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Marriage Equality

Arizona: Federal Judge Says Government Must Recognize Widower's Marriage

Arizona: Federal Judge Says Government Must Recognize Widower's Marriage


Fred McQuire sought federal benefits via his marriage to George Martinez, who recently died of cancer.

A federal judge in Phoenix today ruled in favor of a man who was seeking death benefits from his marriage to his partner of 45 years, who has recently died. Arizona residents Fred McQuire and George Martinez were marriage in California, but their marriage was not legally recognized in their home state.

McQuire appeared before Judge John Sedwick Friday, and the judge promptly ruled that McQuire should not be denied survivor benefits such as Social Security or veteran's benefits.

Lambda Legal filed an emergency motion on behalf of McQuire, urging the court to grant legal recognition of their marriage.

"Fred and George's story underscores the undeniable fact: Arizona's marriage ban causes real pain and suffering for real families in our state every single day," Why Marriage Matters Arizona project director Jeramy Zegas said in a statement Friday.

The same judge is expected to issue a broader ruling on Arizona's marriage ban.

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