Jan 7, 2014 7:31 PM by Lupita Murillo
TUCSON - A class-action lawsuit has been filed by four couples to make same sex marriage legal in Arizona. The suit also claims that the voter approved ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
Only civil unions between gay couples are recognized, and only in cities and towns where it's been approved. Bisbee was the first in April 2013, followed by Tucson, Jerome and Sedona.
The lawsuit, filed on Monday says gay couples are being denied certain rights and benefits because the state doesn't recognize their union.
Clark Rowley and his partner David Chaney are among the couples named in the lawsuit. Rowley said, "I would like to see Arizona come to the forefront and say we accept and honor and recognize same sex marriage."
He adds in their case, David has Type 1 Diabetes, "Our biggest fear is that if something would happen to him that could incapacitate him, by law I don't have any legal right to cover him, or make decisions that he and I have made together."
A dilemma Betty Stauffer and Judy Moses went through last year when Moses was diagnosed with breast cancer. Moses says the doctors treated her partner as a spouse and the doctors were wonderful, however, "I realized what if it had been worse. What if they didn't count Betty as my spouse what if she couldn't see me if had been hospitalized?"
On November 2nd after being together 11 years, on the sandy beach of Coronado the two married in California. A state that recognizes same sex marriage. A Supreme Court decision last year gives them federal benefits to being legally married. Stauffer said, "We can at least enjoy the federal benefits of social security, filing joint income tax returns"
They, too, would like the ban lifted and Arizona recognize same sex marriage, "We want to be like any other loving committed couple, we're no different that you and your husband are"
Tom Horne, and Governor Jan Brewer were named in the lawsuit.
News 4 Tucson contacted the Attorney General's office they said, they had not received the lawsuit, nor has seen it, therefore they couldn't comment.