PHOENIX — Supporters and foes of a same-sex marriage lawsuit playing out in federal court here finally found a point of agreement: They don’t want the case expanded to decide if there’s a constitutional right to marry an inanimate object.
Attorneys for both sides filed a joint motion asking U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick to reject the motion to intervene filed by Chris Sevier. They said the issues they are litigating — the rights of same-sex couples to marry and the rights of survivors of same-sex relationships — have nothing to do with whether Sevier can marry a pillow or even an animal.
Sevier, a lawyer whose right to practice was suspended in Tennessee, said his rights are at issue in the case because it would be wrong to have a federal court decide whether to expand the definition of marriage without looking at all options.
The federal court case involves challenges to whether Arizona’s law and voter-approved state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman violates the equal0protection rights of gays and the due- process rights of individuals.
Sevier said there is no reason to limit the legal issues to gays, any more than civil-righst lawsuits could be limited to the rights of blacks. He argued his sexual orientation is entitled to as much protection as anyone else’s.
But Sevier brushed aside questions about the validity of the comparisons — including the issue of whether an animal or an inanimate object could give the kind of legal consent necessary to wed.