Organization will challenge Amendment 3 in federal judicial system

Posted at 2:56 PM, Mar 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-18 16:56:19-04

SALT LAKE CITY – An organization is coming forward to challenge Amendment 3 to the Utah State Constitution, which defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman.

Mark Lawrence is the director of Restore Our Humanity, and in a press release he said that as opposition to marriage discrimination laws grow nationwide, “It is clear that now is the time to strike the injustice of Amendment 3 from the state’s Constitution and restore humanity and dignity to the loving, law abiding LGBT couples who simply want equality.”

Lawrence said marriage equality is not an issue that should be decided by voters, as voters in the past have banned things like women’s suffrage and interracial marriage, according to the press release. Instead, he said the judiciary is the proper venue for this kid of change.

Matt Spencer, communication director for Restore Our Humanity, addressed the media at a press conference on Monday, and he said they have hired legal experts.

“We have a legal team, so that we can challenge Amendment 3 through the federal judiciary,” he said. “We’ve selected an amazing team. We are really happy about them.”

Spencer said they will release details regarding their legal efforts later, but for now they are hoping to raise awareness of their campaign and its goals. Spencer said they have been working on these goals “behind the scenes” for a while, but now they are making their campaign more public.

“We’re not brand new, but we’re new enough that it’s now time to introduce ourselves to the public,” he said.

Spencer said Amendment 3 and other such laws create injustice. He said there are several discriminatory parts of Amendment 3, “That creates second class citizenship for the LGBT community in Utah.”

Spencer said they are hopeful that people will be more willing to support removing Amendment 3 than they might have been in the past.

“Opinions have been changing dramatically since 2004, and you can see it all throughout the country,” he said. “Utah, sometimes we’re a little behind the game when it comes to, you know, where the rest of the country is at, but I think that you can see a fundamental shift happening, and now is the time to really address this.”