Utah Defends Gay Marriage Ban in Court, Cites Interest in ‘Responsible Procreation’


Motions were filed on Friday in a case involving three gay couples who are challenging Utah's ban on same-sex marriage, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

The state argues the case is "really about who decides, not who is right in this important policy debate." And the Constitution, it adds, "does not withhold from Utah the right to choose how to define marriage," as the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed in its decision in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) same-sex marriage case.

Utah has made that decision: marriage is between a man and a woman, the state argues, and its traditional definition of marriage rationally promotes the state’s interest in "responsible procreation" and the "optimal mode of child-reading," among other things. The motion notes Utah is the most-married and most "child-centric" state in the nation.

"Same-sex couples, who cannot procreate, do not promote the state’s interests in responsible procreation (regardless of whether they harm it)," the state argues. The state uses that same argument to defend its right to not recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

The couples in the case are crowd-funding to fight the case against Utah. Moudy Sbeity, one of the plaintiffs, alerted Towleroad to this crowd-funding page where they are raising money to pay court costs, in case anyone is interested in helping out:

My partner Derek Kitchen, and myself (top photo), and two other couples were asked to be plaintiffs by Restore Our Humanity in a lawsuit against the State of Utah to repeal Utah's Amendment 3 and bring marriage equality to Utah.

The lawsuit, Kitchen vs. Herbert , has been filed, and we expect a court ruling before January 7th, 2014, at which point it goes up to the 10th circuit, and then potentially the Supreme Court. Of course, no lawsuit comes cheap, and we need to raise $1,000,000 to cover lawyer fees and experts. This isn't money going towards us, nor money going towards the pockets of the lawyers behind this case. This is money going towards all the LGBTQ people, allies, friends, and residents of Utah that wish to celebrate the union between two loving people among friends, family, and the law.

We just set up this account. Bear with us as we add more information, legal jargon, and updates on what is going on.

Whether we raise the full amount or not, any amount helps.

Thank you!


  1. JMC says

    Utah needs to amend their constitution to say that all couples seeking marriage licenses must provide medical tests proving their fertility and sign a contract stating they must conceive within the first year of their marriage or have their union annulled. Additionally, all married in the couples who are childless or have children through adoption/surrogacy must have their marriages annulled as well.

    Either that or, you know, legalize same sex marriage.

  2. johnny says

    Well, a lot of that money IS going to go in a lawyer’s pocket unless they’re working gratis.

    Too bad they can’t find a good gay attorney willing to do this for free.

  3. Geoff says

    “Responsible procreation”? Yeah right. Each successive generation getting more and more stupid. Meanwhile, millions of un-wanted children languish in foster-care. BIG FAIL.

  4. Gregory In Seattle says

    “Responsible procreation,” eh? The obvious answer, then, is to file an initiative that would make having a child out of wedlock a criminal offense. Or else make it a de facto marriage, with all the obligations that implies (with charges of bigamy if either of you are married to someone else.) Or maybe just make procreation a requirement for marriage: squirt out at least one baby within two years, or your marriage license is revoked.

    I mean, if the idiots are going to make arguments like “responsible procreation,” why not take those arguments to their logical conclusion?

  5. Tristram says

    If this is the case, then heterosexual couples should be made to have fertility tests to make sure there is a chance for children from the marriage. After all, allowing them to get married otherwise would be irresponsible, right?

  6. Tristram says

    If this is the case, then heterosexual couples should be made to have fertility tests to make sure there is a chance for children from the marriage. After all, allowing them to get married otherwise would be irresponsible, right?

  7. Critifur says

    What no one wants to talk about is that at some point in the future, procreation is going to have to be curtailed all together, because this planet cannot continue to support our bloated populations. Then “responsible procreation” will become an entirely new proposition.

