex marriages despite the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman found in Arizona’s constitutional marriage amendment approved by the people in 2008 and found in Arizona law since statehood.

Arizona has become the latest victim of a politically driven judiciary.

The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the right of every state to define marriage, yet Judge Sedwick has joined the judicial stampede of other lower federal judges who have tried to override or ignore marriage laws based on no precedent other than their own political bias.

We all know this issue will ultimately end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. That Court has scheduled a September 29 conference to determine whether and which state marriage amendment cases to accept for review. A ruling likely will be issued by next summer.

Political and cultural winds may shift, but the foundational value and purpose of marriage between one man and one woman remains.

Regardless of how the courts rule, two truths will endure:

  1. No court will ever be the final arbiter of the definition of marriage. All those who say supporters of one man, one woman marriage are on the wrong side of history have a very short and narrow view of history. Just as the Roe v. Wade decision began the public policy debate about legalized abortion, so too the public policy debate about marriage has only just begun.
  2. The bonds between a child and their father and mother are irreplaceable. While many children tragically are not able to experience the joy and benefits of having a loving mom and dad, public policy should provide every opportunity to give children a mom and a dad, yet today’s decision is the first step that will block more children from that opportunity.

Center for Arizona Policy’s commitment to advocating for marriage and family is stronger than ever. No matter what a court may say, we will continue to work towards making Arizona the best state to raise a family.”

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