Utah attorney general hires 3 lawyers to fight same-sex marriage ruling

Married gay couples can file jointly, tax commission decides

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 18, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    Gay marriage? Careful now!

    Do some homework.

    May be a Trojan Horse gift from corrupt politicians.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 18, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    I'm thinking a GRAMA Request should be sent to AG Reyes to determine the number of "qualified" attorneys are employed in the AG Office.
    Reyes hires "outside" attorneys by the hour because he has no one qualified to handle this in house???
    If they aren't "highly qualified" then fire them.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2014 3:53 a.m.

    @ bandersen

    "However, sin is a choice, homosexuality is a sin, which makes homosexuality a choice."

    Take that up against the testimony of hundreds of thousands of homosexual people across this country who say they were born the way they are; just as you were. Plus, it's only a sin to you. I don't see it that way. For that reason, you can't legislate morals.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 17, 2014 9:40 p.m.

    A number of comments here have inspired me to speak out about my own religious background and views. While some religions take a very conservative, sin-oriented view of same-sex relationships, others do not. Mine looks at the hearts of individuals, sees the love, and what we call "that of God" in them, and as Paul describes in Romans 14, concern ourselves more with the substance of the intent in their heart, than the sound of the proscriptive words of the Old Testament.

    This is not a case of Religion versus Sin. It's a case of Interpretation vs. Interpretation, something so easy to get wrong if you haven't met the people who are at the center of this, if you haven't sat with them and worshiped, and broken bread. There is much in the Bible that can be read with whatever good or ill spirit is in your heart. Jesus tried to simplify and clarify it all for us: Love God, and Love Thy Neighbor.

    Meanwhile, here in the United States of America, we have a Constitution that restricts the power of government to withhold equal treatment from people.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    Jan. 17, 2014 6:34 p.m.

    Mormons, better than most, are very aware of how the first amendment religious protections can, and were, ignored by the federal government; including by the very Supreme Court itself. Don't tell us our religion will be protected, when many of us are direct descendants of those who witnessed first hand how easily the law was used to steal our religious liberties.

  • LeslieDF Alameda, CA
    Jan. 17, 2014 4:40 p.m.

    @aislander: New argument? See @bandersen "Sin is a choice, homosexuality is a sin, which makes homosexuality a choice;" concluding: "This may be our chance to lead America back toward God."

    Likely this will fail as a argument. "Sin" is not something courts use to interpret or settle law.

    @Fred Vander: RE: The "conspiracy" beginning in the 1980s.

    Homosexuals asked not to be fired from their jobs in the 1930's and 1940's. This was not then, nor now, being "bullied." You were fired or dishonorably discharged, if someone (else) said you were a homosexual. Nothing more was needed. Continues today.

    In 1968, at the draft board, I crossed-off "Do you have homosexual tendencies?" and wrote in: "I am a homosexual." I moved from Arizona with a 4F deferment to get a job.

    Your "conspiracy" theory: "Conspiring men and women are winning and have co-opted the GLBT's to do it" - laughable.

    "Sin" was Christians taking sectarian law and putting it into civil, secular law, and believing state constitutional amendments qualify as "acts of faith."

    The bigotry label? I've been called much worse over sixty years. Don't be offended. Much less time needed before "bigot" is no longer heard.

  • Lorin Swelk RICHMOND, CA
    Jan. 17, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    Current trends indicate that this will eventually be a losing battle in the end.
    I respect any state's right to waste resources in the interest of pursuing an agenda that will ultimately prove to be futile.

  • Kate Hutch Kenmore, WA
    Jan. 17, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    Read your Bible.....Jesus did not say anything about homosexuality. He did have a lot to say about economic justice and caring for the poor. And somewhere I read that the love of money is the ROOT of ALL evil. All of it. It would seem that people do not really understand the priorities set forth in the very book they claim to live by, but have interpreted the Bible to fit their own ideas, fears and wishes.

