Lesbian expectant couple sues Utah for recognition of marital rights

Published: Thursday, Jan. 30 2014 6:25 p.m. MST

Plaintiffs, activists and equality supporters rally at the Utah State Capitol to show support for Judge Robert Shelby’s Dec. 20th ruling on Amendment 3 in Salt Lake City Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — A lesbian couple has filed a lawsuit against Utah, asking the state to recognize their marriage and all the accompanying rights to which they believe they are entitled.

Kate Doe and Beth Roe hope to reach a resolution quickly, as they are expecting a baby the first week of February.

The two obtained a license and were legally married in New England in 2010. They later returned to their home in Utah.

When a federal judge overturned Utah's marriage statute that refused recognition of the marriage of same-sex couples on Dec. 20, Doe and Roe decided to obtain a marriage license in Utah and renew their vows, according to the 27-page lawsuit filed Thursday in 3rd District Court.

They were then married in Utah on Dec. 23, before a U.S. Supreme Court stay was ordered on the federal injunction. The outcome is pending an appeal filed by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Gov. Gary Herbert.

Doe is due to give birth on Feb. 3, and "on the cusp of giving birth to their daughter, the state's refusal to recognize her marriage to Beth strips Kate of a legal spouse and the rights and benefits thereof," court documents state.

The couple, who have been together for more than eight years, are worried that Roe will not be able to "make emergency and other significant decisions for their daughter," who is the result of careful selection from a sperm bank in California, the suit states.

Email: wleonard@deseretnews.com, Twitter: wendyleonards

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