Utah same-sex plaintiffs ask Supreme Court to review

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While it is against seeming common sense, the victors in the battle for same-sex marriage in Utah are asking for the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and rule. If the court does not take Utah’s case, same-sex marriage in Utah becomes law. But attorneys for three Utah gay and lesbian couples said today they plan to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take Utah’s appeal of a favorable gay marriage ruling.

“Because we understand the tremendous importance of this issue, and that the ultimate question can only be finally resolved at the Supreme Court, we agree with attorneys for the state of Utah that the court should take the case and provide a final resolution,” said Kate Kendell, executive director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

NCLR joined Magleby & Greenwood, P.C in the Kitchen v. Herbert case earlier this year.

The Utah Attorney General’s office filed a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court earlier this week to appeal the decision of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby’s December ruling that Utah’s Amendment 3 and other laws that prohibit same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

Utah filed the writ on Tuesday and Oklahoma filed on their ruling on Wednesday, becoming the first and second states to appeal to the Supreme Court since it struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June of last year.

Virginia’s is expected to file soon.

Experts are varied on what they think the court will do with same sex marriage. Most, however, believe the court will take up the issue in the next 24 months, however.

“The court could take the Utah case, they could take the Virginia case, they could take a combination of cases,” Kendell said. “What we all want to see is the court determine sooner rather than later whether it’s constitutionally permissible to deny to same-sex couples, and only same-sex couples, the rights, protection and security of marriage.”

Former U.S. solicitor general Neal Katyal has been tapped to help the plaintiff couples litigate the case. According to his bio, Katyal has handled 19 cases before the Supreme Court in the past five years.

The Utah Attorney General’s office hired a three-man team, led by Gene Schaerr of a Washington, D.C., law firm and former Michigan solicitor general John Bursch.

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