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State Argues Gay Marriage Dissuades Straights from Wedding


Attorneys for the state are telling a federal judge that if he allows gays to wed then fewer straight couples will be willing to tie the knot. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

The Christian-based Alliance Defending Freedom which is representing the state warns that recognition of same-sex relationships would send the message that that marriage exists “primarily for the state to approve romantic bonds, rather than, quoting again, sexual conduct of the type that creates children.” The lawyers say that that sends the message that an emotional connection, versus a sexual one, is the defining characteristic of marriage. And, they told Judge John Sedwick that once the link between marriage and procreation is broken, heterosexual couples would not feel the need to wed.

But, attorney Jennifer Pizer of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, said the experience in Massachusetts, where gays have been able to marry for a decade, proves otherwise.

“There is zero indication that that is having any adverse effect whatsoever on whether heterosexual couples choose to marry or not marry, or how they raise their children, or otherwise participate in society,” Pizer said.

Attorneys for the state appear on the defensive, especially after Sedwick, in a ruling earlier this month, wrote it is probable there is a conflict between Arizona law and the U.S. Constitution “so that Arizona will be required to permit same-sex marriages.” Sedwick has not indicated when he will rule.

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