A plaintiff in a federal case challenging Arizona's ban on gay marriage on Friday asked a federal judge to recognize him as his late husband's spouse for the purpose of death benefits.

Fred McQuire and George Martinez, together 45 years, married in California last year.

The couple is among those challenging Arizona's 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

Martinez, who was fighting a cancer diagnosis, died last week in Tucson.

U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick heard arguments in the case Friday and said he hopes to issue a quick ruling.

Attorney Jennifer Pizer of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund said unless McQuire is recognized as Martinez's surviving spouse, he will not be eligible to receive Martinez's Social Security and other benefits. She said McQuire needs the money to keep their house.

The Christian conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing Arizona in this case and similar legal proceedings.

UPDATE: Judge has ruled in McQuire's favor.