ACLU sues Utah over same sex marriages

ACLU sues Utah over same sex marriages

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - The ACLU is challenging the state's attempt to block same sex couples who were "legally" married in December.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - Little Jesse thinks he has two daddies.
Four years ago, Tony Milner and Matthew Barraza legally adopted him.

“We always wanted to be dads and about four years ago we welcomed Jesse into our lives from birth,” says Milner.

But under Utah law, only Barraza is Jesse's legal daddy.
The state doesn't recognize their marriage and Utah law forbids both parents to adopt kids.

“If something were to happen to me Tony would not have any legal standing regarding Jesse,” says Barraza.

That's why several same sex couples who got married in December and the ACLU is suing the state. Tuesday, the ACLU filed the lawsuit in state district court.

“We ask the court to make clear and order these unions must be treated the same as any other Utah marriage,” says John Mejia of ACLU of Utah.

Their marriages have no legal standing in Utah despite a federal judge ruling the state's law is unconstitutional. That ruling is on appeal.

“It was amazing while it lasted but once again we were relegated to second class citizens in our own state,” says Donald Johnson.

It's critical for JoNell Evans and Stacia Ireland. Without the state recognizing their marriage, Hippa laws at hospitals make it difficult.

“I wasn't allowed to sign paperwork for her,” says Evans. “When we went back to the hospital on January first of this year after being legally married there was no question.”

But now the couple can’t legally sign hospital documents because the state won’t their marriage.
And Jesse's adoption is on hold. His two daddies only want the same peace of mind any couple would want.

“We feel a sense of urgency as far as Jesse's welfare goes,” says Barraza.
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