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Each Side in Utah Same-Sex Marriage Debate Requests Help from Utah Supreme Court

by Norris Law Group on May 7, 2014

Each Side in Utah Same-Sex Marriage Debate Requests Help from Utah Supreme CourtBoth sides in the ongoing debate about same-sex marriage in Utah would like the Utah Supreme Court to weight in on a federal lawsuit asking if same-sex couples married in Utah should be recognized and also receive spousal benefits.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, on Friday, April 25, the Office of the Utah Attorney General filed a proposed order in federal court requesting the state’s highest court to offer an opinion. The order specifically asks the Utah Supreme Court to answer the question of whether gay and lesbian couples who wed in a short period between December 2013 and January 2014 when same-sex marriage was legal in Utah due to an overturn of Amendment 3 by a federal judge should be granted property rights” under Utah state law. The Utah Attorney General’s office says that this question pointedly addresses a Utah state statute, and that a ruling from the state’s high court will provide consistency and clarity.

Another case is currently pending before the Utah Supreme Court. This case asks the state’s high court whether two Utah state judges may have acted inappropriately by granting adoptions to same-sex couples who were married in Utah when it was legal between late December 2013 and early January 2014.

Utah Assistant Attorney General Kyle J. Kaiser writes to the judge presiding over the case:

“Should the Utah Supreme Court rule on the vested rights issue, there is a serious risk of conflicting rulings…For example, if this court rules that there is a likelihood of success on the issue of whether same-sex couples have vested rights in their marriage licenses, but the Utah supreme court rules that no vested rights exist, the executive agencies of Utah would be faced with contradictory rulings. This scenario —or even the possibility thereof — would ‘dramatically expand the uncertainty that now hangs over’ the lives of all the citizens of Utah, and the agents of the government.”

 Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of divorce and family law. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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