In an interesting twist, Utah gay marriage advocates have joined their legal opponents in asking the Supreme Court to take up the lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The advocates challenging the ban triumphed in December in federal district court and again in June in federal appeals court. The Utah attorney general then asked in July for the Supreme Court to take the case. And the gay marriage proponents have agreed that the nation’s highest court should hear it.
“Just as the state has articulated: This is one of the most important issues of our time and it needs to be resolved,” Peggy Tomsic, who represents the plaintiffs, told the Tribune. “Unlike the state, we believe the more important reason that the Supreme Court needs to take this case now is it needs to put to bed finally this question of equality and fairness.”
The appeals court ruling, if left standing, would apply to Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. It has already led to a showdown between a Colorado county clerk who began issuing gay marriage licenses and the state attorney general who ordered her to stop.
But that’s not enough, Tomsic told the Tribune. The plaintiffs want the Supreme Court to take their case so that — assuming they win — gay marriage will be legal nationwide. The appeals court ruling is also on hold, by the court’s order, leaving about 1,300 same-sex marriages performed after the December ruling in limbo.
“If we let the decision by the 10th stand, sure, it resolves the issue for the plaintiffs and other people living in the circuit for now. But people move, people get relocated because of jobs, people travel all across the U.S.,” she said. “It can’t be, in terms of their security and stability, that every time a same-sex couple passes a state boundary they might be at risk.”