Lawyers Ask Judge to Rule on Marriage Ban Without Trial

AZSummJudgeFBBig news on the freedom to marry front in Arizona!

On Tuesday, lawyers on behalf of the seven plaintiff couples in Connolly v. Roche filed a motion for summary judgment.

This means that a request has been made for the presiding judge to rule on the case without the need for a trial.

The lawyers argue that the marriage ban in Arizona violates constitutional protections for due process of law and equal protection under the law. But the lawyers for the state deny that Arizona’s ban violates constitutional rights.

Connolly v. Roche is just one of two court cases challenging Arizona’s marriage ban making its way through the courts.

Recently, we had a chance to talk with Terry Pochert and Joe Connolly, the lead plaintiff couple in the case. Terry and Joe, who have been together for 19 years, legally married in California in 2008.

While the two met while living in the Detroit metro area, after dating for about two years, they decided to start a life together in Arizona. It would be The Grand Canyon State where they would find an affirming church community, and spend a lot of their time together growing within their faith. In fact, it would be their church community that would compel the couple to become advocates for the freedom to marry in Arizona, and nationwide.

“We are proud to be a part of the effort to move marriage forward here in Arizona,” Terry said. “We have loved each other for so many years, and know that our family deserves respect — as do the families of all same-sex couples in Arizona. We hope that the courts will see that our love is real, and we deserve to be treated with dignity and respected as a couple.”

Terry and Joe are just one of seven plaintiff couples in Connolly v. Roche. Yesterday’s motion is the first step toward securing the freedom to marry for all loving and committed couples. While they are not legally married in Arizona, yet, after 19 years together, Terry and Joe are proof that love can stand the test of time. Stay tuned for updates as this case progresses through the courts.