Lawyers for the six plaintiffs filed a response late Tuesday to the state's appeal, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. They said Utah's argument that same-sex marriages are bad for children and infringe on religious freedom are not valid.
The couples are challenging both Utah's ban on same-sex marriage and its refusal to recognize marriages performed elsewhere. They point out that Utah at one time banned interracial marriage but recognized the legality of those conducted in other states.
Plaintiffs argued the ban affects their ability to care for each other and for any children they may have.
"No matter how deeply they care for one another or how long they have stood by one another, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, Amendment 3 treats plaintiffs and other same-sex couples as legal strangers to one another," the brief said.
U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled for Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity, Kate Call and Karen Archer and Kody Partridge and Laurie Wood Dec. 20.