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State Of Utah Files Brief Against Same-Sex Marriage, Says The Issue Is 'Child-Centered'

The state of Utah filed a formal brief against same-sex marriage before the 10th Circuit late Monday evening, and the message they have put across is all about the children. The brief claimed that marriage is "principally a child-centered institution" rather than one aimed at fulfilling "the emotional interests of adults."

UtahThe brief was written by seven attorneys, and now representation for the three same-sex couples challenging the state's ban on gay marriage have until February 25th to file their response brief. Oral arguments in the case will begin on April 10th.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

"Marriage between the man and woman who create a child provides that essential link," the state said, and encourages those parents to set aside their own personal desires for the benefit of their children.

"The district court’s ruling rests on a very different understanding of the principal public purpose and meaning of marriage — one centered on accommodating adult relationship choices," the state said.

But Utah has "steadfastly" reserved social recognition of marriage for man-woman marriage "so as to guide as many procreative couples as possible into the optimal, conjugal childrearing model."

"While other jurisdictions may choose to elevate adult-centric relationships, Utah has chosen a different course," the state said.

Utah’s marriage laws signal "all would-be parents that the state want them to do their best to ensure that any children they conceive are raised by their biological mother and father within a stable marital union."

RobertshelbyThe state also argued against the December 20th decision by district court judge Robert Shelby (right), in which he overturned the state ban on same-sex marriage, claiming that Shelby misinterpreted legal precedent and was incorrect to label marriage for same-sex couples a fundamental right, among other problems.

Utah "has good reason to fear that a judge-imposed redefinition — and the changes to the public meaning of marriage such a redefinition would entail — would over time weaken its marriage tradition enough to reduce its fertility rate, perhaps even below the replacement rate," the state said.

The laws governing marriage do not interfere with the ability of same-sex couples to enter committed, loving relationships or to raise children together, the state argues.

Instead, they "encourage a familial structure that has served society for thousands of years as the ideal setting for raising children. Nothing in the federal Constitution prevents Utah’s citizens from making that choice."

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Comments

  1. Bla-bla-bla. This argument might mean something when Utah withholds full marriage rights until a couple conceives a child. When they issue training-permits or civil-partnerships to all couples until a birth occurs. When childless marriages are dissolved by the state. This is such an absurd argument I cannot even believe that adults are offering it as a serious argument. Fail.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Feb 4, 2014 12:17:58 PM


  2. No, marriage is not a "child-centered institution" and it is an argument that won't even get out of the starting gate. Such an argument would invalidate any heterosexual marriage that does not produce children. One hopes that the rebuttals to this argument include a very pointed and informed history of marriage throughout the centuries and as practised in different cultures. In western culture, marriage has been traditionally about the acquisition of property and the protection and inheritance rights of that property. It has never had anything to do with children.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Feb 4, 2014 12:20:41 PM


  3. But the state is certainly wanting to interfere with our ability to have a family and raise it as "they" do. Their reasoning is just beyond belief.

    Posted by: Peter | Feb 4, 2014 12:25:16 PM


  4. So since polygamy is legal in Utah. Which ONE husband and which ONE wife are we talking about you stupid Morons...Mormons.
    Do as I say not as I do much?
    Is Utah really a state or just a bunch of religious zealots telling everyone else how to live?

    Posted by: SFshawn | Feb 4, 2014 12:26:41 PM


  5. How does gay marriage reduce the number of straight marriages?

    Posted by: Buck | Feb 4, 2014 12:26:46 PM


  6. Well that's good then. The 10th should be able to make a quick ruling.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Feb 4, 2014 12:30:17 PM


  7. "The laws governing marriage do not interfere with the ability of same-sex couples to enter committed, loving relationships or to raise children together, the state argues."

    Can they really be claiming that marriage is child centered, and then say this?

    Posted by: Ben in Oakland | Feb 4, 2014 12:32:10 PM


  8. "Bla-bla-bla."
    Couldn't have said it better myself! Doubling down on the tangentially relevant, Utah?

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Feb 4, 2014 12:33:42 PM


  9. It took 7 attorneys to write this?

    Posted by: elwoodl | Feb 4, 2014 12:35:26 PM


  10. It took 7 attorneys to write this?

    Posted by: elwoodl | Feb 4, 2014 12:35:26 PM

    hmmm, BYU attornies could be the answer to that queery lol

    Posted by: disgusted american | Feb 4, 2014 12:41:37 PM


  11. It could be because most Mormons believe that raising a family is woman's work and paying the bills is a man's responsibility. If there are two men, who will care for the children? Is there are two women, how will they earn an income?

