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Deseret News: Sevier County Clerk/Auditor Steve Wall hasn’t given much thought to whether he would perform a wedding for a same-sex couple who comes to his office. But under a new Utah law that takes effect May 12, he doesn’t have to marry anyone unless a he can’t find a person in the county to conduct the civil ceremony, making county clerks the “marriers” of last resort.
The Salt-Lake Tribune: Speaker after Mormon speaker warned Saturday about the need to defend “traditional families” — a legally married mother and father, who rear their children together — and about the dangers of “counterfeit and alternative lifestyles.”
Al Jazeera: Same-sex marriage became legal in Utah last October, a dramatic cultural shift for many, and eyes are on the expected ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States this summer that could legalize same-sex marriage across the U.S. Now some area residents are asking: Why not the polygamists?
Religion News Service: Bowman said forcing people to serve clientele planning gay marriages is parallel to “forcing nurses to assist in abortions.”
New Republic: The bill passed 23-5 in the Senate and 65-10 in the House, but many of those who worked on the bill are already anxious about what is sure to follow: a fight over public accommodations, or questions like whether a baker with religious objections would be obligated to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.
The New York Times: With the backing of Mormon church leaders, the Republican-dominated Utah Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday night that would ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in housing and employment, while also protecting religious institutions that object to homosexuality.
ERLC: A few weeks back, LDS officials announced their intention to craft first-of-its-kinds legislation that would attempt to balance the concerns of the LGBT community with the concerns of religious liberty advocates. The much-anticipated bill has finally been unveiled. So the question remains why we—and our Roman Catholic religious liberty allies—don’t sign on to this strategy as well. We can’t speak for the Catholic bishops, of course, but here’s how we see it.
Yahoo News (AP): The measure has a rare stamp of approval from the Mormon church and stands a high chance of passing in Utah, where the church is based and many state lawmakers and the Republican governor are members of the faith.
The Washington Post: Utah lawmakers from both parties, Mormon Church leaders and local gay equality advocates are expected to announce proposed legislation Wednesday meant to protect from discrimination lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as opponents of gay equality who cite religion as a basis for their beliefs.
Utah Policy: In other words, says Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George, his SB100 will not go beyond “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in the religious belief area, he told UtahPolicyMonday morning.
Deseret News: Robin Fretwell Wilson supports same-sex marriage and nondiscrimination laws. But she also wrote model legislation that accommodates the religious beliefs of individuals and small businesses. She will be in Utah on Thursday to consult with legislators trying to piece together a proposal for the Legislature.
Deseret News: Eric Moutsos doesn’t believe he should have to leave his personal convictions at home when he walks out the door to go to work — particularly his religious beliefs.
Yahoo News (AP): A former Salt Lake City police officer who was put on leave and later resigned after he objected to riding in the motorcycle brigade at the front of last year’s pride parade is speaking out against what he believes was a violation of his religious liberties.
Deseret News: Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday lawmakers need to address both religious liberty and anti-discrimination this session, preferably in a single bill.
Deseret News: “No one in America should be forced to choose between following their conscience and serving their employer,” said Kellie Fiedorek, an ADF attorney, in the group’s statement. “The First Amendment protects the right to basic freedoms, including the freedom to live and work according to one’s conscience. These freedoms are guaranteed to every American, including those issuing marriage licenses.”
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom issued legal memos Tuesday and Wednesday that advise Wisconsin, Indiana, and Utah clerks responsible for issuing marriage licenses that they do not have to issue certain licenses where doing so conflicts with their religious or moral beliefs.
The Salt Lake Tribune: Support for same-sex marriage in Utah remains split, a new poll reveals, though a majority of Utahns believe the state’s ban on gay and lesbian unions ultimately won’t survive.
Deseret News: Utah intends to appeal a federal judge’s ruling that struck down part of the state’s anti-polygamy law in a lawsuit filed by the family that appears on the TV show “Sister Wives.”
The Catholic/Evangelical/Baptist/LDS/Lutheran amicus curiae brief in support of cert in the Utah same-sex marriage case
Mirror of Justice: A couple weeks back, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod filed an amicus curiae brief in support of certiorari in the Utah same-sex marriage case.
Deseret News: Backers of a petition supporting traditional marriage delivered a list of more than 18,600 signatures to Gov. Gary Herbert’s office Friday, saying Utahns don’t need to be ashamed of taking that stand.
