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Utah cites procreation in lawsuit over same-sex marriage

Sunday, October 13, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — Attorneys for the state of Utah are defending a state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union of a man and woman, saying it promotes the state’s interest in “responsible procreation” and the “optimal mode of child-rearing.”

The state, in motions filed Friday, asked U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby of Salt Lake City to find in its favor in a lawsuit over voter-approved Amendment 3 filed by three same-sex couples who maintain it’s unconstitutional.

UtahA hearing on the summary judgment motions is set for Dec. 4 before Shelby. If Shelby declines to grant summary judgment to either side, the case will proceed for a trial.

The state’s motion notes Utah is the most-married and “child-centric” state in the nation, and says the state has a right to set as policy an “age-old and still predominant” definition of marriage, reported The Salt Lake Tribune.

“Same-sex couples, who cannot procreate, do not promote the state’s interests in responsible procreation (regardless of whether they harm it),” the state argues.

The state further argues the case is “really about who decides, not who is right in this important policy debate,” and that Amendment 3 does not discriminate because “neither a man nor a woman may marry a person of the same sex.”

The outcome of the case will impact state sovereignty and states’ preference for children to be raised by married couples when possible, the state adds.

But in their motions filed Friday, attorneys for the same-sex couples maintain the choice of a marriage partner is a “fundamental right and liberty interest” protected by the U.S. Constitution and that the state amendment approved in 2004 discriminates against gays and lesbians.

The couples cite cases that have defined the freedom to marry as one of the “vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness.”

To restrict that right, the state must show its “marriage discrimination laws” are designed to meet a compelling government interest, they add. Amendment 3 fails that test because it furthers a moral view that same-sex couples are immoral and inferior to opposite-sex couples, they argue.

“The state has not identified a single harm that it, or anyone else, would suffer as a result of allowing plaintiffs to exercise their constitutionally protected autonomy to choose a marriage partner of the same sex,” the plaintiffs say.

The couples, who were denied a marriage license by the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office, filed affidavits Friday describing how they feel the state’s ban has caused them humiliation, emotional distress, pain, psychological harm and stigma.

The lack of public recognition of their relationships creates challenges that range from not being able to share gym memberships to confusion about how to fill our car rental and hotel forms and secure assets, they say.

The couples say other harms include not being able to jointly file federal and state tax returns in Utah and to have their joint holdings recognized as marital property.

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119 more reader comments:

  1. I am fairly certain there is not a lack of procreation in UT.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:24pm
  2. stop procreation with more than one wife..

    Replied on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:44pm
  3. Then people who masturbate can’t get married.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:25pm
  4. LOL! yes they can

    Replied on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 2:18am
  5. I’m sorry that’s already proved to be an invalid argument!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:25pm
  6. So infertile straights shouldn’t be allowed to marry?

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:27pm
  7. Excellent counter-argument. I'm going to remember this one!

    Replied on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 3:58am
  8. with over 7 BILLION people on the planet and with that number EXPONENTIALLY rising every year, the only *responsible procreation* these days should be very little. people should be THANKING god for gays for helping to keep that number down or we would outgrow our planet and its resources a lot faster!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:27pm
  9. the ‘gays can’t make babies’ argument is soooo tired and has been debunked for ages. Can’t they come up with an original argument?

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:27pm
  10. No, they can't because Mormons are uneducated hypocrites.

    Replied on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 1:30am
  11. Nobody likes Mormons, therefore Utah shouldn't be taken seriously.

    Replied on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 1:10pm
  12. The hope that if they repeat a talking point often enough, it magically will become the truth. It's a pattern, and I suppose, necessary when you have nothing of relevance to say...

    Replied on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 3:45pm
  13. :-) I've been gay all my life, but "followed the rules" -- got married, made 4 babies the old fashioned way (hey, I'm intelligent, I learned a skill!). Being gay definitely does not make us sterile/infertile.

