SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General John Swallow is asking the United States Supreme Court to support state and federal laws defining marriage as a union between a man and woman. Utah signed two amicus, or friend of the court, briefs asking the Supreme Court to overturn rulings in California’s Proposition 8 case and the U.S. Congress Defense of Marriage Act.
“Traditional marriage is the bedrock foundation for families and society,” Swallow said. “As part of my promise to protect Utah families, we will fight to make sure traditional marriage is protected and preserved.”
Utah is among 40 states that define marriage as the union of a man and woman. Voters also amended the state constitution to clarify this definition of marriage.
Utah is one of 19 states challenging the ruling on Proposition 8 and one of 17 states defending DOMA. Here are summaries of each brief:
Proposition 8: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided California’s Proposition 8 violated the federal constitution’s equal protection guarantee. A break from the position held for 40 years that federal courts would protect the states’ unique and important role to define and encourage traditional marriage by refusing to interfere with state marriage definitions or policies. The brief argues the decision has overridden the democratic process and the states contend it unconstitutionally violates California’s sovereignty and “it is a disintegration of perhaps the most fundamental and revered cultural institution of American life: Marriage as we know it.”
DOMA: The Second Circuit Court of Appeals erred by striking down DOMA on similar grounds. The ruling rejected Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act which established the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. The brief contends the ruling “invalidated a federal law that affirms marriage as it has been understood for centuries by every American colony and state.”
- Amici Curiae of States in USA v Windsor, SCOTUS Case No. 12-307 re DOMA (PDF)
- Amici Curiae of States in Hollingsworth v Perry, SOCTUS Case No. 12-144 re DOMA (PDF)
Submitted by: Office of the Utah Attorney General