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Utah says its ban on same-sex marriage does not discriminate against gays

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — The state of Utah asserted this week that it has a “sovereign right” to define and regulate marriage, and defended a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, saying its ban does not discriminate against gays and lesbians.

In a 13-page filing in federal court Monday, state attorneys denied that Utah’s Amendment 3 was aimed at furthering privately-held views that same-sex couples are immoral and inferior to heterosexual couples.

“Utah law prevents neither homosexuals nor lesbians from marrying,” according to the filing. “Homosexuals and lesbians may marry in Utah, but they face the same restriction heterosexuals do – they may not marry a person of the same sex. This restriction is not gender based – it applies equally to both males and females.”

On March 25, three couples filed a lawsuit challenging Utah’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, approved in 2004 by by 66 percent of voters.

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

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.

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

The state said that, while it is true that “unmarried couples or groups of any kind — heterosexual, homosexual, polygamous, etc.” are denied certain rights available to married couples, their access to those rights is not protected under the U.S. Constitution.

The state has asked U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby to dismiss the complaint.

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103 more reader comments:

  1. Homosexuals and lesbians. “They can´t be in a same sex relationship”. Do these people not… understand?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:26pm
  2. it´s freaking Utah; what do you expect!?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:27pm
  3. Well my ban on ever visiting Utah doesn´t effect their tourist dollar then! :p

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:27pm
  4. I honestly don´t see how anyone can remain Roman Catholic or Mormon or any evangelical denomination while being gay. It is like lets just acquiesce to discrimination by feeding the system. Also this isn´t a shock coming from the heart of Mormon country.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:27pm
  5. *facepalm*

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:28pm
  6. Is that the morons state? I mean mormon.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:28pm
  7. damn morons, i mean Mormons

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:29pm
  8. Ah! Utah. shame EQUALITY FOR ALL!!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:29pm
  9. Damn Amendment 3. Tried so hard to defeat it. Curses

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:29pm
  10. Seriously? Unfreakingbelieveable!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:30pm
  11. It does and they know it.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:30pm
  12. Ah yes, Anatole France said it best: The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. Clearly, the law is just and equal when heterosexuals as well as homosexuals are forbidden to marry the same sex.

    –> MASSIVE SARCASM HERE. <–

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:30pm
  13. are they retarded? homosexuals can marry, just not a person of the same sex? LOL

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:32pm
  14. In what way is this non-discriminatory?!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:32pm
  15. And the Board of Education of Topeka Kansas knew that blacks are inferior.That is why white people need a certain score to pass a test but the number is reduced for blacks as THEY say the tests are “geared” for whites!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:33pm
  16. can I still marry 20 people then?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:33pm
  17. You can get married, just not to the person you love. *sigh*

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:33pm
  18. So if a state bans Mormonism its not discrimination.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:35pm
  19. There is NO separation of church and state in Utah. I found the Mormons there to be intolerant. I´m glad I left.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:35pm
  20. @maunel, that´s seriously the second stupid thing youve said in 20 mins. go to sleep

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:35pm
  21. hah hah hah hah. how quaint.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:39pm
  22. Has anybody made the connection that Kolob (their God´s home world planet) spelt backwards is Bolok as in a load of old boloks ;)

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:40pm
  23. Stupid.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:42pm
  24. Twisted sick thinking. It just disgusts me.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:42pm
  25. the state Government in Utah should be ashamed of it,s self. DOMA was struck down. Get over it you JERKS.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:43pm
  26. Of course it doesn´t,because this nation does not recognize the US gay community as full and equal American citizens. You can´t discriminate against people who aren´t full citizens, now can you?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:45pm
  27. WTF?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:48pm
  28. Knuckle-draggers

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:48pm
  29. Good luck with that argument..espeially since the SCOTUS already decided that.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:49pm
  30. ““Utah law prevents neither homosexuals nor lesbians from marrying,” according to the filing. “Homosexuals and lesbians may marry in Utah, but they face the same restriction heterosexuals do – they may not marry a person of the same sex. This restriction is not gender based – it applies equally to both males and females.””

    OH. MY. GAWD. OH MY GAWD. I CANNOT… WORDS… FAIL ME… AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:50pm
  31. Got another little spec of food for thought, Rebecca Fryer…..

    Joseph Smith, a known con-artist and horse-thief, claimed to have found golden tablets (that no one else ever saw) that could only be read through magic ´seeing stones´ (that no one else ever used) and claimed to have been led to the location of these things by an angel.