    Replied on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 3:52pm
  14. And all the Mormons having kids left and right is “responsible procreation?” We as a society need to stop breeding. Gay, straight, whatever, we just need to stop creating more people.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:29pm
  15. So everyone should be tested to be sure they can reproduce, if not, they can never marry. Guess the breeders on 19 and counting are ‘normal’ for overbreeding and abusing our planet.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:31pm
  16. Instead of feeding us the procreation crap can’t they just be honest and say, “Hey we don’t want you to marry because we hate you and all you stand for.” Don’t blow smoke up my ass with the other stuff just say you hate gays so we can say fine we hate you back!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:33pm
  17. who wants sex from these creeps,,clutsits morms

    Replied on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:46pm
  18. Not me, I'll stick with my long time lesbian friend and wife thank you

    Replied on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 2:21am
  19. In that case, shouldn’t Utah require a fertility test of straight people and a promise to procreate before being allowed to marry?

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:34pm
  20. No, that's the Catholics.

    Replied on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:41pm
  21. No more so the christians

    Replied on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 2:17am
  22. one reason i hate my state, we will probably be the last to recognize, its sad. A lot of children could be missing out on an adoption by parents that would love them

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:37pm
  23. Utah sucks :/

    Replied on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:44pm
  24. Q lud

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:38pm
  25. Dumb.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:39pm
  26. Yay Utah!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:41pm
  27. nope. won’t work.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:42pm
  28. procreation not our issue,,rights define our fight,,please utah stop killing us and makeing gay babbies

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:42pm
  29. The Billboard should read ‘Welcome to Utah … Life Devalued, Equalities nonexistent …. But we sure have the Worlds Greatest Bigoted Preachers !’ Just like the lands of Utah.. Stolen from the Native American Ute Indian , while true marriage is Stolen and redefined from the History of human kind and Humanity !!! ;0(

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:43pm
  30. Wish I could like yours twice!! Nicely Put!

    Replied on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 10:06pm
  31. The only good things about Utah are the skiing and the natural scenery

    Replied on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:42pm
  32. where do they think some gay couples children come from? The adoption of those kids not wanted by all the “responsible procreation” obviously already occurring,

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:44pm
  33. Yeah, like we really need more people.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:44pm
  34. So no women past menopause can get married either.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:45pm
  35. So every Utah resident that doesn’t have or can’t have children should have their marriages revoked.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:45pm
  36. I am so effing tired of my state, the people in office, and their bullshit excuses!

    Just say it! You’re a homophobe! Enough hiding behind your bible

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:46pm
  37. ban all those that can’t procreate too, then we can talk. oh and didn’t i see a couple (heterosexual) that had 20 biological children?. so much for “responsible” procreation.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:48pm
  38. Shame!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:48pm
  39. Another example of f’ing Utard always behind the times by 30 years or more.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:52pm
  40. They're ahead of Alabama and Mississippi though, give 'em that much

    Replied on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:45pm
  41. Thou doest protest too much…

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:53pm
  42. Neither can old retired heterosexual couples. Should the elderly also be denied rights to marry since they can’t reproduce (as well as infertile couples)?

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:53pm
  43. if responsible procreation is a requirement for marriage then women or men that cannot have children should also be barred from getting married if they are going to use this as a arguement

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:57pm
  44. Utah is a nice place, but it needs some dragging into the 21st century

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 5:58pm
  45. We have to refute the same old arguments over and over again.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:02pm
  46. That argument sucks because some men and women can’t have children. And does that mean that the marriage is null once the women is too old to procreate?

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:02pm
  47. HELL, some DON'T kids at all....and then there are SOME, who should NEVER have kids.....i DO agree with u, by the way. ;)

    Replied on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 12:05am
  48. Yeah, this won’t work. Can’t wait for equal marriage rights in Utah. The state may go up in flames before that happens though.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:05pm
  49. Seriously?

