Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment
On December 20, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby struck down Utah's ban on same-sex couples from marrying, declaring that the law violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection and due process. Three weeks later, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay in the ruling as the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals considers the case.
In the three weeks where same-sex couples in Utah had the freedom to marry, 1,308 marriage licenses were issued. Read more about marriage litigation in Utah.
Oral arguments are scheduled for March 12 in a case seeking recognition in Utah for the couples who received marriage licenses in the state. A hearing before a 3-judge panel at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to win the freedom to marry is scheduled for April 10.
As the case makes its way up through the courts, Utahans across the state will continue to do the work of having conversations about why marriage matters and creating a climate for victory.
In 2004, anti-gay forces in Utah pushed through Utah Constitutional Amendment 3, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage and prohibits same-sex couples from any other form of legal family status.
GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:
- Equality Utah is Utah's central statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights and advocacy organization.
- The National Center for Lesbian Rights is one of the nation's leading LGBT legal organizations, currently working as co-counsel in Kitchen v. Herbert, the lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry in the state of Utah.
- Restore Our Humanity is the organization that brought the initial complaint against the state of Utah on behalf of same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry.
- The American Civil Liberties Union is one of the nation's leading legal organizations, currently working to win respect for the marriage licenses issued in Utah in December and January through its lawsuit Evans v. Utah.
- Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.
Support for the freedom to marry is higher than ever in the weeks following the December 20 federal court ruling that struck down anti-marriage laws in the state. The poll shows the state population is evenly split, with 48% in support of the freedom to marry and 48% saying they are not in favor of marriage for same-sex couples. When the question was expanded to include whether same-sex couples should be permitted to join together in civil union or domestic partnership, an overwhelming 72% said yes. Notably in the poll, support for marriage has intense support among Democrats (81%), non-Mormons (76%) and majority support among residents 18-49 (50%) and Independents (50%) (SurveyUSA and The Salt Lake Tribune, January 2014)
NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:
According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 3,909 same-sex couples are living in Utah, representing 4.5 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.
Blog Posts Related to Utah
This weekend, on Valentine's Day, Derek Kitchen gave his partner Moudi Sbeity a romantic night to remember in their home of Salt Lake City, Utah when he got down on one knee and asked for his hand in marriage.
It’s hard to keep up with the flurry of activity around marriage, particularly in more conservative states. Here’s what’s going on and what you may have missed.
In the six months since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA, dozens of same-sex couples in states across the country have joined together to file lawsuits seeking the freedom to marry. Check out updates from 5 of the 22 states with pending litigation:
Resources Related to Utah
Momentum for the freedom to marry continues to build. And it’s clear from the past few weeks the path ahead is dynamic and full of flashpoints, including in some of the more conservative parts of the country. This memo looks at what the recent Ohio, Oklahoma, and Utah court victories—and others potentially soon to come—mean in the context of our overall strategy to win the freedom to marry nationwide.
Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Utah.
Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".