(RNS) The Utah attorney general announced Wednesday (July 9) that he will go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge an appellate ruling that declared the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Sean Reyes is the 21st Attorney General of Utah.

Sean Reyes is the 21st Attorney General of Utah. Creative Commons image by Lbrcomm

Attorney General Sean Reyes decided to leapfrog the full 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver after a three-judge panel last month upheld a lower-court ruling and declared that the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process extend to gay men and lesbians who want to marry. It was the first time a federal appeals court had ruled on the issue.

Besides Utah, the June 25 decision applies to Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming, but the circuit court put its ruling on hold, pending appeals.

Reyes’ office said at the time it would ask the nation’s top court to review the 10th Circuit ruling and decide later whether to appeal to the full appellate court. The attorney general reiterated that strategy Wednesday, saying the state seeks to “obtain clarity and resolution from the highest court.”

But the nation’s top court does not have to take Utah’s appeal; four of the nine justices must vote to hear a case. The justices could also wait to see how other appeals courts rule on marriage bans before them.

Either way, the process can be expected to take several months.

The Supreme Court triggered an avalanche of rulings against bans on same-sex marriage after it struck down a key portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013.

Hours after Utah’s announcement, a Colorado judge declared the state’s 2006 voter-passed marriage ban unconstitutional, but he put the ruling on hold until appeals are resolved. District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree became the 16th judge to invalidate marriage bans since the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule soon on Virginia’s prohibition, and an appeal will be heard in late summer for cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Nevada and Idaho.

More than 1,300 same-sex couples have wed since since a U.S. district court in December overturned Utah’s voter-approved measure limiting marriage to heterosexuals.

As Reyes’ decision was being announced, dozens of families traveled to Gov. Gary Herbert’s mansion to deliver more than 3,800 petitions calling on the state to abandon its appeals, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

But Evan Wolfson, founder of New York-based Freedom to Marry, urged the high court to take the case and “swiftly move to end marriage discrimination across the country.”

(Michael Winter writes for USA Today.)

31 Comments

  1. The court has already said they are in no hurry. They are waiting to see what happens to the pending appeals in other states. Basically, they just admitted they will follow suit.

    • CarrotCakeMan

      The US Supreme Court has already upheld the revocation of a similar anti-gay Hate Vote, ironically one purchased through criminal acts by the same “church” as purchased the Utah anti-gay Hate Vote. The Supreme Court already has upheld the restoration of marriage equality there, in California, as well as in Oregon and Pennsylvania. It’s high time anti-gays figured out the Supreme Court has already ruled against their attempts to subvert Equal Protection Under the Law as well as the Freedom Of Religion of the many Christian and jewish denominations that want to marry same gender couples.

  2. There are only two outcomes from this. The Utah bigots are going to hate both of them.

    1. SCOTUS declines to hear the appeal and the decision stays on the books. Utah being forced to abide by it.

    2. SCOTUS issues a 14th Amendment, equal protection under the law ruling which kills all gay marriage bans nationwide. Justice Kennedy is conservative but pro-gay (he is not going to overrule himself). It will be 5-4 against the marriage ban.

    Lets face it, the anti-gay bigots do not have a rational or secular argument they can bring in front of the Supreme Court. This is why they keep consistently losing in Federal Court. Even with conservative judges!

    Sean Reyes made a serious misstep in the anti-gay playbook. Had he declined to appeal the decision. He would not risk a nationwide loss.

    • We won’t have a argument against polygamy, consentual incest or even beasties either…so go for it. Whats holding you back? No god, right…so no consequence.

      But if any other the above are put to ballot, they too would fail. Keep that in mind for future “activism”. Better just bypass the voting public next time altogether and go straight to a judge or king who’s reelection funds are low.

      • “We won’t have a argument against polygamy, consentual incest or even beasties either”

        Of course not, they are unrelated in every factual sense. Neither rational nor secular in nature. Too stupid and dishonest for a SCOTUS argument.

        Had the anti-gay bigots done nothing, gay marriage would not be legal in so many places. Lack of legislative intertia and gubernatorial vetos would have kept it stalled for decades in various state legislatures. But being the impatient malicious sods they are, they tried to legislate bans to foreclose the possibility. This gave the judiciary room to not only overturn the bans, but create a right for marriage equality which would not have existed otherwise.

        Btw Lles, every discriminatory law is passed by a majority vote, SFW. This is why we have a judiciary to keep them in check. Civil liberties are not subject to popular vote. They are to protect people from the popular vote from a tyranny of the majority.

        • Ohhhhh….look at larry, dancing around behind his veil of protection. Throwing out “hateful” names with impunity to anyone who dares not agree. Taunting religious folks to respond in kind, only for him to scream accusations of “bigot” the first time someone makes him cry…with a unbalanced legal system to back him up.

          Really makes you respect the liberal mindset…huh? Legally unprotected christians?

          • CarrotCakeMan

            Now we see this shameful anti-gay poster is engaging in vicious personal attacks. Apparently that poster feels anti-gays should have yet another special right.

