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Plaintiffs against Utah's Amendment 3 speak out

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Two same-sex couples who filed a complaint against Utah's Amendment 3 speak out .
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Back in March a 26 page complaint was filed by three Utah couples. The document states Utah's Amendment 3 discriminates against gay and lesbians right to marry.  Thursday, during a press conference by Restore Our Humanity, two same-sex couples who filed the lawsuit spoke out.

Karen Archer and Kate Call were married in Iowa, but upon crossing the state line they are considered single due to Utah's Amendment 3, which restricts marriage to a man and woman. “You can't have gay marriage, you can't have gay civil unions, you cannot have anything that gives you the rights of marriage,” say Call. With no rights of marriage, it’s a third clause that deeply affects the couple after Karen was forced to retire early due to her health. "So Kate will be left without the benefits of my social security," says Archer.

The couple isn't alone Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity have been partners for four years and they too feel discriminated against. "We would like to buy a house, we would like to evolve our business and it's hard to be legally recognized as a couple owning a business but rather as just business partners,” says Sbeity.

On behalf of the plaintiffs their attorney Peggy Tomsic says the lawsuit against Amendment 3 can now move forward following the U.S. Supreme Courts ruling striking down the Defense of Mariage Act. "We welcome and applaud the U.S. Supreme Court for giving us an additional platform to argue and utilize in striking down what is fundamentally unconstitutional unfair and that is Amendment 3," say Tomsic.

In a sit down interview with ABC 4 Utah, Attorney General John Swallow says since the high courts ruling the state has 45 days to analyze, prepare and file a response with the Salt Lake District Court.  “What the  U.S. Supreme Court really did is they left it to the states. So, in a state like Utah that hasn't authorized same sex marriage we should be able to continue to make that kind of statement and have that kind of law in the state of Utah,” says Swallow.

However, for the two couples they have high hopes in the outcome of their lawsuit. “We look forward to having Amendment 3 struck down in the courts.” No trial date has been set for the case, but Tomsik says they hope to fast track the case and have it complete within the year.

 

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