USA, Utah: Analysis of the Marriage Equality Hearing Today

Written by scott on April 10th, 2014

Tenth Circuit, Denver

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By this time, if you are reading this particular website, you know the basic facts. But, it is worth restating here. The first time Utah specifically forbid same sex unions was by Legislative action in 1977. In 2004, during the height of the Bush Administration’s effort to politicize marriage equality and the proposed federal Constitutional Amendment, the Legislature tacked on two more bills. The first was to add Section 30-1-4.1 to the Utah lawbooks. It is one of your more broad gay marriage bans. It doesn’t ban personal contracts like some of the more extreme measures, but it did specifically bar civil unions or any law that would grant any marriage like benefits.

The other measure they passed was a resolution to put what became Amendment 3 on the Nov. 2, 2004 ballot. You would think the law would be enough, but Karl Rove and team were pushing marriage amendments to be placed on the ballot to boost turnout, and so the Utah Legislature complied. It passed with 65.9% of the vote, and went into force as Article I, Sec 29 in January 2005. (A side note: read the first few paragraphs of that Rove link if you want to remind yourself just how far we have come in ten years.)

So that brings us to this case. The plaintiffs are a gay male couple and two lesbian couples who have lived in Utah for a long time. (See their photo on Restore Our Humanity’s Facebook page.) Utah is their home, and they have built their families there. They have no interest in moving, and why should they?

Authored By Brian Leubitz – See the Full Story at Equality on Trial

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.


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