Utah officials on Tuesday appealed to
the Supreme Court a federal appeals court's order striking down the
state's ban on gay marriage.
On June 25, the Tenth Circuit Court of
Appeals in Denver delivered a split decision declaring Utah's ban
“We hold that the Fourteenth
Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a
family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state's
marital laws,” the court said in its 112-page ruling. “A state
may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or
refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the
persons in the marriage union.”
Utah's petition states that the
question before the court is: “Whether the Fourteenth Amendment to
the United States Constitution prohibits a state from defining or
recognizing marriage only as the legal union between a man and a
“Promoting marriage as an institution
designed to honor every child's fundamental right to know and be
raised by a mother and father does not ban any other type of
relationship. But rewriting the Constitution to impose the Tenth
Circuit's marriage definition on every single State has consequences.
It communicates that the marriage institution is more about adults
than children. It teaches that mothers and fathers are
interchangeable and therefore expendable. And it instills an
incentive that citizens seeking social change should use the courts,
rather than the democratic process, to achieve it. For all these
reasons, the Court should grant Utah's petition and reverse the Tenth
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said
that the state expedited its filing in an effort to quickly resolve
“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,” Reyes said in a statement.
The case, heard by the appeals court in
April, was the first to reach the appellate level since the Supreme
Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year.
Since then, appellate courts have struck down similar bans in
Virginia and Oklahoma. Defendants in those cases have also said
they'll appeal to the Supreme Court.