Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
GOP lawmakers speak in defense of same-sex marriage ban
Amendment 3 » They say existing law upholds traditional marriage but respects everybody.

< Previous Page

The lawmakers said Utah’s marriage law reflects respect and empathy for all, while upholding traditional marriage. They argue that "conjectural" and "intemperate" assertions by the three same-sex couples challenging Amendment 3 and U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby that the ban is based on animus or inequality are wrong. The laws are simply designed to "endorse and encourage each child’s opportunity to be reared by a married mother and father," the lawmakers said.

And Utah law does not prevent same-sex couples from forming private intimate relations, they add.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

But if marriage is redefined to include same-sex couples, hundreds of statutes that endorse child rearing by a married mother and father could be affected. Among those are laws and policies dealing with premarital counseling, birth and adoption, legal parenthood, child welfare, education, marriage promotion and divorce.

"We do not believe," the brief states, "that a court, considering only the interests of plaintiffs in the case before it, should intrude into the state’s domestic relations authority by attempting a redefinition of marriage that would entail such profound, far-reaching and unconsidered consequences."

Sixteen Utah counties also submitted a brief Monday in support of the state’s same-sex marriage ban: Juab, Beaver, Box Elder, Cache, Emery, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Millard, Morgan, Sanpete, Sevier, Uintah, Utah, Wasatch and Washington counties.

A majority of participating voters in all but two of Utah’s 29 counties cast ballots in favor of Amendment 3 in 2004. The measure failed in Grand and Summit counties.

Voters in the 16 counties, represented by Brigham Young University law professor Lynn D. Wardle and Juab County Attorney Jared W. Eldridge, were heavily in favor of Amendment 3.

Nearly 80 percent of Utah County voters who participated in the general election approved the amendment, while it was passed by a 64 percent of voters in Wasatch County, the lowest margin among the counties.

"The interest in this case of these amici counties is to voice the view of their counties that protection of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is important, and that the laws of the state of Utah so defining marriage are basic civil rights laws protecting the core social institution of society and the values upon which our constitutional government and liberties rest," the counties said in their brief.

They argue "family law was constitutionally to remain subject to state, not national regulation." If federal law must respect state policies that permit same-sex marriage, it also must respect state laws that do not permit such unions.

story continues below
story continues below

"Our federalism encourages diversity," the counties said, "allowing some states to experiment with new forms of marriage, while protecting other states that chose instead to strengthen and preserve traditional marriage."

They also said the three same-sex marriage couples who sued Utah over Amendment 3 are engaged in an "illegitimate attempt to capture marriage for the purpose of promoting another philosophy and policy extraneous to the purpose of marriage."

In all, nearly two dozen groups or individuals, ranging from social science academics to a faith coalition that includes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have filed amicus briefs.

Utah, which filed its opening brief Feb. 3, is seeking to overturn Shelby’s Dec. 20 decision that found the state’s ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. The 10th Circuit has set oral arguments in the Utah case for April 10, and in a similar Oklahoma case for April 17.


Twitter: @Brooke4Trib

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.