Utah politicians, organizations express opposition to Amendment Three ruling

Posted at 7:18 PM, Dec 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-21 00:39:03-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A federal judge ruled Friday that Utah's Amendment Three, which defined marriage as solely between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional.

The Sutherland Institute is a conservative policy think tank in Utah, and spokesman Bill Duncan spoke to FOX 13 News' Gene Kennedy about their opposition to the ruling and their support for traditional marriage.

The Sutherland Institute issued a statement earlier in the day, which reads as follows:

"Although we’re not entirely surprised that this judge disagreed with two-thirds of Utah’s voters about the meaning of marriage, we are deeply disappointed that he elevated his opinion to the status of constitutional law. There is nothing in the United States Constitution that requires the state of Utah to redefine marriage.

The people of Utah were right to support the time-tested understanding of marriage as the union of a husband and wife. They recognize it is not the role of government to promote motherless and fatherless homes for children in order to satisfy adult desires. Children are entitled to a married mother and father, and we hope the appeal will establish the right of the people of Utah to reflect this truth in their laws. Sutherland Institute has full confidence in the appeals process — one federal judge does not get to change history for Utahns.

Meanwhile, Sutherland Institute calls on Utah Governor Gary Herbert to order county clerks to stand down in issuing “marriage” licenses until the appellate process has concluded."

The Utah Attorney General's Office has requested an emergency stay on same-sex marriages while they appeal the decision, and a judge could review the request on Monday.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert also spoke against the ruling. His office released this statement:

“I am very disappointed an activist federal judge is attempting to override the will of the people of Utah. I am working with my legal counsel and the acting Attorney General to determine the best course to defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah.”

Poll: Should same-sex marriages continue in Utah?

Related story: Judge strikes down state's ban on same-sex marriage, Utahns react.