    Not to mention that the citizens of this country cannot be forced to live their lives adhering to religious writings of any one group. Homosexual citizens are just that....citizens. It is not the task or privilege of heterosexuals to grant rights to homosexuals since they are equals under the constitution. That is what was addressed by the separation of church and state. The bottom line - I see a lot of references to Utah's unique history - the state cannot impose religion on its citizens.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 2:57 p.m.

    Whatever the outcome, even if the Scotus can't differentiate between precedent and justice, Christians are on notice! Prepare to be persecuted for your beliefs, which includes not being able to say that Homosexuality behavior is sinful. However, sin is a choice, homosexuality is a sin, which makes homosexuality a choice. I know this is a concept that even some Christians have difficulty figuring out, until they properly consult their conscience, but it is time to figure out where you stand! No need to quibble about basic human nature and common sense. The states have this right, always had, and always will if enough people read the Constitution and abide by it. Wake up Utan! This may be our chance to lead America back toward God and all those unalienable rights, including the right to define marriage!

  • aislander Anderson Island, WA
    Jan. 17, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    Is it just me, or does anyone else see the delicious irony that it appears extremely likely that it will be largely Utah and Oklahoma taxpayers that finally make same sex marriage legal in all 50 states? Oh, the schadenfreude!

    It will be interesting to see if (although highly unlikely) this appellate team can come up with any new arguments. Certainly all the arguments in the several cases so far have failed utterly and miserably. If I were hiring these lawyers myself, I'd sure want to hear that they had a logical, legally sound new approach!

    Or maybe that's why they're giving Utah a discount, perhaps they are already conceding that this is almost certainly a lost cause, and the best they can do is delay the inevitable, as no one has yet come up with a legally sustainable argument to deny law abiding tax paying gay US citizens equal treatment under civil law.

    (and of course the old argument that gays could just marry someone of the opposite gender hasn't worked either) So who has a new argument? Anyone?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    @Fred Vader;

    If your "conspiring men and women" hadn't included civil unions and "anything that resembles marriage" in amendment 3, maybe, just maybe, we wouldn't be here today.

    As for your church being sued, how many active, but not worthy Mormons are suing the church to be let in on temple marriage? Until the church is actually forced to marry Mormons in their temples, what makes you think that LGBT could do it?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 17, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    Gene Schaerr, Stewart, etc., the old BYU Law School band is getting together again. The music is jarring though. I wish they would use their talents to defend people's rights instead of denying them.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    Jan. 17, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    Back in the late 1980's conscientious men and women began advocating on behalf of gay men and women to get "sexual orientation" protected from bullying in renting, jobs, etc.

    Unfortunately, conspiring men and women, some gay, some not, saw this as an opportunity to do serious damage. Evidence?

    1. Gays: We want "sexual orientation protection" - Result:laws against discrimination passed = good;

    2. Gays: We want civil unions, not marriage - Result: laws begin to be passed, allowing = good;

    3. Conspiring men and women: civil unions not enough, any who disagrees is hateful, bigot, liars, needs to disappear - Result: free speech shouted down, lawsuits run rampant, people threatened, churches violated, freedom of religion threatened = bad for everyone except those who hate religion.

    Latest steps:

    4. Gays: Worship how you want, just give us marriage; conspiring men and women - your worship is bigotted, hateful, needs to disappear; 1st gay marriage, then your bigotted, homophobic worship is next....Result: Not fear mongering....this is happening, now....just look at these comments and the lawsuit filed agains the LDS....

    Conspiring men and women are winning and have co-opted the GLBT's to do it. Within 1-2 years more lawsuits will be filed against churches for using the word "sinful".

  • john mclane Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    @Semse Maker
    " When states vote for something, the federal government has no right to overturn it..."

    From Article 6 of the US Constitution:
    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

    The federal government has every right to strike down a state law that is in contradiction to the US Constitution.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    Jan. 17, 2014 9:52 a.m.

