Courts in Arizona, Wyoming, Alaska strike down same-sex marriage bans

Courts in Arizona, Wyoming, Alaska strike down same-sex marriage bans

[JURIST] As of Friday same-sex marriage has become legal in Arizona, Wyoming and Alaska. US District Courts for the Districts of Arizona and Wyoming [official websites] struck down same-sex marriage bans in Wyoming and Arizona [opinions, PDF], respectively, on Friday. Additionally the US Supreme Court [official website] rejected a petition [Reuters report] by Alaska to stay the ruling of the US District Court for the District of Alaska [official website], which on Sunday overturned Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban [JURIST report]. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has announced that Arizona will not appeal [press release] the district court’s ruling. Wyoming Governor Matt Mead announced that Wyoming would not appeal the ruling [press release], citing the low likelihood of success at the appellate level, given that the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has already upheld lower court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma [JURIST reports].

Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] continues to be one of the most controversial legal issues in the US today, with numerous courts weighing in, particularly in the past week. Last Tuesday the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which includes Alaska, struck down same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada [JURIST report]. That ruling followed the US Supreme Court’s Monday announcement that it had denied seven pending appeals [JURIST report], effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana. Also last week the Kansas Supreme Court temporarily halted [JURIST report] the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses until it hears oral arguments on the issue next month.