U.S. District Judge Rules Utah Ban on Marriage Equality Unconstitutional

by Charles Joughin

WASHINGTON – Today Utah U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby ruled that the state’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional “because it denies the Plaintiffs their rights to due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.” Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin issued the following statement in response to Judge Shelby’s ruling:

“Like many judges before him, Judge Shelby recognized the fundamental equality of gay and lesbian couples guaranteed by the United States Constitution.  Today, same-sex couples in Utah have renewed hope that they will soon be free to marry, and there is no legal or moral reason for the state to stand in their way.”

The Utah Attorney General has not yet indicated whether the state will appeal Judge Shelby’s decision.

The ruling comes on the heels of a year-long string of electoral, judicial and legislative victories for marriage equality.  Just yesterday, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of granting marriage rights to same-sex couples. 

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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