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Utah Attorney General Urges Civility in Same-Sex Marriage Case

Judy Fahys


Utah’s Marriage Coalition organized a welcome-home rally Friday for the lawyers who argued in defense of Amendment 3, the law that bans same-sex marriage in Utah. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes had just returned from observing Thursday’s oral arguments before 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. Reyes says he’s proud to be defending Utah laws and he’s urging civility while the legal process takes its course.

“We find ourselves on the other side of this difficult issue,” says Reyes, “but we ought to have and continue to have respect for one another and each others’ differing opinions on this issue.”

Reyes was joined at the rally by lead attorney Gene Schaerr and Republican State Representative LaVar Christensen who wrote Amendment 3. The coalition holds that every child deserves a father and a mother and members said Friday they are confident of winning in court.

On the other side of the issue, Nicole Christensen of Utah Unites for Marriage contends the issue is both personal and constitutional.

“Gay Couples in Utah pay taxes; they run small businesses, they serve in the military. They work hard and pay into the same systems that everyone else does, and they should have the same access to marriage that other couples have,” she says. “And every American and every Utahns, whoever they love must be treated under the law.”

The three judge panel from the Tenth Circuit Court that heard Utah’s appeal is expected to take months to review the case.  Many expect the case to be finally resolved in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.
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