Utah drops appeal in 2nd case ordering it to recognize married, same-sex couples

Matthew Barraza, left, and his husband Tony Milner with their son Jesse, are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the state of Utah that claims the state has put hundreds of gay and lesbian couples in legal limbo and prevented them from getting key protections for themselves and their children. Rick Bowmer, AP

Matthew Barraza, left, and his husband Tony Milner with their son Jesse, are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the state of Utah that claims the state has put hundreds of gay and lesbian couples in legal limbo and prevented them from getting key protections for themselves and their children.Rick Bowmer, AP

Matthew Barraza, left, and his husband Tony Milner with their son Jesse, were plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the state of Utah that claimed the state has put hundreds of gay and lesbian couples in legal limbo and prevented them from getting key protections for themselves and their children.

SALT LAKE CITY — Matthew Barraza and Tony Milner will no longer have to worry about somebody questioning Milner’s relationship to their 5-year-old son during a visit to the doctor, while picking him up from a school event or in the case of an emergency.

Milner can finally become Jesse’s legally recognized father now that gay marriage is legal in Utah.

On Monday, Utah state agencies were ordered to move forward with benefits such as child custody for all gay and lesbian married couples following the U.S. Supreme Court‘s decision to reject appeals by five states trying to protect their same-sex marriage bans.

Article continues below

On Tuesday, Utah state officials formally dropped their appeal of a parallel lawsuit brought by Barraza and Milner and three other couples who sued the state over its decision not to recognize their marriages performed in December. A federal judge sided with the gay couples in May, and Utah appealed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In its court filing asking for the case’s dismissal, the state said the question of whether more than 1,000 gay and lesbian marriages were valid is a now moot.

In two days, two gay marriage cases that had created a tangled web of confusion in Utah have been settled.

“We’re of course thrilled with all of this,” Barraza said. “I was expecting it to drag on longer than it did.”

Milner was in the process Tuesday of getting a new birth certificate for their son with his name added to it as a second father. They also planned to change the boy’s last name to a hyphenated one so both of their last names are reflected.

This Story Filed Under

Comments