    The angel´s name? “Moroni.” Please to delete the “i”

    He called these ´sacred texts´ “The Book of Mormon”

    Please to delete the second “m”

    An elaborate practical joke that became a cult.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:52pm
  32. Let´s band stupidity!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:53pm
  33. Yes it is discrimination and it´s wrong, duh hey!!! How about banning bigots, sounds like a plan to me.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 9:57pm
  34. doesn´t? really? hetero´s can get married…but we can´t? THATS THE BLOODY DEFINITION OF DISCRIMINATION!! NOT TO MENTION AGAINST THE 14TH AMENDMENT!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:01pm
  35. yeah right, of course not !! they just discriminate the people who love people of their same gender

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:01pm
  36. Fuck Utah. Completely.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:02pm
  37. Agreed Robert

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:02pm
  38. I say bullshit!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:02pm
  39. So it´s alright to marry your sister but its not alright to be gay. Hmmm

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:03pm
  40. The only reason why they banned same sex marriage is everyone one there is mainly Mormon so this does not surprise me! But sad

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:03pm
  41. Impoverished families aren´t being discriminated against. They can buy food at the same prices as rich families, with no restrictions.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:06pm
  42. I know this because my sons great great great Grandpa built the temple but the family went Seventh Day Adventist which is nothing like the Mormons at all!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:07pm
  43. how do they figure that

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:07pm
  44. LISTEN UP…MARRIAGE IS A CIVIL RIGHT ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION, THEREFORE MY CIVIL RIGHTS ARE BEING VIOLATED. GAY MARRIAGE IS A CIVIL MATTER THAT SHOULD BE A FEDERAL ISSUE NOT A STATE BY STATE VOTE. CIVIL RIGHTS CANNOT BE VOTED ON. ANY STATE THAT HAS A BAN ON THIS IS IN VIOLATION OF BASIC CIVIL RIGHTS..THIS COUNTRY FIGHTS AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AROUND THE WORLD. WHEN IN ESSENCE THEIR COMMITTING THOSE VIOLATIONS IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY….SHAME

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:10pm
  45. Im just going to copy n share that statement Kelly,couldn´t say it better!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:13pm
  46. This is fucked,.. let´s outlaw mor(m)ons from practicing their evil religion!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:14pm
  47. Wonder then just exactly how they define discrimination?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:14pm
  48. This is no different than when the Supreme Court ruled the ban on interracial marriage was unconstitutional

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:19pm
  49. Gigi please do..

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:19pm
  50. It´s like they don´t even listen to themselves speak. It´s called “Human Rights”, this includes the LGBT community since, in fact, THEY ARE HUMAN! Also that bull about how gays have the right to marry, just not to the same sex. What do these people think being gay is? How more stupid can you get? I support human rights, no matter if you´re gay, transgendered, black, white or anything. There´s no difference between human rights and gay rights.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:29pm
  51. Utah won´t admit to their discrimination!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:31pm
  52. Kelly, actually, under the state´s rights clauses of the Constitution, marriage is recognized by the Federal Government– but not defined. That power is given solely to the states. This is why it took Supreme Court rulings to force changes both for those couples wishing to marry who were interracial as well as those couples who are same-sex. Were the Constitution to grant marriage recognition to the Federal Government all Congress would have to do is pass a law that would affect all 50 states. The recent decision involving DOMA forced the Federal Government to extend those Federal Marriage benefits to couples that reside in those states where Marriage Equality has been won. However, the part of DOMA that allows a Non-Marriage Equality state to deny recognition to couples legally married in their own states or another state was NOT struck down. While I agree that a civil right should not have to be voted on, the facts are still that the definition of what constitutes a civil right is still very much in the hands of the politicians, and they are only grudgingly giving ground, just as they did with integration of schools, interracial marriage, and the Civil Rights Act.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:33pm
  53. And gas chambers killed no Jews.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:36pm
  54. You do not need a piece of paper to love or feel affection for anyone you are free from the day you were born Screw the nation that hates people loving and trusting another kindred soul. Speak love speak trust speak peace to all mortals every where.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:43pm
  55. Matthew then the Supreme Court needs to force these changes to the ban on same sex marriage as they did with interracial marriage.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:44pm
  56. WRONG.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:46pm
  57. The state that is run by mormons what would you expect.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:48pm
  58. as someone who lives in utah, i can honestly say the mormon church leaders and members CONTROL the laws in this state. just the way it is….they have majority rule….so others rights are trampled if they are not inline with the teachings of the church or its leaders…. :(

