Federal Court Declares Utah Ban on Marriage for Same-Sex Couples Unconstitutional

December 20, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

SALT LAKE CITY – A federal court today declared that Utah’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Utah submitted a “friend of the court” brief in support of a challenge to the law.

The challenge to the law was brought by three Utah couples – Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity; Karen Archer and Kate Call; and Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge – who either wished to be married in Utah or were legally married elsewhere and wanted their home state to recognize their marriage. The couples were represented by the law firm of Magleby & Greenwood.

"We’re glad that the court has ruled against this discriminatory law," said John Mejia, legal director of the ACLU of Utah. "This law only serves to deny loving and committed couples the protection and dignity that only comes with marriage. We congratulate the brave couples who brought this challenge and their legal team."

The ACLU has brought challenges of its own against similar laws in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia. Following the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act – a case in which the ACLU served as co-counsel to Edie Windsor – the ACLU launched the Out for Freedom campaign to achieve the freedom to marry for same-sex couples across the country.

"Today’s decision is just another step in the amazing show of progress that we’ve seen in the past few years," said Joshua Block, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. "We will continue to work until all couples across the country have the freedom to marry."

For more information on this case, please visit:
www.acluutah.org/legal-work/current-cases/item/574-kitchen-v-herbert

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