Better UTAH to file amicus brief in Amendment 3 appeal

Salt Lake City — Good government group Alliance for a Better UTAH announced today it will file a friend of the court brief in support of District Judge Robert Shelby’s ruling that Utah’s Amendment 3 violates the U.S. Constitution. Maryann Martindale, executive director, has released the following statement:

“Our decision to file an amicus brief with the 10th Circuit follows a string of amicus briefs filed in support of Amendment 3 that purport to represent the prevailing views of Utahns. They do not. Nor is that really the relevant question. The question at stake is a question of law, interpretation of the Constitution, and protection of a minority group’s rights. This is what has led Attorneys General from Nevada and Virginia, along with their state governors, to conclude that defending their state bans on same-sex marriage is no longer appropriate.

“Nevertheless, the public’s views are not irrelevant and deserve to be heard, and the views of Utahns in 2004, when Amendment 3 passed, are markedly different a decade later. Utahns are now roughly split on the question of same-sex marriage. Though we cannot speak for the many Utahns who support marriage equality and who are being ignored by their leaders, we do speak with them. Their voices must also be heard.

“Newly-appointed Attorney General Sean Reyes and Governor Gary Herbert, each of whom represents the entire citizenry of the State of Utah, have taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Utah. In the present case, those obligations are in conflict and both have chosen to persist in defending Amendment 3 in an attempt to represent what they claim to be the viewpoint of the majority of Utahns. In addition, 81 Republican state legislators have filed an amicus brief in support of Amendment 3. However, with Utahns now evenly split on the issue of marriage equality, it is clear that those 81 state legislators, who represent 78% of the legislature, are disproportionately aligned when compared to the public they represent.”

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Contact:
Maryann Martindale
Executive Director, Alliance for a Better UTAH
801.557.1532 | maryann@betterutah.org

Isaac Holyoak
Communications Director, Alliance for a Better UTAH
801.664.9751 | isaac@betterutah.org

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