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:09pm
  50. Life “Hell-evated”

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:12pm
  51. Even some hetero marrieds choose not to procreate or adopt kids. This idea of “cuz they cannot breed” is moot.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:12pm
  52. I’m sick of this old tired bullshit excuse. It doesn’t stand up we aren’t in the first century anymore, grow some balls tell the truth, that you just think it’s gross. Then we can tell you Oh well her over it some dudes marry dudes.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:14pm
  53. Well then shouldnt divorce be banned, or marrige between people past child bearing age?

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:14pm
  54. GOD made a man…that is…a man, in His Image…………What do the attorneys think about this effort? Is it legal for a man to make another man?

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:16pm
  55. These attorneys are complete garbage! I’m sure these jokes are pedophiles and into bestiality! Disgusting grime!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:27pm
  56. Yeah, right. We and the world are SOOO under populated. This fixation on procreation is bullshit. Have these whack jobs come to terms with how many UNMARRIED straights are procreating?

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:27pm
  57. Procreation, huh?

    Perhaps they can explain how it is that I’ve been married for 9 years now without children. Or how my father has been married for more than a decade with no kids. Or how my mother has been married for 2 decades without kids. Or my father-in-law for 2 decades without kids. Or how my grandfather married at age 80 to a79 year old woman.

    More a single one of those marriages ever did or COULD result in kids, and yet they were all legal….

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:40pm
  58. What about oklahoma

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:44pm
  59. Its called biological damage control cuz theres too many of us!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:49pm
  60. BS! My husband & I are definitely gay, but I have a son & daughter + 2 grand-kids; my Husband has a grown son AND procreation is NOT the Only or Primary reason for marriage.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:54pm
  61. just another idiotic excuse to be bigoted.. how sad

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 6:54pm
  62. so then “heteros” who can NOT procreate or too old or have “issues” getting pregnant can’t marry!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 7:01pm
  63. So they’re trying to say they NEVER have sex except to make a baby? I don’t buy that line of bullshit for a minute.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 7:05pm
  64. Yeah, get real.

    Replied on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 3:11am
  65. Reductio ad absurdum go!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 7:15pm
  66. Should say “welcome to hell”

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 7:52pm
  67. They do realize that gay peoples sexual organs still work, right? We just can not create life accidentally. And if they are trying to argue that people having children without being financially, emotionally, relationship and such ready to have a child is a good thing… that’s a scary thought.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 8:09pm
  68. how the hell did a cult get control of an entire state?

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 8:15pm
  69. Screw them

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 8:29pm
  70. The argumn they are using is way out of line.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 8:31pm
  71. The whole “procreation” argument would mean most middle aged couples couldn’t marry or remarry either. Of course, bigots aren’t smart enough to figure that part out for some reason.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 8:35pm
  72. They just don’t make any sense to me. Everyone can procreate. It’s just more interesting. These people r just way behind science…

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 8:36pm
  73. aawwwww

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 8:41pm
  74. If “responsible procreation” is made the sole justification of marriage, in that case marriages of all hetero couples over the age of 40 should be denied, also all marriages between people neither of whom (or both) cannot breed because of defect or inablitiy.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 8:55pm
  75. procreation is all well and good, but are we not a wee bit overpopulated in a lot of place around the world. while children sit in orphanages without a good home

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 9:02pm
  76. Yes...Mormons are very anti-abortion but, 99% of them would never consider adopting a child conceived out of wedlock or under any other circumstance! They just want to make you miserable and the child as well.

    Replied on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 10:11pm
  77. I know some 1-percenters, then, I had a Mormon teacher who adopted all of his kids, all of whom came from families that couldn't support them.

    Replied on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:44pm
  78. But you're right about most of them.

