Should a gay
couple’s marriage be recognized in Arizona? 
A Federal judge says  “yes”, as he
grants a plaintiff’s  plea  to reclassify George Martinez’s death
certificate from “never married” to “married.” opening the door for husband
Fred Mc Quire (pictured)  to receive Martinez’s death benefits.


Mc Quire,
69, wed Martinez, his 45 year long partner in California in July. Then the 62
year old Martinez died of pancreatic cancer August 28th.  Mc Quire’s attorney, Jennifer Pizer,  says
listing Martinez’s marital status as “never married”, in her words, “erases [Mc
Quire] from George Martinez’s life”. Pizer, with Lambda Legal, a LGBT advocacy
group, says decisions made in this case will pave the way for others who have
similar issues.

Pizer also
notes this legal battle transcends financial issues.  She says it’s also about validating the matrimonial
bond of  Mc Quire and Martinez.   “All
of us have a right to equal dignity”, she says, when it comes to marriage and
our families.

Mc Quire,
who says, “he’s not long for this world” is in poor health and afraid of losing
the home that belonged to the higher-earning Martinez, both of whom are veterans.

But Cathi
Herrod, President of the Center for Arizona Policy, sees the Judge John Sedwick’s ruling as a way to
unravel Arizona’s voter-approved gay
marriage ban.  She says, in this case, Mc
Quire’s financial hardship is being also used to tug at heartstrings and “garner
sympathy” instead of acting objectively to the merits of the case.

Herrod says,
ultimately, the ruling was driven “by politics, not constitutional law.”

–Barbara
Villa

 

 

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