Utah Gay Marriage UPDATE: Lawyers Urge Supreme Court Strike Down State's Attempts to Ban LGBT Unions
By Maxine Wally | Jan 03, 2014 03:34 PM EST
Attorneys for same-sex Utah couples have requested that the United States Supreme Court strike down attempts by the state to ban LGBT marriages.
At least 900 gay couples in the state have acquired marriage licenses since Judge Robert J. Shelby of Federal District Court for Utah ruled legislation passed by Salt Lake City officials nine years ago threatened gay citizens' rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.
Since the December 20th ruling, Utah officials have tried to get the 10th District Court to delay Shelby's ruling, USA Today reported. When that failed, the state shuttled its appeal through the Supreme Court, Tuesday.
But attorney Peggy Tomsic, who is representing some of the gay couples who first brought the case to court, urged Justice Sonia Sotomayor to turn down Utah's bid for a block on LGBT marriage. Tomsic said the state hadn't fully proved how gay marriage affects any other citizen in the state.
"Numerous same-sex marriages are now occurring every day in Utah," lawyers stated to the high court, according to USA Today. "Each one is an affront not only to the interests of the state and its citizens in being able to define marriage through ordinary democratic channels, but also to this court's unique role as arbiter."
Meanwhile, Utah authorities maintained that states "have a powerful interest in controlling the definition of marriage within their borders is indisputable," adding that same-sex marriage is a newfangled trend, one that isn't "deeply rooted in the nation's history and tradition."
Utah - the home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - is one of the front-running states against the legalization of gay marriage.