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Utah AG, governor appeal same-sex marriage ruling

Gov. Gary Herbert and state Attorney General Sean Reyes filed notice today in federal court that the state will appeal U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball’s May 19 order that the state must recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who were legally married in Utah after a federal court struck down Amendment 3.

Members of Utah’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and ally community were dismayed that the attorney general filed the rulling, particularly on the eve of the annual Utah Pride Festival.

“We can’t believe Governor Herbert and Attorney General Reyes are choosing to defend discrimination and persecute Utah families. 1,300 couples were legally married, and now the state wants courts to invalidate those marriages. Taking away the rights and protections lawfully granted to these couples and families prolongs the uncertainty they have been forced to endure. Federal judges across the nation, including two of our own local judges, have all spoken with one voice; discrimination is wrong. It’s time for our Governor and Attorney General to share that sentiment,” the Utah Pride Center said in a statement.

The plaintiff couples, represented by John Mejia of the Utah chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, were also saddened by the filing.

“We had hoped that they would stop on their unprecedented and ill-advised campaign, which we believe is a big waste of taxpayer dollars, to fight recognition of these marriages,” Mejia said. “It’s really causing a lot of disruption and interruption in the lives of real, married couples and their families.”

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