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Legal Allies Aligned for Utah Same-Sex Marriage Fight

It was announced on Thursday that Gene Schaerr is going to lead a team of outside counsel members in assisting the state of Utah in an appeal of a federal judge’s decision to strike the same-sex marriage ban, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Schaerr is an appellate expert at Winston & Strawn. The decision was handed down by a federal judge on December 20.

Attorney General Sean Reyes issued a statement via a press release that talked about Schaerr. Reyes said Schaerr “is an elite Supreme Court and appellate expert. He is from Utah. He understands our unique history and community.”

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Schaerr graduated from Brigham Young University and will charge the state $200,000 for his services. Helping out with the appeal are attorneys Monte Neil Stewart and John Bursch, who will each be paid $50,000.

The appellate briefs for the case are due by the end of January the case will be heard on an expedited process by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal will be taken all the way to the United States Supreme Court by the state, if necessary, according to a spokesman for the attorney general.

Joining the fight on the opposing side is the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who joined forces with the law firm of Magleby & Greenwood, P.C. The firm is representing all of the same-sex couples named in the litigation.

Shannon Minter is the legal director for the center. Minter said, “We try to put our resources where they will be most useful and we certainly recognized right away how important the Utah litigation was.”

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