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(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) In an effort to prep herself for argument before the 10th Circuit Court of Appealsl, Peggy Tomsic and James Magleby practice in a mock appellate court in their offices. James Magleby and Peggy Tomsic are the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs in Utah's same-sex marriage case. The two are taking over the fund-raising efforts for the case.
Lawyers take on fundraising in Utah same-sex marriage case
First Published Jul 04 2014 04:53 pm • Last Updated Jul 05 2014 03:33 pm

The lawyers for three gay couples aiming to permanently topple Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage are taking over efforts to raise money to support their lawsuit, which is widely expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in coming weeks.

The law firm of Magleby & Greenwood, P.C., has joined with Equality Utah to continue soliciting financial support of Utah’s landmark Kitchen v. Herbert lawsuit.

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The new partnership takes the place of efforts previously spearheaded by Restore Our Humanity, an organization led by Mark Lawrence, who has been widely credited with recruiting the plaintiff couples and jump-starting the lawsuit.

Restore Our Humanity, which attempted to attract donors by asking for small amounts of money from everyday people throughout the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals’ jurisdiction — in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming — will continue to aid the case by raising awareness and "developing its mission as a broader human rights organization," according to a statement released by the Magleby & Greenwood law firm.

The case, which overturned Utah’s voter-approved Amendment 3 ban on same-sex unions, has torn through the courts at a faster rate than expected, leaving the lawyers and plaintiffs with less time to raise the necessary funds.

Thanks to gay-rights group Equality Utah and others, a website portal a website portal has been created through which donations will be collected for the case: www.equalityutah.org/kitchenvherbert.

On June 25, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby that Utah’s ban on gay and lesbian unions violates the federal constitution.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has said the state intends to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court, which last year struck down significant portions of the national Defense of Marriage Act, may elect to take on Utah’s case, a case from another district or decline to hear any such challenge. The latter would mean rulings by federal appeals courts — like that in the 10th Circuit last week — would stand as the law of the land.

As of press time, more than 76 cases challenging bans and restrictions on same-sex marriage have been filed in 32 states. Five challenges have reached the federal appellate level.

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Twitter: @marissa_jae

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