Utah appeals same-sex marriage to US Supreme Court

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SALT LAKE CITY — As anticipated, the Utah Attorney General’s Office has appealed its same-sex marriage ban to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“My responsibility is to defend the State Constitution and its amendments as Utah citizens have enacted them. We recognize this litigation has caused uncertainty and disruption and have accordingly tried to expedite its resolution as quickly as possible by filing our petition a full month-and-a-half before its September 23rd due date,” Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a statement to FOX 13 on Tuesday.

“Utah welcomes a speedy grant of the petition and a Supreme Court merits decision, as all Utah citizens will benefit when the Supreme Court provides clear finality on the important issue of state authority to define marriage.”

Read Utah’s filing here:


Three gay couples sued the state of Utah over Amendment 3, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Last year, a federal judge here in Utah declared the ban unconstitutional.

For 17 days, same-sex marriage was allowed in Utah until the U.S. Supreme Court halted it pending an appeal to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. More than 1,200 same-sex couples wed in Utah, according to an analysis of marriage records by FOX 13.

Same-sex marriage estimates in Utah

Last month, the federal appeals court also declared Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

“We respect the State’s right to seek review of its own law in the highest Court in
the land, but we also respectfully, and vehemently, disagree with the notion that States can deny one of the most foundational rights to the millions of same-sex couples living across this great land,” Peggy Tomsic, the lawyer for the gay couples who sued over Amendment 3, said in an email to FOX 13.

“We look forward to reviewing the Petition filed by Utah’s excellent lawyers, and to responding to it in due course.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights, which also represents the plaintiffs in the case, also issued a statement:

“We respectfully disagree with the State of Utah’s lawyers. Utah’s same-sex couples and their children are continually harmed by the enforcement of measures that deny them equal dignity, security and protection. We will carefully review the State’s petition to determine the response that will best advance our goal of winning for all Utahns the freedom to marry the person they love, and to have their marriages treated the same as other couples’ marriages,” said NCLR director Shannon Minter.


    • Bob

      Bob, you and your boyfriend are welcome here in Utah. Just because the majority of Utahns have an opinion on traditional marriage doesn’t mean they hate those who live an alternate lifestyle. The hate and bigotry you reference is coming from you.

      • Bob

        I don’t agree with Obamacare but that certainly doesn’t mean I hate Obama because I don’t. Your hate and bigotry are like a cancer that only hurts you. You expect from others what you are unwilling to give from others.

  • michaelsuperman1

    I would agree most Mormon’s do not hate those of alternative lifestyle. However… the issue is one of prejudice. Regardless of how polite you present it, prejudice is still prejudice. Regardless of how many people in any given state are for it… if it creates unequal protection under the law than it is contrary to the US constitution.

    • Bob

      Everyone has prejudices Michael. The definition is “preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience”. There’s a problem with that?

      • michaelsuperman1

        The “problem” is created when a prejudice becomes law. Once a prejudice becomes law or is attempted to become law than it can be challenged. And as history has shown… it eventually gets stricken by the courts.

      • Bob

        Are you really so naive Michael as to not understand that all judges, including US Supreme Court justices, base their votes on personal prejudices? Probably why justices tend to vote based on who nominated them.

        Your argument doesn’t hold water.

  • Trish Ramirez

    The State – by virtue of its highest court – already decided this issue. The highest court in Utah determined that the g a y marriage ban was unconstitutional and that same-gender couples had the right to get married. The bigots in office and those citizens who don’t understand that civil rights for your neighbors can’t simply be put on the ballot and voted away disagree with the high court’s decision, but it WAS made. Everything that has followed has been a waste of time.

    • Mosquito

      Please take a basic civics class, Trish. The State Supreme Court derives its authority from the State Constitution, and cannot find the Constitution to be “unconstitutional.” No Utah State authority has jurisdiction to override, overturn or ignore the State Constitution.

      By enacting a Constitutional Amendment the voters of Utah eliminated both the Judicial and Legislative branches of Utah government from the issue. They have no say in the matter. The Executive Branch is oath-bound to protect and defend the Constitution, as amended. Their actions in pursuing this matter in Federal court is a REQUIREMENT of their oaths of office. They have no choice in the matter, regardless of their personal feelings on the issue.

      I’d like to know from whence YOU believe the State Courts derive their authority?

    • michaelsuperman1

      Trish – In addition to Mosquito’s comments it should be noted that the state is not the “highest” court and neither is the states constitution. By virtue of being a member of the United States the federal court is the highest authority. A

    • trollolololol

      Know what’s funny, my phones auto correct changes “trish” to “trash” … laughed so hard I forgot what I was gonna say about her ignorance. Oh well lol

    • Bob

      Happiness is bio-parents taking their children to the park, a school play, or just watching the children grow and develope. Happiness is forgetting one’s self in the interests of a spouse and children.



  • Alex

    “But if the Tenth Circuit really means that a person’s ‘choice’ is the only marriage limit, then virtually every line historically drawn around marriage must fail. The right to marry whomever one chooses would thus override not only a limitation based upon sexual complementariness, but also the usual blanket limitations based on age, consanguinity, consent, or number of participants.”

    How is this not disturbing in its attempt to mislead the average person into hand-wringing worry?

    • michaelsuperman1

      The right to marry has many legal ramifications to the parties involved based on current law. Consent will likely always be required as well as of legal age based on that alone.

  • trollolololol

    I laugh at all the comments made over the months about how this case will never make it this far. Hypocritical liberals can keep hating on the conservative majority, while remaining ignorant that other states are following the same trail.
    This is far from being settled, but knowing the justices of SCOTUS, I’m not worried at all. I can’t wait to read Sotomayor ‘s dissent!

  • cynthialawry

    too bad that the governor and AG feel the need to further waste the taxpayer’s money. why do they feel so threatened? i moved from utah 6 weeks ago and can’t tell you how refreshing it is to live in a place where people can marry the person they love and walk down the street holding hands.

  • Arlee

    We will gladly stand up for truth and justice no matter the cost in our lives, our property or our sacred honor against DQx3. Homosexual behavior is evil, a perversion and it is wrong. Homosexuals can overcome this behavior and lead normal lives.

    • Alex

      It must be a scary world you live in, to see things in such black and white terms. I sincerely hope you have multiple family members come out to you soon.

      • Bob

        Why does anyone need to “come out” Alex. is there some phobia they suffer from that makes them want to hide?
        There’s a better than 95% chance they don’t.

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