March 5, 2014
Three same-sex couples who had previously filed a request to intervene in Kitchen v. Herbert, the Tenth Circuit appeal of the challenge to Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, recently asked the Tenth Circuit for the opportunity to participate in the oral arguments on April 10.
Their earlier request was filed by Roberta Kaplan, who argued at the Supreme Court on behalf of Edith Windsor that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. This follow-up request was also filed by Kaplan, who’s representing these couples pro bono.
But the Tenth Circuit has rejected this new request, just as it did the previous one, with no comment.
The couples hoped to introduce new arguments showing that Utah’s constitution and statutes have other provisions that target LGBT people’s relationships:
…neither Judge Shelby’s decision nor the briefing below addressed the prohibitions in Utah’s constitution and statutes that blatantly discriminate against gay and lesbian couples by denying them legal recognition in any form whatsoever. Utah Const. art. I, § 29; Utah Code Ann. § 30-1-4.1(1)(b). These provisions expressly bar the provision of any legal rights, responsibilities, or protections to the members of any gay or lesbian couple (including the Amici Curiae Couples) at any time, in any place, or of any scope.
They had suggested that they agree with the arguments the plaintiffs have made in the case:
However, Plaintiffs-Appellees do not fully explain how the other provisions in Amendment 3 and the Utah statutes constitute separate, independent violations of the Equal Protection Clause by preventing any legal recognition of gay and lesbian relationships. See Utah Code Ann. § 30-1-4.1(1)(b) (“this state will not recognize, enforce, or give legal effect to any law creating any legal status, rights, benefits, or duties that are substantially equivalent to those provided under Utah law to a man and a woman because they are married”); Utah Const. art. I, § 29 (“[n]o other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent effect”). The Utah laws at issue here, by preventing any legal recognition of gay and lesbian relationships under any circumstances, have significant practical consequences for the daily lives of gay Utahans.
The couples have filed an amicus brief, which EqualityOnTrial doesn’t have yet.
Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for this filing
For more information on Kitchen v. Herbert from The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, click here.