Gay Marriage | News | Utah

Utah's New AG Vows to 'Spend Whatever it Takes' to Defend Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who was sworn into office yesterday, wasted no time in preparing his state's strategy for defending its ban on same-sex marriage. The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Sean ReyesReyes said that whatever the price tag, the expense of defending Amendment 3, approved by 66 percent of voters in 2004, will be worth it.

"We’re willing to spend whatever it takes to protect the laws and the will of the people," he said. "Our commitment to the people is if we don’t have [expertise] internally, we’ll find the best to represent the state."

[Governor Gary] Herbert met with Reyes Monday afternoon to review the state’s options and strategy. He said it was important to ensure that whatever money is spent is "well spent" and "appropriate.

"This issue deserves a good discussion and good airing," Herbert said. "The important thing is we have a democratic process, a judicial process, that needs to be complete. All people on all sides of this issue want to have it complete so it’s resolved. Whether it is resolved the way we all want, who knows?"

Reyes added that while he believes recent U.S. Supreme Court cases will aid his side because they give deference to the state in making decision on the definition of marriage, the court ultimately failed to address the issue definitively. 

"And because of that, they left open interpretation not only by Judge Shelby but other federal judges," Reyes said. "So whether Judge Shelby ruled as he did or if he would have ruled against the plaintiffs, one side or the other would have appealed because I think everybody benefits from having the process takes its course through the appellate process and hopefully getting a final word from the Supreme Court on this issue that will give us all some closure."

Reyes also said that an application for stay is likely to be filed sometime today with the Supreme Court.  

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  1. A minority fighthing against minorities legal rights, how sick!

    Posted by: litper | Dec 31, 2013 10:08:50 AM

  2. You can wake up now Sean Reyes, the 1990's are way over.... Please save Utah's time and MONEY. There are so many other issues that are much, much more important. Happy 2014!

    Posted by: Max | Dec 31, 2013 10:13:35 AM

  3. Ya because this is a good use of time and money. Why the hell would he want to waste people's money on an issue that's been dealt with and there's no way it will ever be reversed?

    Posted by: Will | Dec 31, 2013 10:28:13 AM

  4. Please push it all the way to SCOTUS so we hae marriage in all 50 states. Conservatives cannot help themselves, so it'll ultimatley be for our benefit.

    Posted by: Ironic Serendipity | Dec 31, 2013 10:29:05 AM

  5. I dare say, 10 years later, many attitudes in the state of Utah have changed. It's a pity Herbert & Reyes didn't grow & change as the rest of Utah has! And is it just me, or is Reyes statement re the Courts' interpretation of the law disjointed and unreadable? Mr Reyes, love is love and no amount of legislation will keep me from loving the man with whom I've spent the last 10 remarkable years! Marriage Equality is the right way to go!

    Posted by: dam846201 | Dec 31, 2013 10:29:10 AM

  6. The gibberish he placed in that statement is laughable. Good luck with your stay.

    Posted by: DC Insider | Dec 31, 2013 10:37:08 AM

  7. Whatever the price tag, eh? All the money in the world doesn't change the Constitution, Mr. AG. And his statement is indeed disjointed--nearly Palinesque.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 31, 2013 10:37:11 AM

  8. The link in the post is to a general story about Reyes being sworn in. This is the link to the story being quoted in the post.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Dec 31, 2013 10:42:55 AM

  9. Yes, if the "will of the people" is to discriminate, fight to uphold it. Because America, or humanity in general, should not even try to aspire to be greater than that. Moron.

    Posted by: Dave | Dec 31, 2013 10:55:24 AM

  10. "We’re willing to spend whatever it takes to protect the laws and the will of the people" so sayeth Utah's new AG.

    Seems to me we fought a civil war over the same kind of sentiment. Using a law approved by a majority to subjugate a minority to second class citizenship is unconstitutional and unsustainable.

    So, get over it Utah, since the restoration of the Union, the majority (usually WASPish with a later dash of Mormonism and Catholicism) has been losing its legal right to suppress groups it doesn't like. Save your time and money to do something really productive for your citizens.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Dec 31, 2013 11:00:49 AM

  11. Will he vigorously defend the state against the Pro-Polygamy Court Ruling that passed only two days BEFORE the Gay Marriage ruling???

    Well, GA Sean Reyes, we will all await your response to THAT issue as well. We suppose you'll spend 'Whatever It Takes' to get rid of the Polygamy ruling too.


    No mention of it at all, Mr. Reyes???

    The Hypocrite is deep in this one.

    Posted by: W | Dec 31, 2013 11:09:22 AM

  12. He simply does not "get it" .. the entire concept of creating a national Constitution is to Protect the rights of a minority from the majority . Civil rights under the US constitution are not something you put up to a popular vote . Equal protection under the law's pretty plain writing and easy to understand

    Posted by: MarkBoston | Dec 31, 2013 11:10:08 AM

  13. I think an appeal (from at least one state) is needed to make the courts ruling effective in all 50 states. This is the second time that a federal court has voided a state's ban on same-sex marriage (the first being California; upheld by the supreme court). The other rulings were based on individual state's constitutions, so they don't apply.

