Lawyers ask Supreme Court to allow same-sex unions to continue i

National

Lawyers ask Supreme Court to allow same-sex unions to continue in Utah

Posted:

By BRADY McCOMBS and PAUL FOY
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Lawyers for same-sex couples in Utah filed court papers Friday with the U.S. Supreme Court explaining why gay marriage should be allowed to continue in the state.

Attorney Peggy Tomsic said the state's request for an emergency stay on same-sex unions should be denied because Utah has not demonstrated how the weddings are harming anyone else. The state has also failed to show it will likely win an appeal of the Dec. 20 ruling from a federal judge, she said.

Tomsic wrote that the state's' "hodgepodge of articles that purportedly show that same-sex parents are inferior to opposite-sex parents" is not only false, but fails to address the constitutional issues addressed in the ruling.

The 61-page filing came Friday ahead of a noon deadline set by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who can act by herself or get the rest of the court involved. Sotomayor handles emergency requests from Utah and other Rocky Mountain states.

State attorneys requested an immediate halt on the marriages earlier this week, with attorneys saying the more than 900 gay marriages that have occurred in Utah are an affront to the state's interests.

U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby's decision last month came as a shock to many in the state, which approved the ban on same-sex marriage in 2004.

This is the state's third attempt to have a court bring the gay marriages to a halt. Shelby and the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have already refused to halt weddings while the state appeals what it calls a "rush to marry."

The heavily Mormon state wants the marriages to stop while it appeals a judge's decision, which said banning gay couples from marrying violates their right to equal treatment under the law.

Utah state attorneys argue that children are best raised by a mother and father in a good relationship. Tomsic, who represents three gay and lesbian couples from Utah, countered that argument by saying gay and lesbian couples can also be good parents.

"Respondents agree with applicants that marriage provides enormous benefits for children," Tomsic wrote, "But excluding the children of same-sex couples from those benefits causes severe harm to those children, without providing any benefit to the children of opposite-sex parents."

Shelby's decision came late on a Friday afternoon the week before Christmas and sent people rushing to a county clerk's office in Salt Lake City - about 3 miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church - for marriage licenses.

Earlier this week, the Utah Attorney General's Office advertised a formal bid request to outside law firms for help preparing the appeals. State officials have said it could cost $2 million, bringing criticism from a lawyer for couples who sued to overturn the ban and say Utah should give up the fight.

Utah insists that states have the authority to define marriage as between a man and woman. Tomsic argues that the state's rationale for asking for a halt to the same-sex marriages doesn't make sense.

"Applicants cannot simultaneously concede that being stripped of one's marital status causes profound, irreparable harm and urge the Court to inflict that very injury on the married Respondents and other married same-sex couples," Tomsic said.

___

Follow Brady McCombs at https://twitter.com/BradyMcCombs . Associated Press write Michelle L. Price contributed from Salt Lake City.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields


    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Miley Cyrus' date turns self in, posts bail

    Miley Cyrus' date turns self in, posts bail

    Friday, August 29 2014 1:41 AM EDT2014-08-29 05:41:26 GMT
    The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards and who had been sought on an Oregon arrest warrant has turned himself in and posted bail.More >>
    The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards and who had been sought on an Oregon arrest warrant has turned himself in and posted bail, an Oregon official said Thursday night.More >>
  • Police seeking help to catch robbery suspect

    Police seeking help to catch robbery suspect

    On Monday morning just after 1:30 am; a man was caught on camera walking into a convenient store wearing a ski mask and a hooded sweater and brandishing a handgun. The suspect them confronted a female clerk pointed a gun at her and demanded money. The clerk did as she was instructed and the gunman left the store and fled on foot. Police are considering this suspect to be armed and dangerous and are seeking the publics help in apprehending him before he hurts someone. If you have information l...More >>
    On Monday morning just after 1:30 am; a man was caught on camera walking into a convenient store wearing a ski mask and a hooded sweater and brandishing a handgun. The suspect them confronted a female clerk pointed a gun at her and demanded money. The clerk did as she was instructed and the gunman left the store and fled on foot. Police are considering this suspect to be armed and dangerous and are seeking the publics help in apprehending him before he hurts someone. If you have information l...More >>
  • Diva by Rachel Pappo announces a Labor Day Weekend Sale on Fashion Swimwear: Get two fashion swimsuits for the price of one

    Diva by Rachel Pappo announces a Labor Day Weekend Sale on Fashion Swimwear: Get two fashion swimsuits for the price of one

    Fresh off the launch and success of its new and improved website, Diva by Rachel Pappo will be offering an exclusive discount during the upcoming holiday weekend Tel Aviv, Israel / ACCESSWIRE / August 28, 2014...More >>
    Fresh off the launch and success of its new and improved website, Diva by Rachel Pappo will be offering an exclusive discount during the upcoming holiday weekend Tel Aviv, Israel / ACCESSWIRE / August 28, 2014...More >>
  • Woman seriously injured in fall at Scottsdale mall

    Woman seriously injured in fall at Scottsdale mall

    Authorities say a woman is in serious condition after a third-floor fall at an upscale Scottsdale shopping mall.More >>
    Authorities say a woman is in serious condition after a third-floor fall at an upscale Scottsdale shopping mall.More >>
  • Miley Cyrus' date turns self in, posts bail

    Miley Cyrus' date turns self in, posts bail

    The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards and who had been sought on an Oregon arrest warrant has turned himself in and posted bail.More >>
    The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards and who had been sought on an Oregon arrest warrant has turned himself in and posted bail.More >>
  • Former Yuma band teacher sentenced to 15 years in prison

    Former Yuma band teacher sentenced to 15 years in prison

    Teacher who had sex with student will get to see her kids while in prison.More >>
  • Crime Watch

    Police investigating dead body found in parked car

    Police investigating dead body found in parked car

    YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - Yuma police say a dead woman was found in a car parked at Food City on 8th Street on Tuesday night, at around 6:20 p.m. Police are investigating her cause of death andMore >>
    Yuma police are investigating the death of a woman who was found in a parked car Tuesday night.More >>
  • Possible drowning

    Possible drowning

    On Sunday the Blythe Police Department received a call regarding a missing 10 year old boy in the vicinity of the Colorado river and the Interstate 10 bridge. The call came out shortly after two in the afternoon when his parents lost sight of him as he swam in the river. The Blythe Boat Patrol searched the river and even called inn CHP and Care Flight Helicopters for aerial support. The search went on until night fall and it was the called off. The child was not found; and is believed that he...More >>
    On Sunday the Blythe Police Department received a call regarding a missing 10 year old boy in the vicinity of the Colorado river and the Interstate 10 bridge. The call came out shortly after two in the afternoon when his parents lost sight of him as he swam in the river. The Blythe Boat Patrol searched the river and even called inn CHP and Care Flight Helicopters for aerial support. The search went on until night fall and it was the called off. The child was not found; and is believed that he...More >>