EQUALITY INDEX

Utah’s Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Struck Down As Unconstitutional

Welcome-to-UtahU.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby has ruled that it is unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to gay and lesbian couples. In the 53-page ruling, Shelby said today that Utah’s law passed by voters in 2004 is in violation of gay and lesbian couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

The lawsuit was brought by three gay and lesbian couples — Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity; Karen Archer and Kate Call; and Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge — who wished to be either married in Utah or were legally married elsewhere and wanted their home state to recognize their marriage.

The states’ attorneys argued that the law promoted the state’s interest in “responsible procreation” and the “optimal mode of child-rearing.”