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:49pm
  59. Well, what do you expect.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:50pm
  60. Stupid fucking mormons!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:52pm
  61. More idiot Republicans no doubt.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:53pm
  62. Utah = Mormons = Screwed -up!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 10:53pm
  63. and seperate but equal was a fair system for blacks, right?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 11:01pm
  64. And I thought the Mormons were becoming more Inclusive….LOL! I guess it´s better to lie to your five wives about your sexuality.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 11:03pm
  65. funny utah, fucking idiots! there are shit tons of those freaked out idiots with 5 and 6 wives, but thats A ok!!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 11:04pm
  66. Yeah, OK….. Utah…. whatever!!?@#!?¿?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 11:13pm
  67. CHA, right. Nice try, Utah.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 11:34pm
  68. Keep everyone STUPIED you Mormons, easier to control them. Many faith´ discourage education, because one might catch on of the BS that is going on.. lol lol lol

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 11:37pm
  69. Everyone knows that Utah is dominated from top to bottom by the Mormon Church. The separation of Church and State is just a big joke, in Mormon country. Why -then, should anyone be surprised that the State of Utah is insisting that same-sex marriage doesn´t discriminate against gay people?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 11:37pm
  70. geez!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 11:47pm
  71. At George I agree we don´t need a piece paper to prove our love but we do need these rights to make our lives easier, No tax when your loved one dies, being able to make medical choices and inheritance.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 11:54pm
  72. This coming from the state that supported polymists

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 11:58pm
  73. wow banning same sex marriage is NOT discrimination….what is it then WELCOEM TO UTAH?

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:04am
  74. Uh….the fuck over? I´m just…flabbergasted at the fuckery of that confusing statement. ´Homosexuals and lesbians´? ´Same restrictions as straight people: can´t marry the same gender?´ Uh…wha…*brain short-circuiting*

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:06am
  75. WTF?! How is it NOT discriminatory? Fucking control freaks. Utah eh? I nearly forgot that´s the “Mormon” state….yea…polygamy n all. Really cool asswipes.

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:08am
  76. Their argument is basically that everyone has the right to have a loveless marriage with someone who you aren´t sexually attracted to but will force out kids because it´s expected?

    What assholes.

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:11am
  77. Oh, would not want all those wives in polygamous marriages to start sleeping with each other now, would we? ;p

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:20am
  78. Oh really?

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:21am
  79. Then what do you call it? IF it walks like a duck….

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:30am
  80. One-hundred eighteen years later, they are still butthurt over having to write polyamory out of their state constitution.

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:36am
  81. Wow…that´s a whole lotta stupid. Same argument they used to say the interracial marriage ban wasn´t discriminatory… “Everyone has equal rights…. to marry someone of their own race”

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:39am
  82. Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:39am
  83. Utah is no place to look for reality or common sense.

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:52am
  84. I´m sorry…what? That doesn´t make sense

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 1:06am
  85. What a crock of shit.

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 1:18am
  86. ““Utah law prevents neither homosexuals nor lesbians from marrying,” according to the filing. “Homosexuals and lesbians may marry in Utah, but they face the same restriction heterosexuals do – they may not marry a person of the same sex.” What? Talk about legalese gymnastics!

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 1:19am
  87. Still one of the stupidest arguments against marriage equality I´ve ever heard… “Gays and lesbians can marry all they want – as long as they marry the OPPOSITE sex.”

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 1:22am
  88. WELCOME TO UTAH…SET YOUR WATCH BACK 20 YRS!!! (I had a T-Shirt that said that once, LOL)

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 1:29am
  89. lmao

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 1:31am
  90. And I´m the Virgin Mary!

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 1:37am
  91. To fucking funny. Wonder what it is then?

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 1:40am
  92. Fail

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 2:04am
  93. You know, it´s funny, for decades in America Mormons were one of the most hated, ostracized, and reviled groups you could find. Often they were executed just for being Mormon, you would think that kind of history would make people more compassionate, but instead, the moment they get an ounce of legitimacy, they start throwing other people under the bus…Mormonism truly is the “American Religion” I guess.

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 3:26am
  94. I call bullshit on that statement, Utah. Mormons are cool and all, but your religion bothers me.

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 3:53am
  95. Bullshit! Fuck you Utah!

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 4:22am
  96. this is a lol

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 4:28am
  97. Just like the clouds don´t obscure the sun when they are in front of it.

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 4:49am
  98. Meh, we never need Utah anyways.

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 5:53am
  99. What the fuck happened to the separation of church and state shit?! What a bunch of schmucks!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 6:16am
  100. Oh really? make up your own rules then….

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 8:52am
  101. Does the state of Utah understand that same-sex marriage are gay people?

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 2:23pm
  102. Ugh.. don´t get me started on Utah today…

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 2:46pm
  103. Lie hell iit doesn”t!

    Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 3:15pm