A conservative leader has criticized a
federal judge's decision ordering Arizona to recognize the
out-of-state marriage of a gay couple.
U.S. District Judge John Sedwick
ordered the state to recognize the marriage of military veterans Fred
McQuire and George Martinez for the purpose of death benefits.
The couple is among those challenging
Arizona's 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting
marriage to heterosexual couples.
After 45 years together, McQuire and
Martinez married in California last year. Martinez passed away last
week in Tucson, shortly after he received a diagnosis of stage IV
Sedwick ordered the state to list
McQuire as Martinez's surviving spouse on his death certificate.
Attorney Jennifer Pizer of Lambda Legal
Defense and Education Fund said without the recognition McQuire was
not eligible to receive Martinez's Social Security and other benefits
and risked losing his home as a result.
Cathi Herrod, president of the
Christian conservative Center for Arizona Policy, told the AP that
the ruling makes Arizona the latest “victim” of an “activist
“Arizona is the latest victim of a
politicized and activist judiciary,” Herrod
said. “Judge Sedwick did not have to issue the ruling he did
today. In our opinion, the ruling was based on political
considerations rather than constitutional law principles.”
“The key for everyone to know is that
no court decision will be the final arbiter of the meaning of
marriage for our culture. That regardless of what the courts rule
that the challenge to restore the meaning of marriage between one man
and one woman to our culture will go on. That this is only the
beginning of an extended public policy debate on the issue of
marriage,” she added.