SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s attorney general has filed an emergency request with the United States Supreme Court, asking that it halt a lower court ruling legalizing same-sex ‘marriage’ in the state.
The court’s decision is “an affront … to the interests of the state and its citizens in being able to define marriage through ordinary democratic channels,” wrote Monte Stewart of the Idaho-based Marriage Law Foundation, who penned the request on behalf of the state.
Utah’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriage” was passed in 2004 during the November election with 66 percent of the vote.
“Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman,” the amendment declared. “No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect.”
However, as previously reported, a federal judge appointed by Barack Obama declared Utah’s ban on same-sex ‘marriage’ unconstitutional last month, asserting that it violates the right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
“The State’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason,” U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby wrote. “Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”
The state had argued that the law was necessary to protect interests in procreation and child-rearing, but Shelby contended that the state failed to show how homosexual “marriage” would harm heterosexuals.
“In the absence of such evidence, the State’s unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify the State’s refusal to dignify the family relationships of its gay and lesbian citizens,” he stated.
The attorney general’s office had filed an appeal with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals following Shelby’s ruling, but was denied. Therefore, it took its motion to the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting an emergency stay.
“This case involves not just a refusal by the federal government to accommodate a state’s definition of marriage, but an outright abrogation of such a definition — by a single federal court wielding a federal injunction and acting under the banner of the federal Constitution,” Stewart asserted.
As county clerks’ offices have been flooded with those seeking to “wed” following the decision, Stewart requested that the court consider the confusion that would occur should the state ultimately win its appeal.
“A stay is urgently needed to preserve these prerogatives pending appeal and, if necessary, this Court’s ultimate review, and to minimize the enormous disruption to the State and its citizens of having to potentially ‘unwind’ thousands more same-sex marriages should this Court ultimately conclude, as the State strongly maintains, that the district court’s judgment and injunction exceed its constitutional authority,” he stated.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, appointed by Barack Obama, will be the lone decider in the case. She has asked the plaintiffs, comprised of six Utah-based homosexuals, to provide a response to the attorney general’s office motion by noon on Friday.