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Three same-sex couples challenge Utah’s gay marriage ban

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — Three couples have filed a lawsuit challenging Utah’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

The complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Utah argues that the constitutional amendment passed in 2004 denies gay and lesbian citizens the basic right to marriage as affirmed in the interracial marriage case Loving vs. Virginia.

The challenge comes as the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on two gay marriage-related cases, including California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Plaintiffs in the Utah case are two gay couples — Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbiety, and Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge — along with Karen Archer and Kate Call, who were legally married in Iowa and whose marriage isn’t recognized by Utah.

Utah Attorney General John Swallow said the U.S. Supreme Court will probably avoid making a broad ruling. Swallow said marriage is for states to define.

“I believe that under our federal constitution the individual states retained the sole right to def ine the marriage relationship,” Swallow said Tuesday in a statement. “As Attorney General, I swore an oath to defend the Utah Constitution and will do so by defending against this lawsuit with every resource at my disposal.”

The Utah lawsuit names Swallow, Gov. Gary Herbert and Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen as defendants.

Swenson refused to issue marriage licenses to the same-sex couples as recently as Monday.

The U.S. Supreme Court held arguments Tuesday on California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage until the voter-approved measure was struck down by a federal appeals court in San Francisco.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996.

It wasn’t clear why the Utah couples were suing in a district court when the U.S. Supreme Court is already taking up the question. Their lawyers couldn’t be reached Tuesday.

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16 more reader comments:

  1. Awesome!

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:25pm
  2. awesome more people need to chanllange there states laws

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:25pm
  3. Rise up!

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:26pm
  4. The more the merrier! <3

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:27pm
  5. Here We Go again. Lets take it to SCOTUS just for fun! LOL

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:29pm
  6. Utah used to primarily be a Mormon state. Good luck to those couples.

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:29pm
  7. Nice one

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:31pm
  8. Seriously don’t understand why people have a problem with gay marriage. It’s the people who insist that marriage should only be between a man & a woman, that they are the only acceptable union that is entitled to marriage, that seem to take it for granted and abuse the whole point of what it’s really about.

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:31pm
  9. Mormons are weird.

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:33pm
  10. Best wishes!

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:35pm
  11. Wait. They want to protect marriage based on god???? Where in the bible did man have more than one wife????? Stupid ass Mormons

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:39pm
  12. Do EEET!!

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:49pm
  13. Wasn’t the Mormon lobby integral in getting same sex marriage bans passed in other states?

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:51pm
  14. This is why I live in Texas…

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 2:10pm
  15. :)

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 2:58pm
  16. good

    Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 3:36pm