Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Plaintiffs in Gay Marriage Case Join State In Supreme Court Petition

Attorneys for the plaintiffs challenging Utah’s ban on same sex marriage, announced today that they will join the state in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. 

Earlier this week, lawyers in the Utah Attorney General’s filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the justices to review the case.  Instead of opposing that effort, lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case announced on Thursday that they will join the state of Utah in its petition.  Peggy Tomsic is the lead attorney for the three gay couples challenging Utah’s law.  She says that even though her team has succeeded in U.S. District Court and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, it’s time for the Supreme Court to weigh in.

"If we were to wait 30 days and file in opposition and then the state filed its reply to try to support a Writ of Certiorari it may delay the Court’s consideration and so what this does is it least timely tees it up for the Court to consider it," says Tomsic.

Tomsic’s firm, Magleby and Greenwood and the National Center for Lesbian Rights are legal partners on the case. They also announced Thursday the addition of former U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal to the legal team. Kate Kendell is Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

"What Neal has is really an almost unprecedented experience in litigating cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.  And that’s important as we take the case to the next level and as we position the case to possibly be accepted for review by the U.S. Supreme Court," says Kendell.

Several other state laws banning same sex marriage are being challenged in federal courts, but the case in Utah represents the first opportunity for the Supreme Court to hear a case of its kind.  The justices could decide to hear Utah’s case exclusively, review several cases or refuse to hear the case.  The Court is in recess until October.

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.