August 28, 2014
UTAH MARRIAGE EQUALITY PLAINTIFFS ASK U.S. SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW CASE
Update September 4, 2014: Three diverse voices – those of business, states, and family and equality groups – filed amici curiae briefs in the Kitchen v. Herbert case. The briefs argue that the high court should take a case or cases in order to resolve the harm and discrimination imposed by marriage bans.
Today, the three couples challenging the State of Utah’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples asked the United States Supreme Court to accept the request of Utah state officials to review the case. In the brief filed today, the plaintiffs argue that Supreme Court review is required because same-sex couples in Utah and across the country urgently need to have the security of marriage wherever they work or travel to fully protect themselves and their families. The brief argues that only a Supreme Court decision affirming their right to marry and to have their marriages respected nationwide can resolve this fundamental inequality.
The plaintiff couples—Kody Partridge and Laurie Wood, Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity, and Kate Call and Karen Archer—argue that state laws banning marriage equality violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. The couples, who won favorable decisions from lower federal courts, asked the Supreme Court to review the case because the marriages of same-sex couples will not truly be equal unless they are respected throughout the country.
In their request, the couples say: “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. 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 harm. They cannot plan for their own and their children’s futures secure in the knowledge that states may not strip them of legal recognition of their familial relationships when they move or travel.”
The couples in the case—Kitchen v. Herbert—are represented by lead counsel Peggy Tomsic of the Salt Lake City law firm of Magleby & Greenwood, P.C., Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Mary Bonauto of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal of the law firm of Hogan Lovells.