    Replied on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:44pm
  79. But gay people CAN procreate. And adopt. And love. Mormons are so full of hate. Stupid cult.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 9:10pm
  80. “Okay, so if you are older and cannot make babies any more, NO MORE SEX FOR YOU”! Said no Mormon, ever!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 9:11pm
  81. I’m pretty sure two men cannot biologically produce a baby. But they can adopt and/or choose the surrogate option – either option tends to piss off some people for some stupid inexplicable reason.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 9:14pm
  82. Most straights are “Breeders”; some are not!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 9:18pm
  83. another state full of geniuses

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 9:35pm
  84. Oh pleeeeeeease. Really????? I know “man and woman” couples who are wretched parents. Conversely, I know “gay” couples who are exemplary parents. Love and patience are what makes a good parent. Not whether one has an inny or an outie.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 9:40pm
  85. Omg. What about infertile people? Gay people who have biological children? People who want to marry but not have kids? People who want to have kids but not marry? I know I sound repetitive but so does this tired argument.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 9:41pm
  86. Does that mean that male-female couples beyond the chid-bearing age and male-female couples who are unable to have children are no supported in getting married in Utah.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 9:59pm
  87. Omg I can’t wait till they realize people over 45, or that suffer from infertility problems NOW have no right to marry– #Morons

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 10:01pm
  88. Assholian strategy.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 10:12pm
  89. The main reason for Mormons procreating all the time is to populate the world with more Mormons who can eventually vote and change the world to their way of thinking, legally. It’s the Mormon agenda. They want to become the majority, in seats of power, to rule over this planet. They’re not waiting till they get to Kolab!

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 10:13pm
  90. Seems unlikely. They own the Marriott and that place serves alcohol, has adult movies, etc. The LDS isn't a church, it's a business

    Replied on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:46pm
  91. The procreation argument is almost inhumane. Basically, they are saying the ONLY purpose of sex is to mate and get pregnant? If I were a straight woman, I would be disgusted by this argument that I am only valuable as a “breeding machine”. Sick.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 10:41pm
  92. mormon headquarters

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 10:45pm
  93. it’s already been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:15pm
  94. and how many of Brigham Young’s 56 wives were childless?

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:16pm
  95. As if all hetero couples have kids.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:22pm
  96. Gay people don’t reproduce. SO THE HELL WHAT!? That doesn’t make their love less valid. And they can still adopt.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:39pm
  97. then, old past child baring age people should NOT be allowed to marry as well…..or those who don’t want kids and such…..MARRIAGE IS ABOUT LOVE, NOT KIDS.

    Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:57pm
  98. If there is a single marriage in Utah of a heterosexual couple where the female can not or will not “procreate” (either infertile, too old, mentally incompetant, etc) then they should throw out the rule/book that bars us gays from marrying there.

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 12:35am
  99. They should stick with one wife and at best 2 children instead of trying to populate the whole earth themselves… We lesbians, gays, have mostly no children and if we do its adoptions… Why would we be an issue we dont take up too much space and procreate to millions of kids…

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 1:03am
  100. FUCK Utah and any state like them and their state constitutional amendment more bullshit christian Laws of control, This is why the original roman life style is coming back in to play and with the numbers matching Of the 90% termanation control from the could hearted illuminatti to take full control and extermnate the wolds 90% christians as their first target of full control. Do the math okay the numbers match The Illuminatti want to Illiminate 90% of the worlds population and their is in the worlds population 90% christians its all over the internet also and these christian law makers and followers think they have the upper hand on everything I do not think so, If I was every christian I would join the other side I did bause their made up god will not save them when the worlds biggest round up starts with the christians first and no one else. The Great Romans Revenge is comiing in the modern age of the 21st centur…..Am I Glad I worship the sun a real god to worship.

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 1:15am
  101. Not all married couples want or can have children, but they are allowed to marry. The people in Utah can go to h***. Mormons are a joke.

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 1:29am
  102. You don’t have to be married to have a baby and you can be married and choose not to have a baby.

