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Court Requires AZ To Recognize Same Sex Couple's Marriage

A U.S. district court judge has ruled in favor of a gay man in Arizona who was denied death benefits after losing his husband to cancer. The ruling only applies to this particular case.

Friday’s decision allows Fred McQuire to be listed as spouse on the death certificate of his husband George Martinez. Something his lawyers say will make it easier for him to qualify for federal death benefits.

U.S. district judge John Sedwick presided over the case. He’s the same judge who is slated to rule on two other Arizona same sex marriage cases.  Jeremy Zegas, with Why Marriage Matters Arizona, said Friday’s decision bodes well for the future.

"We believe that the judge did the right thing and that their marriage is now legally recognized in Arizona, in their home state," said Zegas. "And Fred is not going to be denied some of the benefits that he needs and so rightfully deserves."

Lawyers representing state in this case say the request should have been rejected arguing it could open the doors for others to make similar requests.

Carrie Jung Senior Field Correspondent, Education Desk Carrie Jung began her public radio career in Albuquerque, N.M., where she fell in love with the diverse cultural scene and unique political environment of the Southwest. Jung has been heard on KJZZ since 2013 when she served as a regular contributor to the Fronteras Desk from KUNM Albuquerque. She covered several major stories there including New Mexico's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage and Albuquerque's failed voter initiative to ban late-term abortions. Jung has also contributed stories about environmental and Native American issues to NPR's Morning Edition, PRI's The World, Al Jazeera America, WNYC's The Takeaway, and National Native News. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in marketing, both from Clemson University. When Jung isn't producing content for KJZZ she can usually be found buried beneath mounds of fabric and quilting supplies. She recently co-authored a book, "Sweet And Simple Sewing," with her mother and sister, who are fabric designers.