          • I call it like I see it. Nice tone trolling.

            You don’t deserve respect because you will never give it in kind.

            The fact that you can only comment on my tone and not anything else shows you have nothing of value to say. :)

          • CarrotCakeMan

            Larry, I hope you will report that nasty anti-gay poster’s vicious personal attacks to the monitors. True, he will probably just create a new sock puppet once this one is banned, but this habit anti-gays have of cheating is part of what has defeated their anti-gay agenda. The United States Supreme Court is in possession of the evidence that anti-gays have committed criminal acts to throw a Hate Vote.

      • CarrotCakeMan

        It’s so sad to see the anti-gay poster try to denigrate the United States Constitution and the Proper Rule of Law written therein, and to repeat that same WHINE that the courts are following the Constitution and revoking his attempts to attack same gender American couples.

        Please join me in flagging such comments where an anti-gay poster flashes his own sexual fetishes and falsely conflates his own sexual fetishes to loving, committed same gender American married couples. I doubt I’m the only reader who doesn’t want the discussion here dragged down constantly to the level of an anti-gay poster’s prurient interests.

        • Of course. You said as much as we all know already. Its ok to bash bible believers with names.

          But the bible believers cannot fight back in kind. The insults hurled by the libs may not be returned….meaning christians, you are not allowed to fight back.

          So ban and censor those who do. Then return to your open bashing of religious worldviews and pretend the fight was fair and that the secular opinions you are only allowed to hear are valid.

          • There is nothing more pathetic than fundie martyrbaiting.

            Boo-hoo, the poor Christian whinybaby doesn’t have the legal right to discriminate.

            Do you need a change? Maybe a bottle?

            Your worldview DESERVES bashing because you use it as an excuse to attack others in a malicious fashion. You don’t get respect because you can’t show it.

            Nobody is censoring or banning you. You have plenty of opportunities to make a fool of yourself. You always avail yourself of them.

          • CarrotCakeMan

            Correct again, Larry. What anti-gays can’t seem to accept is while they have free speech to shriek their lies, they do not have the special right they’re demanding to make normal, non-homophobic Americans listen to their millionth repetition of these same lies Anita Bryant told, nor do they have the special right to cook up laws to force their nasty opinion onto others, as American courts are demonstrating daily.

          • CarrotCakeMan

            Anti-gay poster, it’s high time you stopped trying to drag all Christians down to the level of anti-gays. Most Christian churches don’t commit criminal acts to throw elections.

          • @Larry The only thing that I will say is that when the Bible is read and truly followed rather than taking pieces out for personal gain, there will not be any attacking of others maliciously. You can argue against this all that you would like, but when you look at Christianity at its core, the message is: while there is such a thing as wrong, we are to point it out without condemning or attacking them. Of course I still believe that God is going to punish those who disobey what He says, but my job is merely to love others, care enough about them to point out what they are doing wrong, share the good news of the Gospel, and reflect Christ in my actions. It is God’s job to do the punishing, not mine or any other person’s job.

          • @Hunter

            Not for nothing, but when we are talking about the laws of the United States, I don’t have to give a flying crap what you think the Bible is supposed to say. That whole pesky separation of church and state as codified by the Establishment Clause means that the government’s interests must be secular and rational. What your church says on a given subject for our laws is of no concern.

            If you believe that a true Christian would never act in an offensive or bigoted manner to those who have different beliefs, fine. I rarely ever see evidence of that from the majority of them. You will know them by their deeds. :)

            I don’t care about Christianity or their beliefs. That is the business of Christians. They are welcomed to it. Free Exercise of religion and whatnot. I only care about what they do with regards to our democratic government, rule of law and civil liberties.

            “while there is such a thing as wrong, we are to point it out without condemning or attacking them.”

            Then you should oppose a ban on gay marriage under our civil laws. Which govern people of all beliefs. It would be out of place for our laws to reflect the views of Christianity on any given subject since we are not ruled by churches. We are a democracy which demands equal protection under the law for all of its citizens.

        • Larry: Tone is just as important as content. In fact, tone is part of the content of any writing. Tone is embedded in writing and displays as much meaning as any words. Both words and tone are vital to the exchange of any ideas. A negative tone impedes the exchange.

      • CCM, I am all for letting people display their true selves to the world. Let him make a fool of himself in a public forum like this. I don’t like to ban anyone except spammers.

  3. CarrotCakeMan

    While it’s annoying to see the filth anti-gays post here, it’s important to remember that they are deeply disturbed individuals. Psychologists identified homophobia as a mental illness and published their results in the Journal of the National Institutes of Health in 1953. Homophobia is the irrational fear, disgust, or hatred of gays, lesbians, and/or bisexual people, or of homosexual feelings in oneself. It refers to the discomfort one feels with any behavior, belief, or attitude (in self or others) that does not conform to traditional sex role stereotypes. Homophobia exhibits itself in the fear of knowing, befriending, or associating with gays, lesbians, or bisexual people; fear of being perceived as gay or lesbian; and/or fear of stepping out of accepted gender role behavior. Psychologists report that the most commonly observed symptom of the mental disorder homophobia is cognitive dissonance, an inability of those so afflicted to accept documentation that contradicts their deep-seated phobia and hatred of LGBT Americans.

