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Amendment 3 Plaintiffs Argue Laws Banning Same-Sex Marriages Are Irrational

Henry Pisciotta
Byron White U.S. Court of Appeals

Plaintiffs in the case against Utah’s Amendment 3 filed a brief with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday. The brief argues that Amendment 3 demeans and stigmatizes the relationships of same-sex couples and doesn’t withstand constitutional scrutiny.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that Utah’s refusal to permit same-sex couples to marry or to recognize existing marriages causes their clients serious harm. They also argue that the state’s exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is irrational and, contrary to the state’s assertion, does not further any legitimate governmental interest. University of Richmond Constitutional Law Professor Carl Tobias says recent actions by federal courts across the country have validated those arguments.

“I think they have made a number of good arguments against the state’s position," he says. "And that’s happened not just in Utah, but in Oklahoma and now in Virginia. So, we’re just seeing a number of states doing, just that, saying there really isn’t any rational basis for this.”

The state now has until March 4 to file a response. Judges at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver have scheduled oral arguments to begin on April 10.

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