Arizona to pay $300,000 to lawyers in same‑sex marriage case

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PHOENIX — Lawyers representing several same-sex couples who challenged Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage will receive $300,000 from the state to cover attorney fees and other costs, a federal judge ruled.

Judge John Sedwick approved the agreement in an order issued late last week that calls for a judgment of roughly $302,000.

The plaintiffs include national gay-rights organization Lambda Legal, which filed a lawsuit in March 2014 on behalf of seven couples and two surviving spouses. The ban violated the couples’ rights to equal protection and due process under the U.S Constitution, attorneys had argued at the time.

Then Attorney General Tom Horne was named as a defendant in the complaint. In October 2014, the conservative Horne gave up fighting a federal court ruling that struck down Arizona’s 1996 law barring same-sex marriage as well as a 2008 voter-approved state constitutional amendment outlawing it.

The decision on the Arizona law came after same-sex marriage bans were struck down in more than two dozen states.

Then, the U.S. Supreme Court declared this summer that same-sex couples have a right to marry in all 50 states.

Federal law lets those who prevail in civil rights cases seek compensation for the costs of bringing such lawsuits to court.

Sedwick was the same judge who ruled in September that lawyers for four same-sex couples in a separate class-action lawsuit opposing the marriage ban receive $200,000 from the state.

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