LDS Church plans to file ‘friend of the court’ brief in Amendment 3 case

Posted at 3:34 PM, Feb 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-07 23:28:34-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints signaled its intentions to file a "friend of the court" brief in the appeal of Amendment 3.

Alexander Dushku, an attorney for the firm Kirton-McConkie, filed a notice of appearance Friday afternoon with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"The undersigned attorney(s) hereby appears as counsel for United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; National Association of Evangelicals; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Amici Curiae, in the subject case," the filing states.

Read the filing here.

In comments to FOX 13 on January 9, an LDS Church spokeswoman said they were "not currently planning" to get involved in the Amendment 3 case. That has apparently changed by the notice filed with the federal appeals court.

The LDS Church came under heavy criticism for its involvement in California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in that state. It was overturned by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year.

On Dec. 20, 2013, a federal judge in Salt Lake City declared Utah's Amendment 3 -- which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and doesn't recognize anything else -- unconstitutional. After that ruling, more than 1,300 same-sex couples wed in Utah until the U.S. Supreme Court halted it pending the appeal.

Late Friday, members of the Utah State Legislature announced their intentions to weigh in on the Amendment 3 case. They included: Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper; Rep. Kay McIff, R-Richfield; Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville;  Rep. Lowry Snow, R-St. George, and "additional Utah state legislators to be named in the brief."

Read the legislators' notice of amicus filing here.

Also filing notice of amicus briefs: the conservative think tank Sutherland Institute, the Eagle Forum, the Concerned Women for America, the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

The amicus briefs are due Monday.