    Keep at it Utah. Keep trying to destroy loving, happy families because they are different from what you like. Thank God for same sex married couples. These are the folks that adopt and love and care for the children that the heterosexuals don't want. So Utah, please do unto these families as you would have other do unto you.

  • Packrat South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    @Esquire, it would seem to me that an understanding of the State of Utah's history would be very helpful in this case. After all, it is a unique history with regard to the role of the federal government and the definition of marriage. The federal government forced the dissolution of several polygamist marriages because it deemed them to be outside the traditional sense of marriage.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    BlueAZCougar: "Nobody has yet explained how SSM is of such equivalence with traditional marriage that it warrants the same title/label/name/designation. It is not the same."


    Please explain all the differences to me and I will try and explain it to you. Besides being intimate (actually, heterosexuals do the same thing as gays!), please tell me what you see as differences.

    Are they raising children? 25% of gay couples in SLC are raising children. Maybe not as high of a percentage as opposite sex couples, but still 1/4 of them are the same, with all the same pressures, costs, responsibilites, and joys.

    Do they go to work? Sure. You probably work or have worked with some. About 5% of the population is gay.

    Do they pay their bills? Sure. Just like everyone else.

    Do they go to church? Yes. Many in Utah have been kicked out of their own churches or do not feel accepted, but attend other accepting churches. Some do not go at all - just like heterosexuals.

    What do you see as the main differences between a married gay couple and a married opposite sex couple?

    Jan. 17, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    The Sutherland Institute describes this new attorney Schaerr as having "the capability to provide a deep, rich, meaningful case...." It'll be hard to prevail in a discrimination case when the "deep, rich, meaningful" thing they are talking about is their prejudice towards gay people.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 17, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    @483bzac: You clearly have no idea of what you're talking about. The IRS deduction rules are gender-neutral. A single person of either gender gets $6100 in standard deductions (for 2013), and a married couple gets exactly twice that. When itemized, medical expenses must exceed a percentage of income. For many married couples with high expenses, that leaves them at a disadvantage over being single. It's completely gender-neutral. I'm guessing you don't do your own taxes, or never filed the long form.

    @BlueAZCougar: You imply that homosexuals live without any morals or ethics. As a heterosexual Quaker who a) believes in Equality, and b) actually knows married same-sex couples personally, I take offense at that. Have a look at Romans 14. It's not just about food and drink. It's about the very nature of sin and judging your fellow man.

    @jamescmeyer: I, too, pray for reason to prevail. Absent the emotions of conservative religious conviction, I think we'll see equal treatment in civil law for those couples.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 17, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    dlw7 says:

    "If the majority of voting citizens in the state of Utah, Oklahoma, Mississippi or wherever pass a law that they believe benefits them and that State, should not the Federal Government respect that?"

    (10th Amendment) "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, NOR PROHIBITED BY IT to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    Discrimination against US citizens by states is prohibited by the Constitution whether the residents of the states vote on it or not.

    @Blue AZ Cougar;

    My morals are as good as yours. We abandon our "morals" when we choose to violate the rights of our fellow citizens. You said: "Equating sames-sex marriage with traditional marriage is morally reprehensible." I disagree with you. Why should your view be law when a gay couple's marriage impacts you not at all?


    What does the word "equal" mean to you?


    You're not "standing for right". You're standing for discrimination which is not "right". Your religious opinions don't apply to non-members of your religion. Sorry, but this is the USA, not "god's kingdom".

    @SenseMaker & CaptainGreen;

    See comment to dlw7 above.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Jan. 17, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    For those who disagree with the money beng spent on this issue. Sometimes the Utah AG's office has been on the cutting edge of liberal issues, which they have unfortunately lost.

    Many people disagree with the principle that corporations are people. In the early 1980's, the Utah legislature came up with something called the Cable Decency act: Cable companies would have to follow the same decency standards as public TV. Well, Utah was sued by the ACLU on the grounds the law was infringing on the cable TV companies' freedom of speech. Utah lost. For years people moaned about the money wasted on the issue. "Adulthood is not legal in Utah" etc.