    • And now its a science.

      Carry on with more laws to limit and silence those who disagree.

      Its all you’ve got. In a natural, organic society your worldview was previously rejected, and would again. So write some more laws. Get more protection from those evil victors. And then scream in their faces about how stupid they are until someone flinches. Then blame the fallout on them. Invent a new concept:terrorist. Say he’s evil, when really, he’s just trying to fight back the only way he is allowed to anymore. Its by design, from start to finish. The goal, finish the religious worldview.

      Liberal tactics depend on a unbalanced society under an oppresive american gov for their survival. Conservatives, by our nature, cannot.

      • CarrotCakeMan

        Get real, it’s anti-gays who tried–AND FAILED–to FORCE your nasty “disagree” onto all Americans with your anti-gay Hate Votes that are being systematically revoked as violations of the US Constitution. It’s anti-gays who tried to force the many major Christian and Jewish denominations that want to marry same gender couples to act according to anti-gays’ “beliefs.”

        Spare us with your false claims that anti-gays are “natural and organic,” when it’s already been proved anti-gays are anything but.

        Face the fact, what anti-gays are fighting against is the United States Constitution. You’ve admitted you hate this “oppresive” America. Get out. See if Russia will let you in.

          • CarrotCakeMan

            Just how long has it been since anti-gays had any substantive, enduring “win”? Whining about language doesn’t seem to be advancing your traitorous anti-gay agenda any more, does it?

          • @Lles Nats,

            You reveal what religion is really all about.
            You use it in the standard way.
            Religion is just a bully stick:

            “God thinks like Me.”
            And..
            “I don’t like gays”
            “I don’t like muslims”
            “I don’t like people who have more fun”
            “I don’t like people who go on vacation”
            “I don’t like women who have too many babies”
            “I don’t like women who decide not to have babies”
            So…
            “God will send them to Hell”
            and…
            “God wants to punish them.”
            and..
            “So, I’ll punish them in the meantime
            because God knows I’m right.”

            Fascist nonsense. ‘Blessed’ by God.
            It needs to be abandoned.

          • CarrotCake Man makes an “outstanding post” when he urges rejection and eviction of those who disagree as a solution to the problem caused by those who urge rejection and eviction?

            Sounds more like a contradiction!

        • It is repugnant to even suggest that those who do not agree with us should leave the country. It is long past the time when Russia should be considered the bogey man of everything that is different than the grand “democracy” so widely practiced in the United States–where money is decided to be speech and corporations to be people–leaving real, ordinary people, the masses, little different than the masses of ordinary Russians.

          Attempts to argue against anti-gay attitudes in this country by comparing those who differ with us to the stale oxymoron of people in the Soviet Union is hollow and not capable of winning in any discussion.

  4. This is bad news for you Doc. Sean Reyes did something stupid and damaging to your cause.

    Now you run the very likely risk of a national ruling for marriage equality. Even the conservative justices aren’t going to go your way here.

    Conservatives Scalia and Roberts killed Proposition 8.

    Kennedy killed DOMA and shot down sodomy laws and laws which target gays.

    Add to that the utter inability of your crowd to articulate a rational and secular argument for a gay marriage ban.

    Doc, either Utah or the entire nation will have marriage equality. Either way, you will be cursing Sean Reyes’s name.

    • CarrotCakeMan

      Kennedy explicitly ruled in his majority decision for “Romer vs. Evans” in 1995 (the first time the US Supreme Court revoked an anti-gay Hate Vote) that LGBT Americans have the right to seek redress through the courts the same way all other Americans have.

      Most hilariously of all, Scalia himself, in his whining, petulant dissent to 2003’s Lawrence vs. Texas ruling, inadvertantly provided the road map to Constitutional protection of the right of same gender couples to legal marriage. The Massachusetts State Judicial Court followed that road map later that same year to establish marriage equality there over 10 years ago.

      • CarrotCakeMan: In one comment, you urge those who disagree with you to go to Russia. In another you beg for consideration, if not agreement, with what you consider your rights. Those who disagree with you can hardly consider your position if they go to Russia.

        Also, Russia today is extremely different than the Soviet Union you seem to have in mind. It doesn’t seem to be any worse than our legislating Supreme Court led by the good Catholics, Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito–all Republican nominees, by the way, though not all approved by a Republican Senate. Equality comes in different forms.

  5. There are more reasons for people bonding than just making babies. Considering heterosexuality (or sex) and babies as the only basis for a loving friendship defies friendship, defies love, and defies any reason for bonds for those who have no babies or whose babies are no longer dependent on them.

    The legalities of marriage are not related to sex alone, by any means. They are related to the civil rights that arise when two people decide to share a life together. Those rights should be equal for all people, not just heterosexuals.

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