  8. says

    A million bucks? That’s outrageous. I have handled several gay rights cases pro bono and the expenses never amounted to much. I also think any suit in federal court in the 10th Circuit is a huge mistake, which is why I am leery of bringing a federal case here in Wyoming. Has their lawyer not read the notorious Jantz v. Muci case (where the teacher was accused of “homosexual tendencies” and didn’t get the job because — wait for it — he reminded the principal’s secretary of her ex-husband who she thought may or may not have been gay)? Now that Obama has reformed the 4th Circuit, the 10th is as bad as the 5th and 11th.

  9. jamal49 says

    What in the hell is “responsible procreation”?

    Somebody needs to slap that perverted quasi-christian, thoroughly pagan, spiritually-decadent, morally-degenerate cult into the ground.

  10. Sam says

    LOL! This is case a slam dunk if they can get a lawyer.

    Seriously, where is Lambda Legal. We know the HRC is useless because their money goes to “executive” fees.

  11. Michael says

    Not sure what’s more absurd, that we’ve already overpopulated the planet or that, somehow, not allowing gay marriage will encourage straight people to have more children.

  12. tinkerbelle says

    There is no such thing as “responsible” procreation. There are too many people on this planet as it is, the responsible thing to do is not procreate at all.

    Strange word “procreate”, is there an antonym “concreate”?

  13. Bernie says

    so now these folks are calling procreation, responsible?????? What is the difference between irresponsible and responsible procreation??!! and I guess they are dictating the mission position ONLY and only for married, monogamous, heterosexual couples and for procreation ONLY!!!

  14. says

    I can’t wait to hear when hunting of straight humans is allowed to reduce population growth or hear people begging you to “help control the human population, have your children spayed or neutered!”

    The only thing saying only straight people that are fertile does is dehumanize humans. And it dehumanizes both sides at the same time; it doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, etc., it insults everyone.

  15. Kym says

    When societies despise and deny God and hold nothing sacred, and revere men as wiser and the ultimate authority just look at what happens throughout history to societies that choose to do so. If we can’t hold God above all where he will protect us and prosper us, He will allow us to destroy ourselves as has been done throughout history. Wake up, people. Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

  16. Leslie says

    What does Utah tell different-sex couples who cannot or do not procreate? Does it tell them they cannot be married?

    “Keep trying?” “Get it fixed and come back.” “You’re too old.” “No kids? No marriage.”


  17. Steven B says

    Gay men and women are not sterile as a class. If the gay man is not in a committed marriage with his husband, he could conceivably be out irresponsibly procreating with your daughter. That is the concept behind the “responsible procreation” argument, right?

  18. Bill says

    Do the nuts in Utah think that gay couples procreate irresponsibly? Hint: they don’t procreate at all, and hence do not interfere with any state interest in “responsible procreation”.

    For an example of procreation that is not responsible, you might take some guy who spends his last dime hiring 50 surrogate mothers, and then goes on welfare to support his family. It’s 50 surrogate mothers because they can no longer have 50 wives. That’s probably why each Mormon supposedly gets his own planet in some sort of “afterlife” – they need a lot of space to house all those urchins!

  19. Kym says

    No evidence? Have you truly examined nature? Have you ever looked into a child’s eyes? No God? Are you kidding me? I think deep down you know it’s true. We are all born with the light of Christ, but I know if we push it away long enough and hard enough we end up in total darkness. How sad that you think man is the ultimate intelligence.

  20. says

    Your–or anyone else’s–personal belief in or relationship with God is neither here nor there, Kym. We don’t live in a theocracy. So whatever Mormon, Sharia, or Biblical principles you choose to follow are no one’s business or interest but your own. We live under a Constitution. Unless you can make an argument based on constitutional or equal protection principles, it’s not a valid argument, except within your own mind.

  21. Ken says

    Any argument based on procreation should be thrown out of court. The Supreme Court ruled long ago that married people have the right not to procreate and that people who cannot possibly procreate have the right to marry. No one signs a pledge to procreate when they get a marriage license, not only in Utah.

    The Supreme Court ruled long ago that marriage is a fundamental right. The 14th amendment says that a state cannot diminish the rights of citizens of the United States. In other words, civil rights have to be the same in all states, and that makes it a federal matter. Upshot: Utah does not have the right to regulate who can marry whom.

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