Two women together more than 55 years
are the lead plaintiffs behind a federal lawsuit challenging
Arizona's ban on gay marriage.
Nelda Majors, 75, and Karen Bailey, 74,
join six other couples and the surviving spouses of two additional
couples in looking to topple Arizona's 2008 voter-approved
constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.
The plaintiffs are represented by
Lambda Legal and Perkins Coie LLP.
“Every day that same sex couples in
Arizona are denied marriage, the government sends a message that
their families are not worthy of equal dignity and respect,” said
Jennifer C. Pizer, senior counsel for Lambda Legal.
Majors and Bailey raised Karen's great
grand-nieces Marissa and Sharla as their own daughters. Marissa is
15, while Sharla is 21.
“After five decades together we want
to celebrate and affirm our deep love for each other as other couples
do, before our friends and family, through marriage,” Majors
said. “If we were married, there would be no question [about
our relationship] and we both would feel more secure.”