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Green Valley Man Fights For Marriage Recognition As Surviving Spouse

A lawyer for the state of Arizona told a federal judge on Monday it’s too bad, but not illegal, that the state will not recognize a Green Valley man as the survivor of the man he legally married in California. 

Byron Babione, of the Alliance for Freedom says state voters have the right to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. And he said that means no recognition for Fred McQuire as the survivor of George Martinez. 

Babione told the judge there is no basis for a temporary restraining order requiring McQuire to be listed on the death certificate as the surviving spouse, because such orders are to preserve the status quo. 

Attorney Jennifer Pizer of Lambda Legal disagrees.

“TROs are to prevent irreparable harm. If harm is coming at you and it hasn't happened yet, so as of this particular moment, you're not crushed by the train, the TRO would be the thing that intervenes and protects you from the harm," Pizer said.

Pizer said without the order, McQuire as the surviving spouse based on the California marriage will not be able to get Martinez’ Social Security or other benefits and will lose the house they shared. 

A hearing on McQuire’s emergency request is set for Friday.