    Now, when someone talks about limiting corporations ability to fund campaigns, people are pretty well convinced that corporations have freedom of speech. We have been taught that by the ACLU.

    Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Jan. 17, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    They certainly make this man sound more than capable of this task. I certainly pray that the we will be free to prevail with reason, and that the Lord will prevent false rhetoric or emotive reasoning from ensnaring the people-and not just the ones in Utah.

  • LeslieDF Alameda, CA
    Jan. 17, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    The article describes, and comments confirm, Utah's legal case looks like recruiting a football coach. Looks like Utah's hosting the first legal Superbowl on gay marriage, to be played out in Denver.

    The court appeal should be broadcast with a commentator for each side. The ads for the broadcast alone would cover the state's costs. And showing the proceeding would be very instructive for the public - to see how democracy works - "facts" are presented and argued in court and how judicial opinions are rendered. It certainly would save the state money and time and serve citizens in several other states who are next in line for the same.

    The state's decision to honor joint tax filing status certainly undercuts arguments for a defense of the ban.

    Will be interesting to see if this case and the one in Oklahoma will eventually be combined and head to the United States Supreme Court. Each judge has written a very interesting opinion about the rights of citizens in all states, under our Federal Constitution.

  • Gibster San Antonio, TX
    Jan. 17, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    It does not matter how many highly experienced lawyers the ruling elites hire. You are not going to get around 50 years of legal precedent in the interpretation of the 14th Amendment. In the end your going to lose. In the end your throwing the taxpayers money down the drain.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Jan. 17, 2014 4:10 a.m.

    "By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories....The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?....Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think...I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.....That there’s some good in this world...and it’s worth fighting for."

    This fight is one of those.
    A fight for morality.
    A fight to not have a legal majority vote dismissed and overturned because one man representing a small special interest group says so.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:46 p.m.

    Is there a large ex-gay community? I know there are a few people who say they have changed completely fro. same-sex attracted to opposite-sex attracted. I can't argue with their experience. My own experience has been that my fundamental orientation has been constant. Of the almost 100 videos produced by LDS Voices of Hope featuring faithful LDS people lwith SSA, there is one person who says he now considers himself straight. Most "ex-gay" people talk about overcoming harmful behaviors, achieving abstinence, or satisfaction in an opposite-sex marriage but usually still say they are fundamentally same-sex attracted.
    It is interesting that two prominent ex-gay groups, LDS Evergreen and Christian Exodus, closed in the last year and have been replaced by groups that focus on helping faithful people stay chaste with SSA rather than overcoming it.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 10:00 p.m.

    Is same-sex marriage a civil right?

    "According to the Supreme Court of the United States, civil rights are based on three criteria:
    innateness (being born with a protected condition or distinguishing characteristic), immutability
    (being unable to change the condition/distinguishing characteristic), and, last but not least, the ability of the bearers of the condition or distinguishing characteristic to advocate for themselves.

    There are no peer-reviewed scientific studies that demonstrate either that persons are born gay or that they cannot change. The existence of a large ex-gay community indicates that in fact persons can change. Thus many experts suppose that sexuality may be a preference, not an orientation.

    There are many men and women who experience same-sex attraction throughout the United States. For many who struggle with this inclination, it constitutes a trial. Each person must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Any and every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard must be avoided and denounced.

    However, we believe that the activists' call to redefine marriage discards the time-tested union of one man and one woman, which has grounded and stabilized hundreds of societies for millennia, is unsound and must be vigorously opposed".

  • UTSU Logan, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 10:00 p.m.