Deseret News: A new Zions Bank/UtahPolicy.com poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates showed that 61 percent of Utah likely voters oppose same-sex marriage with 29 percent supporting. At the same time, some 58 percent believe the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down Utah’s gay/lesbian marriage prohibition.
Deseret News: The state backed its request for more time to appeal a lower court ruling in the same-sex marriage recognition case Wednesday with a new brief in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Christian News Network: “The 10th Circuit … negated the exercise of this fundamental right (of voting) by more than 1 million Oklahomans and millions of voters in other states,” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) wrote on behalf of Tulsa County Clerk Sally Howe. “Invalidating the people’s voice on an issue as profound as the definition of marriage presents an important question that warrants this court’s review.”
The Christian Post: Utah, Virginia and Oklahoma have filed the appeals earlier this week as numerous courts across the country consider lawsuits against the various state marriage amendments passed via referendum from 2004 to 2012.
The New York Times: Lawyers for three couples challenging Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage said Thursday that they would join with their opponents to urge the Supreme Court to hear their case, even though they recently won an appeals court ruling striking down the law.
USA Today: “Everybody’s opinion on this should count,” Nimocks said. “This is not a one-sided issue. This is a two-sided issue.”
Deseret News: Utah on Tuesday became the first state to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on a marriage law that two lower courts have struck down.
The Wall Street Journal: The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday said Utah for now does not have to recognize hundreds of same-sex marriages performed during a short time window when they were allowed in the state.
BuzzFeed:Utah officials are asking the Supreme Court to put an order that the state recognize the marriages it granted to same-sex couples on hold while it appeals the case.
ABC News: The Justice Department is set to urge the Supreme Court to uphold a lower-court ruling and block states from banning same-sex marriage, Attorney General Eric Holder said.
The Oklahoman: Kerri Kupec, spokeswoman for Alliance Defending Freedom, the Arizona-based group representing the Tulsa County Court Clerk and defending Oklahoma’s law, said it’s possible that the Oklahoma case was decided on different grounds and that’s why it wasn’t released with the Utah case.
NPR: “We are disappointed that the 10th Circuit did not uphold Utah’s voter-approved marriage amendment that affirmed marriage as a one-man, one-woman union. Every child deserves a mom and a dad, and the people of Utah confirmed that at the ballot box.” — Kerri Kupec, Alliance Defending Freedom legal communications director
Breitbart: In a 2-to-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Kitchen v. Hebert affirmed a lower court’s ruling holding that traditional marriage laws violate the Constitution. The case will likely soon go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Daily Signal: The only way the 10th Circuit could reach its decision today was to smuggle in a view of marriage that sees it as an essentially genderless institution and then declare that the Constitution requires that the States (re)define marriage in such a way.
National Review: This issue is obviously headed for the Supreme Court. The lower-court rulings are mere preludes. That said, the fact that the panel divided, and that so much turns on what the appropriate standard of review is, illustrates that the Court’s ultimate resolution of this issue is far from the fait accompli that the slew of district-court rulings might be mistaken to suggest.
Los Angeles Times: In a decision coming from Utah, a federal appeals court on Wednesday for the first time backed gay marriage. The Denver-based U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower-court decision that struck down the state’s laws on same-sex marriage.
The Daily Signal: Sometimes religious liberty cases are black and white, but normally they’re various shades of gray and require careful critical thinking. They’re not so much a matter of arithmetic as they are geometry or even calculus.
CBN: A Salt Lake City police officer who was placed on paid administrative leave for reportedly refusing to work at a gay parade says he didn’t actually refuse the assignment.
Christian News Network: A Salt Lake City police officer has been placed on paid leave and subjected to an investigation after he refused to work at an ‘gay pride’ event, which has been characterized as containing sexually explicit behavior in broad daylight.
The Salt Lake Tribune: Less than 24 hours after the state announced its intent to fight U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball’s ruling — which ordered Utah to honor and recognize all same-sex marriages performed in the state — the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday halted any movement toward marriage recognition.
The Washington Times: Utah has appealed a federal judge’s ruling ordering officials to recognize more than 1,000 gay marriages that were allowed immediately after the state’s same-sex marriage ban was overturned, prolonging the uncertainty for those couples.
The Christian Institute: The failure of US state governors to uphold voter-approved laws, such as those which support traditional marriage, is a “tragedy and the next step to anarchy”, the governor of Utah has said.