    Posted by: Maddog | Feb 4, 2014 12:42:06 PM


  12. @SFSHAWN, One of the conditions for granting Utah statehood was that a ban on polygamy be written into the state constitution. This was a condition required of other western states that were admitted into the Union later.

    Posted by: WOLF | Feb 4, 2014 12:46:03 PM


  13. There are no rational arguments against marriage equality, but is Utah even trying to make one?

    Do they really not know how many different ways people have children now? Adoption, fostering, surrogates, fertility treatments, egg donors, sperm donors -- even if marriage was about children, which it very clearly is not, why should only a fertile man and a fertile woman who produce biological offspring be given legal superiority over every other kind of family?

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Feb 4, 2014 12:47:32 PM


  14. If this were a contest to see who could come up with the weakest, most irrational possible argument, these seven attorneys would all be winners.

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 4, 2014 12:53:16 PM


  15. Even with this argument, it seems like it was born to lose in light of the fact that Utah has the highest per capita of same-sex families with children.

    Posted by: Jack | Feb 4, 2014 12:57:35 PM


  16. Steadfast?! Utah was an adult male playground prior to admission to the union.

    Even if we accept their argument, they cannot begin by pretending there are no gay kids who need role models, and they cannot pretend they are no children of gay parents.

    If they win, it will simply indicate bias on the court.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 4, 2014 1:06:30 PM


  17. They are never, ever going to quit trying to get something legally in place that says that their marriages are real and ours are not. Until every last one of them drops dead.

    Posted by: Tigernan | Feb 4, 2014 1:13:40 PM


  18. Then the Utah legislature should make procreation a mandatory requirement for marriage: either squirt out young ones naturally (adoption is not permitted) within three years, or your marriage is annulled by court order for failure to fulfill the purpose of marriage.

    Oh, wait, that would be discriminatory against straight couples that cannot or will not have children? Too bad: if the "reasoning" applies to same-sex couples, then it should apply to different sex couples, too.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Feb 4, 2014 1:22:23 PM


  19. If it's all about the children and not the emotional state of the parents then the train left the station when states allowed couples to divorce before the children were 18 (or 21 in the old days). Not only would the 10th have to ban gay marriage (which could help with child raising btw) but also divorce involving young children. I don't see that happening. Perhaps Utah is hoping to lose?

    Posted by: anon | Feb 4, 2014 1:29:45 PM


  20. Surprised Utah is using the procreation argument to prevent SSM. Current Utah law allows First Cousin marriage ONLY if the couple CANNOT procreate. I hope some smart lawyer points this out in the Kitchen Case!

    http://le.utah.gov/code/TITLE30/htm/30_01_000100.htm

    Posted by: Steve57 | Feb 4, 2014 1:31:17 PM


  21. "Child-Centered"? Dear Utah Mormons, how's your suicide rate for males between 13-30 doing, eh?

    if they follow through and ban infertile heterosexuals from marrying, they'll at least be consistent :D

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 4, 2014 1:38:27 PM


  22. @Wolf, According to Wikipedia "Overall in Utah today, those living in Polygamist families number 40,000 people. The practice of these ARRANGED marriages often involves placing young girls with older men. The Polygamist avoid prosecution because many only seek marriage licenses for their FIRST marriage, while the other marriages are SECRETLY conducted in private ceremonies. Thereafter, secondary wives attempt to be seen in public as single women with children."

    Posted by: SFshawn | Feb 4, 2014 1:41:22 PM


  23. What a weak argument - will not hold up under scrutiny. And it always cracks me when these homophobes act like gay people cannot or do not have children. Isnt't there a recent report that many gay people are now having children in stable marriages? Such BS on their part.

    Posted by: RK | Feb 4, 2014 1:50:54 PM


  24. What a weak argument - will not hold up under scrutiny. And it always cracks me when these homophobes act like gay people cannot or do not have children. Isnt't there a recent report that many gay people are now having children in stable marriages? Such BS on their part.

    Posted by: RK | Feb 4, 2014 1:50:55 PM


  25. Wow, they certainly have their magic underpants in a knot to come up with this dreck.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Feb 4, 2014 2:15:19 PM


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