SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 UTAH) - In 2004, voters passed Utah's Constitutional Amendment 3, which stated that marriage would be defined between a man and a woman.
Fast-forward nine years later and Amendment 3 was overturned on Dec. 20, 2013, by Federal Judge Robert Shelby.
1,300 same sex couples were married, then the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay effectively bringing back Amendment 3.
In the 120-page written argument the state is asking the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold Amendment 3 and leave same–sex marriage up to individual states and their democratic processes.
Utah looks to be arguing on behalf of the state's children.
Arguing that the state's children will suffer from increased fatherlessness and motherlessness, children would also suffer from emotional social and economic damage.
The state would see reduced birth rates and increased self-interest in parental decision making
In the argument the state says,
“No one wants gays, lesbians and their families to feel stigmatized or demeaned, and no one wants to destroy or undermine a child-centric, man-woman marriage culture that has provided enormous benefits to children.”
It goes on to say that same-sex marriage “would thereby enshrine in federal law that corrosive principle that moms and dads are interchangeable and, ultimately, irrelevant to children.”
The state says that if it is federally mandated to accept same-sex marriage because of popular opinion, “states would effectively lose that authority – and with it an enormous portion of their police powers – whenever they choose to reject those trends.”
“As to the subject of marriage, it would bring active liberty to a screeching halt, replacing it with a homogenized, one-size-fits-all federal solution.”
One of the plaintiffs in the case responded to the argument with this statement.
“The idea that the state thinks that I am less worthy or capable of raising and loving a child, or contributing to the growth of the community and economy of the Beehive state which I love and live in, because of my sexual orientation, is hurtful and alienating,” said Moudi Sbeity
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