Utah must recognize same-sex marriages performed during 17 days before stay; but this order temporarily stayed also
Religion Clause: In Evans v. State of Utah, (D UT, May 19, 2014), a Utah federal district court granted a preliminary injunction requiring the state of Utah to recognize same-sex marriages solemnized under Utah marriage licenses between Dec. 20, 2013 when a federal district court struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriages, and Jan. 6, 2014 when the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay of that order, pending appeals.
The Salt Lake Tribune: The Utah Supreme Court has halted all movement in same-sex adoption until the justices determine whether the adoptions — and by extension the marriages — are legal.
Associated Press: “The secluded Texas ranch where followers of imprisoned polygamist Warren Jeffs lived in near isolation was seized by state agents on Thursday, nearly six years after FBI agents raided the property and removed hundreds of children amid child sex abuse allegations.”
Dennis Romboy at Deseret News: “‘Governments have a compelling interest in having children raised by the mother and father that conceived them. The reality is men and women bring distinct irreplaceable gifts to family life especially for children who deserve both a mom and a dad,’ said Byron Babione, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom.”
The Salt Lake Tribune: “There are a lot of similarities between the Utah and Oklahoma same-sex marriage cases pending before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. In each, a federal judge found laws banning gay and lesbian unions were unconstitutional and violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. Both have been appealed by the respective states. Both will be argued before the same panel of judges — Paul J. Kelly Jr., Carlos F. Lucero and Jerome A. Holmes.”
Deseret News: “Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes urged supporters of traditional marriage Friday to ‘take the high road’ as the Amendment 3 case goes through the courts but said he would not apologize for defending the state. ‘We are not motivated by hate. We are not targeting out of animus or any sinister motives any particular individuals or families in Utah,’ Reyes said during a gathering in the state Capitol rotunda organized by Utah’s Marriage Coalition.”
Marcia Coyle, The National Law Journal: “On April 17, Oklahoma’s defense of its ban will be made by James Campbell of Alliance Defending Freedom. ‘At the core of almost all of these cases are two claims,’ said Austin Nimrock of Alliance Defending Freedom. One is that the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection and due-process guarantees prohibit states from denying same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry, he said. Second, in some but not all of the cases, is that under the U.S. Constitution’s full-faith-and-credit clause, states must give legal effect to gay marriages performed outside of their boundaries.”
CBN News: “‘The stakes are whether the people can continue to define marriage as between a man and a woman,’ Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jim Campbell said, referring to the state marriage laws approved by millions of voters which have been overturned by only a handful of judges.”
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog: “The first hearing by a federal appeals court since the Supreme Court’s ruling last June on same-sex marriage, and the first in the wake of a string of federal trial judges’ rulings striking down state bans on such marriages, pointed strongly on Wednesday toward the issues that seem sure to shape how the controversy will unfold from this point on.”
Audio is here. Washington Post: “The legal battle over whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry came for the first time Thursday before a panel of appeals court judges, who struggled to decode the Supreme Court’s message on …
The Salt Lake Tribune: “The state is asking the Utah Supreme Court to block orders of judges who approved adoptions for married same-sex couples so they are not able to get amended birth certificates for their children.”
Same-sex marriage battle escalates to force Supreme Court decision on constitutionality | Washington Post
Robert Barnes at The Washington Post: “Austin R. Nimocks, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal organization involved in many of the gay-marriage cases, said he is hopeful that the appeals courts will take note of the history of state definitions of marriages, not just the relatively recent moves to enshrine them in state constitutions.”
The Denver Post: “President George H.W. Bush had appointed University of Notre Dame graduate Paul J. Kelly Jr., and Bush’s son George W. Bush selected Jerome Holmes, who has an impeccable conservative track record in writing death penalty and affirmative action case law, Leong said. But Holmes, the first black jurist to serve on the 10th Circuit, did something recently that stunned court watchers: When conservative stronghold Utah petitioned the 10th Circuit to stay a federal judge’s decision striking down that state’s gay rights ban, Holmes said no.”
Deseret News: “Utah will take center stage in the national debate on marriage Thursday when attorneys for the state and three gay and lesbian couples argue their opposing beliefs before a federal appeals court.”
The Salt Lake Tribune: “Lead counsel Gene Schaerr, former Michigan Solicitor General John Bursch and well-known Idaho attorney Monte Neil Stewart declined to comment for this article, citing Thursday’s fast-approaching arguments before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. But through essays, letters and actions, all have left little question as to their commitment to the state’s cause.”
