A bill that would repeal a portion of Utah’s anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment was withdrawn by its sponsor, Rep. Jackie Biskupski. While says she still thinks the amendment should be repealed, Biskupksi believes that other gay rights bills making their way through the legislature will have a better chance of succeeding if she stops pursuing her bill.
“Maybe pulling my bill will give some people an opportunity to really have an open mind,” Biskupski told The Salt Lake Tribune.
The bill — HJR2 – Joint Resolution to Amend the Marriage Provision of the Utah Constitution — sought to strike the second part of Utah’s Amendment 3 which stated, “No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect.”
Had the bill passed both the Utah House and the Senate by a two-thirds vote — believed a long-shot by almost all pundits on the hill — the measure would have gone to the Utah voters where a majority vote would be required.
Earlier polling on the concept showed overwhelming disapproval.
Mike Thompson, executive director of Equality Utah which is pushing the Comon Ground Initiative said that dropping the bill was a tactical maneuver.
“By dumping that bill, we are bringing attention to the most important items on our legislative agenda,” he said.
The next bill expected to be discussed on the hill is Rep. Jennifer Seelig’s HB160, Adult Joint Support Declaration. Her bill would create county-run registries similar to Salt Lake City’s Mutual Commitment Registry. It would also provide for inheritance upon a partner’s death and the ability to make health decisions should the partner be incapacitated.