Furthermore, the decision’s approach to the application of federal equal protection standards takes a remarkably condescending tone toward Utah’s Constitution. Admitting that a strong presumption in favor of constitutionality should apply, the decision goes on to say there is no rational basis for Utah’s Amendment 3.
It deems Amendment 3 to be an act of “sex discrimination” even though there is no difference between the way men and women are treated under Utah marriage law.
It entertains the argument that “Utah citizens voted for Amendment 3 out of a dislike of gay and lesbian individuals.”
Because this was decided without the benefit of a trial of the facts, the court feels free to dismiss as irrational the state’s contention (and by extension the voters’ contention) that there are prudential reasons for moving cautiously when adjusting the marital norms that have served society for millennia, that there may be something uniquely important for the benefit of children about supporting the biologically intact family, that religious liberties might require special consideration given the role of marriage in religious teaching and practice.
Gays and lesbians are not deprived of any rights they are due in a liberal democracy when a state, like Utah, through open democratic processes insists that marriage is between a man and a woman.
The Utah Attorney General’s Office said it would seek an “emergency stay pending the filing of an appeal.”
In order to maintain legitimacy, unelected judges must demonstrate that they are acting with prudence, discretion and with proper regard to the fabric of our state’s and our nation’s tradition of ordered liberty, their fundamental laws, their constitutions and the settled precedents that enforce them. In our opinion, Friday’s decision to redefine marriage in Utah has failed to maintain this trust.