Associated Press: “Single mothers will no longer be able to travel to Utah to put kids up for adoption without first notifying their children’s fathers now that state legislators have changed a law that critics said cleared a path for kidnapping and fraud.”
The Salt Lake Tribune: “The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals judges, selected Monday via a computerized random lottery system, are Paul J. Kelly Jr.; Carlos F. Lucero; and Jerome A. Holmes. Holmes was one of the two judges who rejected Utah’s request that U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby’s decision overturning the marriage ban be stayed, eventually granted by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Kirk Mitchell at The Denver Post: “In hundreds of pages of filings in a federal appeals court, Utah, Oklahoma and their allies are arguing that children belong in homes with a father and mother. They also express concerns that same-sex marriages could result in a declining birth rate.”
Fox 13: “Late Thursday, Judge James Shumate awarded Holm permanent legal and physical custody of his children. . . . Lynda Peine’s attorney, Rod Parker, has repeatedly objected to much of the testimony and evidence being offered in the trial. He argued that FLDS members were being stereotyped as operating in lockstep with leaders and that Holm was seeking to put the religion on trial.”
Associated Press: “An Arizona jury on Thursday agreed that a polygamous sect on the Utah-Arizona border discriminated against a family that doesn’t belong to the church and awarded them $5.2 million.”
Salt Lake Tribune: “The first few hours of Johnson’s testimony at U.S. District Court for Arizona came in response to questions from attorneys representing Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah. However, attorneys for the Cooke family — who say they were discriminated against for not being FLDS members — clearly didn’t buy why Johnson was saying.”
The Salt Lake Tribune: “That wrecking ball would impose ‘novel’ and ‘corrosive’ principles about marriage and parenting and would undermine state sovereignty, according to the 120-page reply brief the state submitted to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals just minutes before its midnight deadline Friday.” | The brief is here.
The Salt Lake Tribune: “Assistant Utah Attorney General Kyle J. Kaiser told U.S. District Court Judge Dale A. Kimball that couples who married after Utah’s Amendment 3 was found unconstitutional on Dec. 20 knew the state was seeking to stay the ruling and planned to appeal it.”
The Atlantic: “‘Whatever form marriage and family comes in, as long as it’s about love and commitment, that’s okay,’ Brady said. ‘Where no one’s a victim. Where no one’s being compelled to be in it. Consenting adults who love each other should be able to express that in a family setting.’”
Associated Press: “The Utah Senate approved a change in the state’s abortion laws so that women whose lives are at risk can undergo the procedure without first having to watch a state-mandated video on alternatives and read information about adoption.”
Reuters: “Republicans from Western states are expected on Tuesday to urge a U.S. appeals court to rule state bans on gay marriage unconstitutional, an aide said, citing shifts in the cultural standpoints of some conservatives in a broad national debate.”
Deseret News: “Cindy Sanders didn’t bring her 18-month-old son to a Capitol news conference Friday where she and other married same-sex parents said the state is unjustly intervening in their adoption cases. But the Utah Attorney General’s Office says it didn’t seek to get involved but responded to judges’ requests for an opinion on the legality of same-sex adoption in light of the Amendment 3 case.”
FOX 13: “The Utah Attorney General’s Office has told judges to either halt or reject adoption petitions filed by same-sex couples while it appeals a federal court’s ruling that overturned Amendment 3, FOX 13 News has learned.”
The Salt Lake Tribune: “Attorneys representing three couples say in a new brief that Utah laws prohibiting same-sex marriage have ‘cemented discrimination against same-sex couples and their children into the state’s most basic charter,’ denying those families not only the protections that flow from civil marriage but also the ‘common vocabulary of family life and belonging’ that other Utahns may take for granted.” The brief is here.
FOX 13: “Rep. Jerry Anderson, R-Price, told FOX 13 on Tuesday that HB 58 has been held as part of a package of bills legislative committees won’t consider because of Utah’s appeal of Amendment 3.”
FOX News: “A dozen men are suing the state of Utah in federal court because of a law that allows mothers to put their babies up for adoption without the biological father’s consent, or sometimes even knowledge. The civil rights lawsuit claims the Utah Adoption Act has resulted in what amounts to ‘legalized fraud and kidnapping.’”
The Salt Lake Tribune: “Saying they represent the voices of millions of Americans, a coalition of faith groups that includes the Mormon church called on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold bans on same-sex marriage in Utah and Oklahoma because traditional marriage is ‘indispensable to social welfare and our republican form of government.’”