Same-sex marriage advocates to deliver petition to governor

Published: Tuesday, July 8 2014 6:09 p.m. MDT

Updated: Tuesday, July 8 2014 6:09 p.m. MDT

Jimmy Lee, right, and Bonnie O'Brien laugh during a rally to celebrate the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that overturned Utah's ban on same-sex marriage at City Creek Park in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, June 25, 2014.

Michelle Tessier, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Same-sex marriage advocates intend to deliver a petition to the governor Wednesday urging the state to drop its court battle and recognize marriages performed in the state.

Utah Unites for Marriage says it has 3,820 signatures on a petition asking Gov. Gary Herbert and Attorney General Sean Reyes to end their "relentless" court fight to stop same-sex marriage and deny legally married couples recognition and access to second-parent adoptions.

The group plans to meet at H Street and walk to the front gate of the governor's mansion on South Temple.

Herbert is heading to Tennessee on Wednesday for the National Governors Association meetings and likely won't be there. The petition would have to be left with security officers, according to the governor's office.

Utah's married gay and lesbian couples deserve to be treated for exactly what they are: married, according to Utah Unites.

About 1,300 couples married in Utah after a federal judge struck down the state's voter-approved law defining marriage as between a man and woman. The state put recognition of those marriages on hold, prompting four newly married couples to file a lawsuit.

In May, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball issued a decision requiring the state to recognize and grant all benefits to marriages performed between Dec. 20 and Jan. 6. The state is appealing and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals put Kimball's ruling on hold.

Two weeks ago, the 10th Circuit in a separate case — Kitchen v. Herbert — found marriage is a fundamental right under the 14th Amendment, and that access to marriage cannot be denied to same-sex couples. The attorney general and the governor said they intend to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Herbert and Reyes have given no indication that they would consider dropping the appeals. The governor said earlier that he wants the case to get to the high court as soon as possible.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: dennisromboy

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