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Utah Taking Gay Marriage Fight to U.S. Supreme Court


More than 3,800 letters were delivered to Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Attorney General Sean Reyes that asks the state to end its campaign to restart a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Not long after the letters were delivered, the state announced it would not end its pursuit of reinstating the voter-approved ban.

Utah is taking its battle to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will challenge the ruling of a federal appeals court that upheld same-sex marriage in the state. Wednesday was the deadline for Utah to ask for a full-court review of all 12 judges on the 10th Circuit bench.

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Instead of doing this, Utah will move to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a release from the attorney general.

“To obtain clarity and resolution from the highest court, the Utah Attorney General’s Office will not seek en banc review of the Kitchen v. Herbert Tenth Circuit decision, but will file a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United State Supreme Court in the coming weeks,” the attorney general’s office wrote in a statement. “Attorney General Sean Reyes has a sworn duty to defend the laws of our state. Utah’s Constitutional Amendment 3 is presumed to be constitutional unless the highest court deems otherwise.”

Peggy A. Tomsic is the attorney for the plaintiffs in the Kitchen case. Tomsic told the Salt Lake Tribune the following: “The thing that our plaintiffs and we are very thankful for is we now know what course the state is going to take. My genuine hope was that the attorney general and the governor would make a decision not to appeal. … Our objective from day one was to try to expeditiously get this matter resolved so we could stop the discrimination and unequal treatment of same-sex families in Utah and, now, other states in the 10th Circuit.”

When the appeals court issued its ruling it said, “We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union. Courts do not sit in judgment of the hearts and minds of citizens.”

The Supreme Court of the United States has no obligation to hear the case filed by the state of Utah or any other state regarding same-sex marriage issues.

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