Rep. Merrill F. Nelson, R. Grantsville, has submitted House Bill 78 titled, “Marriage Defense Fund,” that would collect money to fight District Judge Robert Shelby’s ruling on same-sex marriage.
“This bill creates the Marriage Defense Fund and provides for an income tax contribution to the Marriage Defense Fund,” the long title reads.
The Marriage Defense Fund would consist of private contributions, donations and grants from public or private entities, legislature-approved allocations, and would allow a Utah taxpayer to check a box and add contribute when they file their taxes.
The Fund would be used to pay litigation and appellate expenses, including expenses of hiring outside legal counsel, to defend Utah’s anti-marriage equality laws. It could also be used to market the Fund’s existence.
There is no word on any possible attempts to amend the bill to include a second check box to donate to the Restore Our Humanity legal fund.
Nelson’s top contributors in the most recent election were the Utah Education Association, House Majority Leader Brad Dee, Utah Association of Realtors, and Spencer Eccles, along with Republican Party funding.