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Utah same-sex ban: Law found unconstitutional, ban lifted over equal protection

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A Utah same-sex ban was announced to be unconstitutional this week following a federal judge declaring the law as violating the right to equal protection and due process revisions. Since the ban’s newfound lifting, news has come in that many gay couples in the region are now hurrying to apply for official marriage licenses while they can, as they now have the opportunity to do so under state law. Yahoo News reveals the latest this Friday, Dec. 20, in a report on this important civil decision from the higher system courts.

The Utah same-sex ban being deemed as unlawful came to a head following a lawsuit filed from three separate LGBT couples in the state earlier this year. These individuals challenged that the ban violated their human rights as cited in the constitution. If the judge’s recent decision remains — again backed by the law disregarding due process revisions and equal protection status — then Utah will become the 18th state in the U.S. to formally legalize gay marriage. According to the Utah attorney general’s office, there would be an official statement written and made public on the ruling before the end of 2013.

As provided by the U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby on the significant decision to lift the former ban:

"The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason. Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional."

Notably, Shelby’s ruling makes explicit mention of the Supreme Court’s prior decision regarding Proposition 8 in California.

“Mormon conservatives were one of the driving forces behind the California ban's passage in the first place. Instead of making a decision on the law itself, however, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that private individuals didn't have standing to defend the law in the courts. That decision effectively lifted California's voter-approved ban on gay marriage, but left unanswered the question of whether same-sex marriage bans in general violate due process and equal protection.”

Regarding the Utah same-sex ban being declared unconstitutional, the federal judge added:

"A number of lawsuits, including the suit currently pending before this court, have been filed across the country to address the question that the Supreme Court left unanswered in the California case. The court turns to that question now.”



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