Friday, December 20, 2013

Federal judge strikes down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage



In Utah of all places! Thank Sagan for Federal judges.

A federal judge in Utah Friday struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

"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," wrote U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby. "Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional."

Ryan Bruckman, spokesman for the Utah Attorney General’s Office, said its attorneys plan to appeal the decision and were currently drafting a motion to seek a stay of the ruling "as quickly as we can get it taken care of."

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued this statement late Friday afternoon: "I am very disappointed an activist federal judge is attempting to override the will of the people of Utah. I am working with my legal counsel and the acting Attorney General to determine the best course to defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah."

Several hundred people descended on the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office Friday afternoon to get licenses. A pastor from the First Baptist Church was on hand to conduct wedding ceremonies.

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