    @Sense Maker
    "The entire issue is about states' rights. I don't care what the topic is. When states vote for something, the federal government has no right to overturn it"

    in 1992, our neighbor state Colorado passed amendment 2 to limit gay right, in 1996, SCOTUS struck that referendum down.

    sure, we can make our own decisions on certain laws, but the laws must be within the frame of US constitution. Judge Shelby ruled that amendment 3 could not pass even the lowest level of constitutional scrutiny. the outside defense lawyers had better bring up with more compelling argument to appeal.

  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:17 p.m.

    We in Utah love all people. And we care for everyone. We also believe in upholding the law. Utah, as a sovereign State, passed a valid statute with a super majority of the people's support. The federal government does not have the right to overturn that law based on someone's personal agenda. Everyone should be standing up for States' rights like never before on this issue or our nation is headed for big trouble.

  • Sense Maker SANDY, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:35 p.m.

    The entire issue is about states' rights. I don't care what the topic is. When states vote for something, the federal government has no right to overturn it, especially since the Supreme Court decided that we are allowed to make our own decisions on certain laws. NO WHERE IN THE CONSTITUTION DOES IT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT A BAN ON GAY MARRIAGE BEING DISCRIMINATION. The federal government is taking freedoms away from a significant number of the population. The constitution says that we have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms, and freedom of privacy. These freedoms are being stomped on by a huge overly staffed federal government.

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:29 p.m.

    @Never Summer
    "If someone loves someone else who are you to judge what they can and cannot do?"

    Again, nobody is trying to pass a law against same-sex behavior. What people "do" is out of my control. But what people "do" is different than how our society is expected to recognize their relationship as equal with traditional marriage. Nobody has yet explained how SSM is of such equivalence with traditional marriage that it warrants the same title/label/name/designation. It is not the same. So my beef/hangup/bigotry/discrimination (whatever you want to label it) is that it goes deeper than just allowing two people to make a deeper commitment to one another. SSM proponents don't want to admit that, but it's true. It's not just about tax breaks and benefits either, because I don't hear anyone lobbying for changes in how state or federal benefits are afforded. Far easier to change the institution of marriage, right? At the core of it is social acceptance. They want to be told that what they're doing is morally and socially acceptable. They want society's validation of their choices.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:07 p.m.

    Baccus: A homosexual relationship will never be a marriage--worlds without end....and you know it.

  • Never Summer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:04 p.m.

    "Equating sames-sex marriage with traditional marriage is morally reprehensible". Based on YOUR morals and YOUR beliefs, some people do not see it the same way, it is what makes this country great. Other people do not seem to have such a problem with it. Love is love in my book (and before you judge I am a straight jewish man). If someone loves someone else who are you to judge what they can and cannot do? Someones beliefs derived from their religion should have no bearing on the law of this land. Separation of church and state, yes even here in Utah.

  • Never Summer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:57 p.m.

    I for one am so glad my hard earned tax dollars are being spent to line the pockets of attorneys from out of state (and conveniently one who went to BYU) in a losing battle. everyone grab a share while your ship is sinking. just let it go Utah. let it go. Marijuana legalization next? Alta allowing snowboarders? oh no, the sky is falling!

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:33 p.m.

    If it's tax breaks you're after, then why not petition the government to change the tax law? Why change the institution of marriage? Said another way, if civil unions and marriages had equal footing in terms of tax breaks (or whatever other benefits you feel you are not receiving), why is it so important to you that we call it "marriage" as opposed to "civil union"? While most in the LGBT community won't admit it, there's a strong push not only to legalize same-sex marriage but to create an atmosphere where we are obligated to accept the stance as both socially AND morally acceptable. You want society's approval.

    "Shouldn't be that what happened in the bedroom is private?" Yes. As a matter of fact, I have no interest in what goes on in your bedroom. But that's different than what goes on in full view of the rest of society, isn't it? Nobody here is pushing for a law to ban homosexual behavior. Equating sames-sex marriage with traditional marriage is morally reprehensible. If you are not able to differentiate between the two, you may have a deeper problem.

  • my2bits Morgan, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:23 p.m.

    Why should gay couples get a tax break???

