Quotes on today’s same-sex marriage ruling

Restore Our Humanity:

Restore Our Humanity is humbled and honored to participate in the judicial process of our government. Our beloved country was founded on the principle that all women and men are created equal, and that they are endowed with the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The founders wisely established our court system to protect individual liberty. Today’s decision from the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirms that every citizen has the unalienable right to the constitutional guarantees of Due Process and Equal Protection of the Laws. These rights include the government-granted benefits and protections of civil marriage, and specifically, the right to create a life and future with the person she or he loves. We now speak directly to Governor Herbert: You swore an oath to “support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States.” We call on you, here and now, to honor that promise. The courts have spoken. Honor your commitment. Defend the constitutional rights of all Utah citizens. Recognize that the benefits and protections of civil marriage must now apply equally to ALL Utah families and ALL Utah children.

Human Rights Campaign:

The decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit regarding Utah represents the broadest appellate court ruling in favor of a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. — another huge step forward in favor of justice and equality for LGBT Americans. These two decisions [in Utah and Idaho] now constitute what we know for certain — the U.S. Constitution guarantees the basic civil rights of all Americans, not just some. Our progress over the past year has been unprecedented, but the message from our friends below remains true: much remains to be done, and we will not rest until full equality is the law of the land.

Sutherland Institute:

It’s disappointing to have a few federal judges decide that they can unilaterally override the decision of Utah voters to preserve marriage as society’s way of preserving children’s opportunity to be reared by a mother and father. We’ve long known that this issue will have to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court. We’re grateful that Utah will have the opportunity to make its case to the top court that Utah voters deserve self-determination to decide a matter crucial to the state and its citizens. The homosexual rights lobby is very well funded. We need to do what we can to counter its pervasive influence.

Derek Kitchen, plaintiff:

It feels wonderful to be among one of the many same-sex couples across the country that are being respected and are offered dignity by the court system, and this is just emblematic of the United States judicial process. I don’t think that the state of Utah can continue to deny same-sex couples their rights for much longer.

Sen. James Dabakis:

I am joyous, as I know hundreds of thousands of LGBT folks and their families are, all across the great state of Utah. This is a pro-family decision and it fits squarely with true Utah family values — love, kindness and a fair playing field for all It wonderful to see Utah, once again lead the country in gay rights.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert:

I am disappointed with the decision from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in regards to same-sex marriage. I believe states have the right to determine their laws regarding marriage. I am grateful the Court issued a stay to allow time to analyze the decision and our options. But as I have always said, all Utahns deserve clarity and finality regarding same-sex marriage and that will only come from the Supreme Court.

Equality Utah:

This is a very big deal!  The 22nd consecutive win in the courts – which gets us that much closer to the freedom to marry for all loving, committed couples.

Utah Eagle Forum’s Gayle Ruzicka:

We are extremely disappointed with the 10th Circuit Court’s decision to uphold Judge Shelby’s unconstitutional decision against Utah’s Amendment 3 which defines marriage as “the legal union between a man and a woman”, excluding all other domestic unions from the definition of marriage. Amendment 3 is the highest form of law in that it was passed by a two-thirds majority of the legislature, signed by Utah’s Governor, and approved by the citizens of the state of Utah with over a two-thirds majority.

Out and Equal:

We’re a year into the U.S. Supreme Court rulings repealing Prop 8 and DOMA that gave more rights to same-sex couples than we’ve ever seen before. Out & Equal was proud to co-sign amicus briefs that resulted in these pivotal milestones. At last count, we’re at 19 states that let all people marry who they love. More are sure to come with several states waiting out appeals. It’s almost certain the Supreme Court will have to revisit marriage next year to sort it out once and for all.

Utah Attorney General’s Office:

Although the Court’s 2-1 split decision does not favor the State, we are pleased that the ruling has been issued and takes us one step closer to reaching certainty and finality for all Utahns on such an important issue with a decision from the highest court. For that to happen, the Utah Attorney General’s Office intends to file a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.

Jolene Mewing: Marriage Equality USA local leader:

I remember like it was yesterday hearing the news that Judge Shelby had ruled in favor marriage equality and that the marriages could begin in Utah. Today I am feeling those same goosebumps all over again.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council

While judges can, by judicial fiat, declare same-sex ‘marriage’ legal, they will never be able to make it right. The courts, for all their power, can’t overturn natural law.

Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

This is a very significant ruling that brings us even closer to marriage equality in the entire United States of America. It’s that big.

Utah Pride Center:

For a decade and a half, Utah lawmakers have enacted legislation that obstructs the rights and protections of LGBTQ individuals, couples, and families. The Tenth Circuit’s opinion today affirms Judge Shelby’s decision, and joins the unanimous chorus of federal judges who recognize that the United States Constitution requires that the fundamental right to marry be extended to gay and lesbian couples. We encourage Governor Herbert and Attorney General Sean Reyes to stop spending tax dollars to defend Utah’s unconstitutional ban on marriage equality and accept the lawful decisions of our federal courts. Even our Senior United States Senator, Orrin Hatch, accepts the rulings of the federal judiciary recognizing marriage equality. Utah’s gay and lesbian couples are ready to move forward with their lives and continue to help make Utah the best place to raise a family.

John Mejia, legal director of the ACLU of Utah:

This is a proud day for everybody in the state of Utah, and everybody across the country, who supports marriage equality. Though there is still much to do, the journey to ensuring the freedom to marry for all just got a huge boost with today’s decision.

Peggy Tomsic, one of the lawyers who argued the case:

Today’s decision by the Tenth Circuit affirms the fundamental principles of equality and fairness and the common humanity of gay and lesbian people. As the Court recognized, these families are part of Utah’s community, and equal protection requires that they be given the same legal protections and respect as other families in this state. The Court’s ruling is a victory not only for the courageous couples who brought this case, but for our entire state and every state within the Tenth Circuit.

Clifford Rosky, law professor at the University of Utah and Equality Utah board chair:

This is the most significant victory in the history of the gay-rights movement. A federal appeals court has recognized that same-sex couples enjoy the same freedoms as all Americans — the freedoms to marry, establish a family, and raise children together. This is a victory not only for the 1,300 same-sex couples who are married in Utah, but for all gay Americans.

Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry:

What is so powerful here is that we have the first federal appellate court and … it’s a case coming out of Utah affirming in the strongest, clearest, boldest terms that the Constitution guarantees the freedom to marry and equal protection for all Americans and all means all, including gay couples.

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