Ten years ago, close to 66 percent of voters in Utah passed a state constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as the union between one man and one woman. Last December, a federal judge struck down the law as unconstitutional. In January, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the ruling, halting homosexual “marriages” while the case was on appeal.
After a three-judge panel upheld the lower court’s ruling, Sean Reyes, Utah’s attorney general, wants to skip the appeals court and go straight to the nation’s highest court. From Religion News Service:
Reyes’ office said at the time it would ask the nation’s top court to review the 10th Circuit ruling and decide later whether to appeal to the full appellate court. The attorney general reiterated that strategy Wednesday, saying the state seeks to “obtain clarity and resolution from the highest court.”
But the nation’s top court does not have to take Utah’s appeal; four of the nine justices must vote to hear a case. The justices could also wait to see how other appeals courts rule on marriage bans before them.
Either way, the process can be expected to take several months.
It takes courage and determination to continue fighting what seems to be a losing battle, but people who want to protect marriage from absurd levels of redefinition are on the right side of history. One day, our Supreme Court will end up hearing cases on lowering the age of consent so adults can legally prey on children. The court will hear cases in which three or five or 10 people want to enter into legally recognized unions and call themselves married, just like a man and a woman.
If it sounds far-fetched and alarmist, consider that the idea of two men standing at an altar getting “married” once sounded far-fetched and alarmist–and it wasn’t that long ago.
I commend Reyes. Others have cracked under the pressure and seeming futility of it all. As attorney general, he’s charged with executing his state’s laws, and the voter-approved marriage affirmation amendment is the law. His office released a statement.
“Attorney General Reyes has a sworn duty to defend the laws of our state. Utah’s Constitutional Amendment 3 is presumed to be constitutional unless the highest court deems otherwise.”
Technically, that is a true statement. But marriage will always mean a husband, a man, and a wife, a woman.