SALT LAKE CITY – The nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will meet in a conference on Sept. 29 to consider petitions for potential cases to be heard in its 2014-15 term. Petitioned cases being considered were listed on the Supreme Court’s docket Wednesday, and include Utah’s same-sex marriage ban. Along with Utah, petitions from Indiana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Virginia related to those state’s same-sex marriage bans were also listed.
There are seven petitions in all that have the potential to be looked at, three of which were filed by Virginia.
Though the Supreme Court may look at Utah’s case, it is under no obligation to move forward with it. It may even choose to move forward with a similar case from one of the other petitioning states on the matter.
Amendment 3, Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, was struck down as unconstitutional on Dec. 20, 2013 by federal District Judge Robert Shelby. For the next 17 days, over 1,200 same-sex couples married in Utah before the Supreme Court were granted a stay on Shelby’s ruling on Jan. 6, pending a final outcome of the state’s appeal.
Both sides in the same-sex marriage debate want the high court to hear the matter so it can finally be put to rest. The justices would finally rule on whether or not individual states have the right to define marriage within their borders.
“Over the past month, defendants have filed their petitions seeking Supreme Court review, and in each case, the winning plaintiffs have agreed that it’s time for the Supreme Court to resolve the question and end the uncertainty and harm that millions of American families face every day,” the group Utah Unites for Marriage posted on it’s website.
In a statement related to Utah’s request to the Supreme Court to hear the Amendment 3 case filed Aug. 5, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said the court’s taking up the case could provide a “clear finality on the important issue of state authority to define marriage.”
While the high court put the possible consideration of the same-sex marriage cases on it’s docket, Wednesday, the Utah Attorney General’s Office also filed a final brief to the court in the Amendment 3 case, claiming it “is the best available vehicle for resolving the question presented.”
In the brief, the state offers reasons why the justices should pick its case over other states. Among those reasons include Utah’s law being “representative of other states’ laws,” and it addressing the matter of a state having to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. The brief also reiterates the claim that forcing the state to approve of same-sex marriage could conflict with religious liberties.
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- Supreme Court grants stay on same-sex marriage recognition
- Appeals court denies Utah’s request to stay recognition of same-sex marriages
- State leaders, others respond to court striking down Amendment 3
- Judge orders Utah to recognize same-sex marriages from 17-day window
- Big company names throw support behind same-sex marriage
- Perspectives: The greatest threat to marriage, loss of sanctity
- ON Kilter: The gay marriage debate is over
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