Three gay and lesbian couples who either desired to be married in Utah or, having already married elsewhere, wished to have their marriage recognized in Utah, brought action against Utah’s Governor, Attorneys General, and county clerk, seeking to challenge amendment to Utah’s Constitution, as well as two statutes, that prohibited same-sex marriage as violative of same-sex couples’ due process and equal protection rights under Fourteenth Amendment. The Court of Appeals, Lucero, Circuit Judge, held that: (1) two same sex couples had standing to bring action against county clerk; (2) Governor and Attorney General had requisite nexus with challenged provisions to have standing to appeal; (3) challenge presented substantial federal question; (4) same-sex couples had fundamental right to marry under doctrine of substantive due process; (5) Utah’s interest in fostering biological reproduction within marriages did not justify prohibition against same-sex marriage; (6) Utah’s interest in promoting childbearing and optimal childrearing did not justify prohibition against same-sex marriage; (7) Utah’s interest in encouraging gendered parenting styles did not justify prohibition against same-sex marriage; and (8) concerns that some substantial degree of discord would follow state recognition of same-sex marriage were insufficient to justify prohibition against same-sex marriage
Laura W. Morgan is the owner and operator at Family Law Consulting in Charlottesville, Virginia. Laura is available for consultation, brief writing and research on family law issues throughout the country. She can be reached through her website: www.