SALT LAKE CITY — The gay couples who sued Utah over its ban on same-sex marriage and won are asking the nation’s top court to hear the case, which could decide the issue for the rest of the nation.
The brief, filed late Thursday with the U.S. Supreme Court, argues that Amendment 3 violates their right to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.
“At stake in this case is the liberty of an entire class of Americans who urgently need a ruling from this Court that they are able to marry and to have their marriages recognized on an equal basis with other citizens,” the plaintiffs wrote.
“In the past year, lower courts around the country have correctly recognized that state laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying violate the Constitution. Yet because these rulings do not apply nationwide, same-sex couples continue to experience great uncertainty and serious harms.”
Read the filing with the U.S. Supreme Court here:
It is rare for winners in court cases to ask for a higher court to hear their case, but in a statement to FOX 13, plaintiffs Kody Partridge and Laurie Wood said the issue should be decided.
“Laurie and I have been together for many years and we want to be treated as equal citizens, with our relationship honored the same way that the marriages of our parents, family members, and friends have been respected. We hope the Supreme Court will recognize that our long-standing relationship deserves the same respect
that other couples receive through marriage,” she said in the statement.
The Utah Attorney General’s Office agreed.
“We are pleased that the plaintiffs agree with us that there is a strong need for the United States Supreme Court to resolve this issue once and for all, for everyone,” Missy Larsen, a spokeswoman for Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, told FOX 13. “We look forward to presenting our case to the Court in the months ahead.”
Three couples sued the state of Utah over Amendment 3, a voter-approved constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between a man and a woman and does not recognize anything else. In December, a federal judge in Salt Lake City declared it unconstitutional and Utah appealed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The federal appeals court also ruled that Amendment 3 violates the U.S. Constitution. The Utah Attorney General’s Office filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, something the plaintiffs now support.
The court could decide soon whether to take up the case, or consider other same-sex marriage cases being litigated across the nation.