PHOENIX — Arizona governor Jan Brewer on Friday said in a statement that federal courts have thwarted the will of voters and eroded the state’s power to regulate laws.
Same-sex marriage become legal in Arizona after the state’s conservative attorney general said Friday that he wouldn’t challenge a federal court decision that cleared the way for same-sex unions in the state.
The announcement prompted gay couples to line up at the courthouse in downtown Phoenix, where they began to marry immediately.
“In 2008, Arizona voters approved a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Now, with their rulings, the federal courts have again thwarted the will of the people and further eroded the authority of states to regulate and uphold our laws.
“It is not only disappointing, but also deeply troubling, that unelected federal judges can dictate the laws of individual states, create rights based on their personal policy preferences and supplant the will of the people in an area traditionally left to the states for more than two hundred years. As Justice Scalia opined, such action is tantamount to ‘an assertion of judicial supremacy over the people’ and is an image of the judiciary ‘that would have been unrecognizable to those who wrote and ratified our national charter.’
“Simply put, courts should not be in the business of making and changing laws based on their personal agendas. It is not the role of the judiciary to determine that same-sex marriages should be allowed. Historically and traditionally, that power belongs to the states, and to the people. If society wants to recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions, that decision should be made through our elected representatives or at the ballot – not the courts.”