Gay marriages are 'affront' to Utah, state argues in appeal to high court
Duncan said the state chose arguments, including the long history of traditional marriage and that children fare best when raised by their two biological parents, that show it will aggressively defend Utah's right to define marriage.
"I think that signals that the state is going to make a very strong, full-throated argument in favor of the marriage laws," he said. "I think they're going to say the people of the state were acting, contrary to what Judge Shelby suggested, entirely rationally in wanting to preserve something that has been good for society."
In 2004, Utah voters by a 2-to-1 margin approved an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The Utah Attorney General's Office estimated it could cost $2 million to hire outside counsel to appeal Shelby's ruling. But the office apparently is having difficulty getting a law firm to take the case.
Newly appointed Attorney General Sean Reyes put out a request for proposals Tuesday. It is accepting bids until Jan. 7. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals set a Jan. 27 deadline for the state to file written arguments as part of an expedited schedule for the appeal.
Magleby said the plaintiffs in the court case are disappointed that Utah would spend taxpayers' money to try to reinstate laws which deny due process and equal protection.
"It doesn’t have to be this way," he said, noting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, asked the state's attorney general to nix the appeal of a ruling that legalized same-sex marriage there.
But Utah GOP leaders says they support Reyes' plan to hire outside counsel and are willing to spend $2 million to defend the state's marriage law.
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