    Let's ask it a different way. Why did traditional couples get a tax break?

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:58 p.m.

    @ Blue AZ Cougar
    You wrote: " As John Adams said, our constitution was made for a moral and religious people, and is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

    Exactly!!!! When are people going to understand that it is immoral to discriminate against those who follow the laws of a country, contribute to society and yet are discriminated against just because of their sexual orientation. Shouldn't be that what happened in the bedroom is private?

    You also wrote:
    "Additionally, to argue that an individual should separate his religious convicts from his civic life is to imply we should believe one way on Sundays, and another way the rest of the week."

    Well, not exactly!! Catholics believe that eating meat on Friday is a sin. Should they pass a law forbidding selling/eating meat on Fridays? They could! But other religions would complain that no church should impose their beliefs on others and that it should be a separation between church and state. Even if that church is the majority in the state or country.

    If you are not able to differentiate between your religious beliefs and fair civic ruling, you may have a deeper problem.

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:55 p.m.

    I see what you're saying, but it's an ancillary argument to the real "meat" of the issue. The real heart of the matter is that religious folks morally oppose same-sex marriage.

    @Marco Luxe
    You've misquoted D&C 134:9 and taken it out of context. All the same, the LDS church is not the organization hiring lawyers to argue its position in court, so yes, there is separation of church and state. The Utah AG hired the lawyers, not the churches. Additionally, to argue that an individual should separate his religious convicts from his civic life is to imply we should believe one way on Sundays, and another way the rest of the week. You can have separation of church and state, but you cannot achieve separation of religious beliefs from within an individual. That would be a contradiction of character.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:43 p.m.

    All states bring in outside counsel for cases like this. It is the norm. Specialists with expertise are brought in to handle these kinds of cases. I'm glad the state has brought in someone who is experienced, successful and also understands our culture and motivations. It is obviously a good choice.

    And to those who are discouraged. Don't give up hope. The other side is trying to do everything it can to attack, shame and demoralize those of us who are standing for right. We will not falter no matter what the outcome.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:42 p.m.

    Seems like a fairly decent team. Let's see if they can come up with something more convincing than "will of the people," "tradition!," and "every child deserves..."

    At least on the latter point, Utah has a bit of traction. When it comes to out-of-wedlock births, Utah beats the astronomical national average by a wide margin, a mere 19% to 41%. But, with a high children-per-family number and a larger amount of divorces, which results in more children living in single-parent families, that could seriously cut into the advantage. Still, I'm not sure statistics form a basis for denial of individual rights.

    Well, 11 days, and we'll get to see the State's brief. Should make for interesting reading. I've read a number of Court decisions lately (glutton for punishment) and none of the filed arguments have survived scrutiny thus far. Be interesting to see if this team can cobble together anything that might fly.

  • Marco Luxe Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:33 p.m.

    Hasn't the AG's office handled appeals to the 10th Cir. in-house before? It's hard to believe that the AG's office is less than competent in this task especially since all the arguments have been made before in other courts. Since the State's petitions for a stay of the district court decision never alleged any error of law by J. Shelby, [a mandatory pleading on appeal], maybe Reyes just wants to put political distance between his office and the dog of a case this appears to be. I guess it will be easier to blame outside counsel for the loss. If only we all had the option to outsource the tough parts of our jobs with other people's money.

    If this really is the AG's strategy, isn't dropping a sure loser of an appeal now the morally right and legally correct thing to do?

    PS - this has nothing to do with the church. D&C 134:9
    We declare that from principle and policy, we favor:
    The absolute separation of church and state;
    No domination of the state by the church;
    No church interference with the functions of the state"

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:25 p.m.

    It's another good step, inasmuch as filing tax returns is good in any sense. As time and process move on, the arguments against same sex marriage really aren't holding up and the whole appeal process looks more petty and vindictive.

  • 483bzac West Valley City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:13 p.m.

