January 8, 2014

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

Salt Lake City – This morning, the ACLU of Utah sent Attorney General Sean Reyes a letter explaining the reasons that the over 1,000 marriages of same sex couples performed in Utah are valid and enforceable and must be recognized by the state and federal governments.  While Utah's top law enforcement officer has suggested that these marriages are in a "legal limbo," it is clear that the moment these couples were married, they obtained vested rights that cannot be retroactively invalidated by Utah.

"When these couples married, they immediately obtained all of the same protections and obligations enjoyed by all of the other married couples in Utah."  said John Mejia, Legal Director of the ACLU of Utah. "Because these rights were vested when they were married, they are protected by the due process guarantees of the Utah and United States Constitutions," he continued. "To refuse to recognize these marriages would be at odds with the couple's vested rights.  And, as Utah itself has recognized before the Supreme Court, to try to retroactively invalidate these marriages would be an affront to the dignity and financial well-being of these couples and their families. It is for these reasons that we have urged the Utah Attorney General to recognize these marriages and not consider any attempt to 'unwind' them," he concluded.

A copy of the letter is available at:

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