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 1:29am
  103. If anyone likes add me as a friend, Me and my family are behind gays and gay marriage 1000% because before me and my wife that was long time friends and she asked me to marry her and I said yes only because I wanted children and so did she but she wanted our children to have a father around all the time….so now we have children together and our marriage is 100% open and happpy she does what see wants and so do I with no chains attached with who we want to do it with and anyone that comes ito our life accepts our marriage 100% and loves us still….and please do not think we are bi we are not we just had a few one nighters together that gave us two Beautiful children, and I will always love my best friend and wife to my death….so yes gays can have children together and I am proof of that and proud of it. So screw christian laws and moron mormons also…..BE FREE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 2:37am
  104. Sadly…..backlash happens..!

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 4:22am
  105. That was the argument that Justice Keagan beat the fuck out of Last March in the Supreme Court.

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 4:39am
  106. so … that means that infertile couples, or couples who simply do not want children cannot get married either! OH, and what about adoption??

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 5:11am
  107. what is good for the goose is good for the gander!

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 5:14am
  108. As a married woman who cannot have children this argument says my marriage should be thrown out. It would surprise some people to find out some get married for more than just pumping out kids… You know like .. LOVE. Love is love whoever it happens to be between.

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 8:13am
  109. i was raised mormon, and though I’m not from Utah, I lived there for 6 years.

    I stopped going to church when i was 14.

    Christianity is flawed on it’s own lack of merits, LDS teachings is just slim icing on the spoiled cake.

    for one, they are far-right overall like all other orthodox, fundamentalist and evangelical religions, and although a large portion of religious people are becoming more moderate overall, they haven’t come nearly far enough, including mormons.

    one piece of propaganda they teach is the Lamanites, which are actually native indians of north america. the mormons teach that the indians, or Lamanites, were damned by god and that’s why they have dark skin. they also say the indians came here [america] after the mormons [and whites]. it’s all propaganda.

    yes, there was one tribe of indians that came to america, long long ago before the whites, from europe who settled here, but most native indians had lived in america [and north america] for thousands of years.

    and don’t get me started about Utah. Utah, nationally, per capita, has historically had the highest suicides rates in the country. they are just as ass backwards as any other state. with their ‘traditional family values’, one town, Ogden, has a teen pregnancy rate twice the national average.

    LGBT’s in Utah are not welcome, along with other diverse groups.

    the majority of christians are going to hell. sorry, life just sucks. they are hypocrites.

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 9:27am
  110. Any state that claims, responsible procreation” and the “optimal mode of child-rearing, yet still allows Mormons, is not playing with a full deck.

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 9:52am
  111. sounds like Mormon ideology

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 11:05am
  112. How stupid is that!

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 12:03pm
  113. we sure as hell could adopt a lot of the kids waiting so desperately for it.

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 1:14pm
  114. This will blow up in their faces!

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 4:00pm
  115. I’m surprised the Harvey Milk quote hasn’t come up yet…

    “Can two men make a child?”
    Milk: “No, but God knows we keep on trying”

    Granted that was the movie – not sure if he actually said that. Still, it’s one of my favorites.

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 6:18pm
  116. Based on that argument, couples should not be allowed to get married until the girl is pregnant!

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 7:03pm
  117. The problem with this argument is that gay couples are denied property, liberty, and even life – WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW.
    When one partner gets sick, she can’t get health care on her partner’s health plan because they aren’t legally married. When the illness becomes serious and the partner ends up in the ICU, her partner can’t visit her in the hospital, because she is not a “Spouse or family member”. When her partner dies, the surviving partner has to pay higher taxes (because she is not allowed the spouse exclusion created by Republicans), and she could be denied life insurance benefits (because she can’t “prove” fiduciary interest – even though she was named as beneficiary. The surviving partner could also lose her home, and yet be held liable for the partner’s debts.

    This is a VIOLATION OF THE 5TH AMENDMENT and 14th AMENDMENT

    Posted on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 7:09pm
  118. Then no contraception.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 4:03am
  119. Oh you mean like the duggers”19 kids and counting”?on TLC

    Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 6:43pm