    It is interesting that the tax allowance for 2013 was made. My own brother participates in a long term (20 years plus) same sex marriage. That love, tolerance, endurance and compromise need to be a part of his life is no question. However, tax expenditures by the government are the only question I see. Tax should be different for them. I do not know if it is less or more but I believe we as a society have built our tax laws around a man and a woman (married) filing a joint return. Does anyone know if this issue has been brought up in the current case with judge Shelby? Is it an issue? Should it be? For example: Is the fact that a woman often has more medical expenditures than a man not a compelling argument to have a same sex couple who file jointly to figure their taxes differently? Two females should figure more tax and two males should figure less?

  • Blue AZ Cougar Chandler, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:09 p.m.

    While I'm hopeful that this legal team can articulate the position of the Utah majority, I'm also hesitant because it's obvious that as a country, we've abandoned our morals. As John Adams said, our constitution was made for a moral and religious people, and is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. So while I hope to see the courts side with Utah's rights as a state, it wouldn't surprise me to see it go the other way.

  • Bloodhound Provo, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 4:58 p.m.

    Although I believe same-sex marriage is wrong, the writing is obviously on the wall. Same sex marriage, like abortion, will likely become a Constitutional "right" in the next couple of years. Ironically, Utah's attempt to protect traditional marriage may likely turn out to be the Supreme Court case that makes same sex marriage a "right." Justice Kennedy will likely join the four liberals on the Supreme Court and declare homosexuals have a "right" to be married.

  • dlw7 LOGAN, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 4:54 p.m.

    Somehow, the rights of states to pass laws that are advocated by the citizens of that state comes into play. States should not be pawns of the Federal Government and that would include any Branch. If the majority of voting citizens in the state of Utah, Oklahoma, Mississippi or wherever pass a law that they believe benefits them and that State, should not the Federal Government respect that? The Constitution has been and will be subject to the thinking of current Justices and the pressures applied by groups with their own agendas. Just another thought about a thorny problem

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    Very interesting how they always spread the wealth around a bit. With all the lawyers in the AG's office, whenever they encounter anything perceived to be particularly sticky and/or relevant, they always defer to "outside counsel." Oh well, it's only tax money, right? Of course there's always more where that came from. I sure wish we could have a vote on this rabid expenditure, because I sure wouldn't be willing to cough up ANY of my money to force people to live by my ideals and standards when it actually has little bearing on the rest of us. If people want to "marry" someone of their own gender (which has legal and financial implications for THEM), or if they want to inhale/ingest something I would never want in my system--I say let them have at it. We obviously have more than our hands full trying to get government to properly do all the things it SHOULD be doing, and not all the things it shouldn't--and then attempting to actually pay for it all. Fools' errand indeed.

  • UTSU Logan, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    @Big Budda,
    "Go get 'em Mr. Gene C. Schaerr! We are cheering you on and hoping your restore States' rights on the definition of marriage."

    You'd better hope he can come up with a more persuasive, more compelling argument other than "responsible procreation".

    Frankly, I haven't seen any good argument from SSM opponent camp yet.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    Gene Schaerr is good, I'll say that.

    As for understanding Utah's unique nature, I cannot see that it will be relevant. The law is the law, the Constitution is the Constitution. A very good attorney here will help in the quality of the argument, not who or what he is. That Utah is somehow different and should be treated differently than other states is naive. It seems to support the notion that Utah is really not part of America. (In a sense, maybe Utah never was....)

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2014 4:09 p.m.

    Great appellate team notwithstanding disagreements with them,

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:54 p.m.

    Good job AG Reyes for finding well qualified attorneys to work on this case. It sounds like these attorneys are being reasonable with their fees which will help save the state money in this endeavor. Lets hope this process moves forward in a dignified and professional manner going forward.

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:43 p.m.

    Great news that same sex couples can file their state tax returns jointly. One more step on the road to equality.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    Go get 'em Mr. Gene C. Schaerr! We are cheering you on and hoping your restore States' rights on the definition of marriage.