    Posted by: Gay Guy | Dec 31, 2013 11:14:09 AM

  14. "A minority fighthing against minorities legal rights, how sick!"

    In all seriousness, why do some of you continue with this mythological notion that racial minorities see gays as a fellow minority group.....and with the equally mythological notion that straight women feel some kind of special empathy or affinity for gay men......when neither of these propositions has ANY objective, empirical evidence in support of them.

    Almost all the empirical evidence indicates that racial minorities are MORE homophobic than whites, not less, and that straight women--at this point in history--are only marginally more in favor of gay rights than straight men are (and even that is misleading since "gay rights" includes lesbian rights, who have long been viewed as "super-feminists" by may feminist-oriented straight women). And women are increasingly the face and voice of homophobia in America and beyond.

    I guess you cling to this notion because the entire existence of the Democratic Party at this point depends on the existence of a coalition of the "aggrieved" who have nothing in common other than that they perceive the Republican Party as hostile to their individual interests. But the groups that form that coalition do not have anything in common with each other, are not particularly supportive of each other's agendas, and don't particularly like each other.....and they are all tenuously held together by white liberals and theif deal-making.

    I have to believe that coalition is going to fall apart at some point, particularly as the Republican Party inevitably begins to discard its homophobic mindset--that is already happening among younger people.....You already see that happening in Britian with the Conservative Party, which has seen a huge and dramatic increase in its favorability ratings among gays since it changed course on gay issues.

    In any case, it is so odd to see some of you continually expecting that the light bulb is going to come on with racial minorities when it comes to gay rights, when it should be patently obvious after years and years of banging your heads against the wall, that it is not ever going to come on.....

    Posted by: Rick | Dec 31, 2013 11:16:02 AM

  15. "We’re willing to spend whatever it takes to protect the laws and the will of the people," he said. "Our commitment to the people is if we don’t have [expertise] internally, we’ll find the best to represent the state."

    ...Mr. Reyes...YOU ALREADY DID THAT in trying to defend the indefensible the first go around. Are you not listening to the Judges?

    Even the reich-wing's OWN witnesses in the Prop 8 trials even AGREED that LGBT marriages were HEALTHY and CONSTRUCTIVE to society and there was no logical reason to stop them.

    Does he really wantto go through THAT embarrassment again? Cause we never tire of watching the next Emeror With No Clothes make a fool of himself.

    Reyes's side cannot elicit one single tangible and coherant arguement against us. They just keep...losing. Again and again and again.

    So go ahead...look for those 'external expertise'.' Maybe there is an expert on Mars who knows better.

    I wonder if he has got any favors owed by NASA?

    Posted by: Alan | Dec 31, 2013 11:22:31 AM

  16. "Spend whatever it takes" means "don't blame ME if we lose".

    Posted by: anon | Dec 31, 2013 11:43:50 AM

  17. After wasting so much time and money on Prop 8, Utah realizes it needs to waste yet MORE time and money on futilely tilting at windmills.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Dec 31, 2013 11:46:37 AM

  18. What a waste of time and money. All in the name of bigotry. These Republicans need to get a life.

    Posted by: Reality | Dec 31, 2013 11:46:48 AM

  19. To argue that the Constitution guarantees equal treatment to all citizens, both men and women, does not say anything about what constitutes marriage, or a family, or a business enterprise, or a university, or a friendship.

    Posted by: TYLER | Dec 31, 2013 11:48:11 AM

  20. at least they're proving that the GOP doesn't care about the economy.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 31, 2013 11:57:59 AM

  21. Princess Leia said it best:

    Posted by: AKChris | Dec 31, 2013 12:17:35 PM

  22. Shouldn't that money be better spent helping the needy and the poor like a true Chrisian would?

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 31, 2013 12:20:38 PM

  23. @Tyler
    Actually it does. There have been 14 challenges to marriage regulation restrictions and every time SCOTUS has ruled that marriage is an inalienable fundamental right of Liberty. States regulate who can marry ONLY within the confines of those Constitutional guarantees. When a state tries to place a restriction on the fundamental right of marriage it has to show that there is a substantial societal benefit for doing so. There is no substantial benefit to society for disenfranchising LGBT families. Judge Shelby's ruling covers every aspect of arguments and is an excellent read.

    Their half-assed attempt to portray the Windsor ruling as a validation of states rights is laughable. Kennedy's language was expressly explicit about it. Shelby, Black & NW Supreme Court have all made that same determination. Trying to portray DOMA as a 'states rights' decision is like quoting a fireman 'The fire started in the basement' when he really said 'The fire started in the basement when the arsonist tossed a match onto the gasoline soaked furniture.'

    FYI Utah. SCOTUS decides what cases they take & when they take them. And you might want to talk to your citizens about their views on marriage equality and 'spending whatever it takes'. This isn't 2004 any more.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Dec 31, 2013 12:23:06 PM

  24. Tyler:
    Constitution does not say what specific things it covers means it covers everything and everyone. Isn't it simple?

    Posted by: simon | Dec 31, 2013 1:22:18 PM

  25. It was not possible for the Constitution to state any specifics because there was no concept of gay marriage at that time. It was covered nevertheless. As Judge Black indicated, rationality, not tradition is the foundation.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 31, 2013 1:30:18 PM

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