Same-sex marriage case goes to Utah federal judge

Dec. 4, 2013 at 4:56 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- A U.S. judge will hear argument in a lawsuit contending Utah's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, with both sides seeking a summary judgment.

Each side has asked U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby for the summary judgment, which indicates their arguments are so compelling there would be no need for a protected legal fight over Utah's Amendment 3, the ban approved by voters in 2004, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Shelby agreed to hear arguments Wednesday. A decision would be announced at a later date.

The plaintiffs in the case are Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity; Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge; and Karen Archer and Kate Call. They filed the lawsuit in March, at the same time the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two different cases involving the constitutionality of laws on same-sex marriage.

One, U.S. vs. Windsor, which state attorneys say makes clear that the definition and regulation of marriage is a state, not federal matter, is at the heart of the Utah suit. Attorneys for the three couples say the Windsor case demonstrates that discriminatory Utah laws single out same-sex couples and treat them unequally.

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