1:15 p.m.: Coconino County Superior Court has started handing out marriage licenses.

Valerie Wyant, chief deputy clerk of the Superior Court, said that so far, the clerk’s office has issued four marriage licenses to same-sex couples today.

“We’re not in danger of running out at all,” she said.

The office is using current licenses and has redacted “bride” and “groom” from them. The office will print out new licenses without the words bride and groom when the current clerk of the court, Deborah Young, leaves office at the end of December.

Since there is no waiting period in Arizona, people can get married today if they want to, Wyant said.

“We had some people excited to get married today, and some who have decided they want to do that in the near future,” Wyant said.

The Coconino County clerk’s office handed out the first license a little after 11:30 a.m., following Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s letter approving it. Couples who were married in another state and want to have it recognized in Arizona can come down to the courthouse and they can receive a marriage license, Wyant said.

The courthouse is staying open until 7 p.m. today to hand out marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Wyant added.

This morning, Judge John Sedwick voided Arizona's ban on same-sex marriages and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced he would not appeal the judge's decision.

“Today’s ruling brings marriage equality to all of the Arizona same-sex couples who have loved one another, raised children, paid taxes and, in return, have only asked to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity by our state government,” said Flagstaff attorney Ryan Stevens, who was one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs.

Two couples from Flagstaff — Meagan and Natalie Metz and Renee and Robin Reece  — were plaintiffs in the lawsuit to defeat the same-sex marriage ban.

“I think what means the most to us is just having the validation that our marriage is the same as everybody else’s,” Renee said.

Meanwhile, Natalie said she is looking forward to having other people take her seriously when she calls Meagan her wife.

Meagan and Natalie Metz will speak tonight at the Northern Arizona Pride Association's celebration at the Weatherford Hotel at 6 p.m. in honor of today's historic same-sex marriage decision. Many local officials, including Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick and members of the County Board of Supervisors and City Council, are also expected to be there.

Flagstaff Justice of the Peace Howard Grodman has also said he plans to attend and will perform same-sex marriages at the Weatherford for anyone who is interested.

"It would be my great pleasure to marry same sex couples," he said.

Grodman will begin marrying same-sex couples at Flagstaff Justice Court at 5 p.m.


11:30 a.m.: Flagstaff Justice of the Peace Howard Grodman said he will start performing marriages for same sex couples at 5 p.m. at Flagstaff Justice Court.

The clerk of the Coconino County Superior Court has not yet commented on when she will start handing out marriage licenses for same sex couples.


11:24 a.m.: Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has announced that he will not appeal a federal judge's decision to void Arizona's ban gay marriage.


8:45 a.m.: PHOENIX -- A federal judge this morning voided Arizona's prohibition against gay marriage, paving the way for same sex weddings -- immediately.

In a brief order, Judge John Sedwick said he was bound by last week's ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which voided similar laws in Nevada and Idaho as unconstitutional. So he ordered the state to "permanently cease enforcement of those provisions of Arizona law declared unconstitutional by this order.''

More immediately significant, Sedwick denied a request by the state that he delay the effect of his order to allow for an appeal.

"It is clear ... that an appeal to the 9th circuit would be futile,'' he wrote. And Sedwick pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court just recently refused to review decisions from other appellate courts requiring same-sex marriage to be recognized in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

"It is also clear ... that the high court will turn a deaf ear on any request for relief from the 9th Circuit ruling,'' Sedwick wrote.

Jennifer Pizer, attorney for Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, which represents one of the groups of challengers, said that denial should mean gays can immediately wed in the state. In fact, she was flying in this morning from California to help expedite it.

But she conceded that court clerks -- the only ones authorized to issue marriage licenses -- are likely to turn away couples absent specific authorization from Attorney General Tom Horne.

Couples will know later this morning.

"We are ethically obligated to talk to our clients and see what they want to do,'' said Stephanie Grisham, Horne's press aide. Horne has scheduled a press conference for 10:30 today.

In the interim?

"They're not going to get a marriage license because the courts are going to ask us what to do,'' Grisham said. "And we're going to tell them that we're not sure yet.''


8 a.m. update: PHOENIX -- A federal judge this morning voided Arizona's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

Judge John Sedwick order the state to "permanently cease enforcement of those provisions of Arizona law declared unconstitutional by this order.''

Sedwick also denied a request by the state that he delay the effect of his order to allow for an appeal. That should allow gays to immediately wed.

More details to come.


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