SALT LAKE CITY – Though same-sex marriage has been declared legal in the state, Utah joined 14 other states in filing a “friends of the court” brief asking the Supreme Court to uphold same-sex marriage bans. They argue the decision should be left to the states.
The briefs are being filed in support of cases from Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear. Unlike other states that had their same-sex marriage bans struck down, these states had their bans upheld by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court.
In addition to Utah, the other states listed on the brief are Louisiana, Texas, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
The high court declined to hear Utah’s own case against same-sex marriage in October 2014, subsequently upholding a lower court ruling that struck down Amendment 3, the state’s voter-approved same-sex marriage ban, as unconstitutional in December 2013.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments April 28. A final ruling could be expected by late June.
Two specific questions to be considered by the Supreme Count include:
- Does a state have the right to ban same-sex marriage?
- Does a state have to recognize a same-sex marriage done in another state?
The following is an excerpt from the friends of the court, or amici curiae, brief, asking the court to uphold the same-sex marriage bans:
These cases ask whether States and their citizens may continue to govern themselves on this issue. The plaintiffs, and even some States, assert that the Fourteenth Amendment removes same-sex marriage from democratic deliberation
They urge the Court to declare that the Constitution compels all fifty States to adopt this new form of marriage that did not exist in a single State twelve years ago. The Court should decline that invitation. The Constitution takes no sides on same-sex marriage, and therefore leaves the issue up to the free deliberations of state citizens. The fact that Americans have reached different conclusions about this novel question is not a sign of a constitutional crisis that requires correction by this Court. It is rather a sign that our Constitution is working as it should. In our federal system, this issue must be resolved by the “formation of consensus” at the state level.
To resolve it instead through federal judicial decree would demean the democratic process, marginalize the views of millions of Americans, and do incalculable damage to our civic life in this country.
As reported by Fox 13 News in March, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., along with Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Park City Mayor Jack Thomas, joined other mayors from across the nation in filing amicus briefs in favor of same-sex marriage.
See the brief filed on Scribd by Fox 13 News here: Utah amicus in U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage case
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