Utah AG Office Press Room


wedding-day-rings-gold-wedding-ring Utah Attorney General John Swallow is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to support state and federal laws defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.  Utah signed on to two amicus, or friend of the court, briefs asking the Supreme Court to overturn rulings in California’s Proposition 8 case and the U.S. Congress Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

  “Traditional marriage is the bedrock foundation for families and society,” says Swallow. “As part of my promise to protect Utah families, we will fight to make sure traditional marriage is protected and preserved.”

Utah is among 40 states that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Utah voters also amended the Utah Constitution to clarify this definition of marriage.

Utah is one of 19 states challenging the ruling on Proposition 8 and one of 17 states defending DOMA. Here are brief summaries of each brief:

Proposition 8: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided California’s Proposition 8 violated the federal constitution’s equal protection guarantee.  A break from the position held for 40 years that federal courts would protect the states’ unique and important role to define and encourage traditional marriage by refusing to interfere with state marriage definitions or policies.  The brief argues the decision has overridden the democratic process and the states contend it unconstitutionally violates California’s sovereignty and “it is a disintegration of perhaps the most fundamental and revered cultural institution of American life: marriage as we know it.”

DOMA: The Second Circuit Court of Appeals erred by striking down DOMA on similar grounds. The ruling rejected Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act which established the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. The brief contends the ruling “invalidated a federal law that affirms marriage as it has been understood for centuries by every American colony and state.”


Paul Murphy

Utah Attorney General’s Office

(801) 538-1892




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This entry was posted on February 4, 2013 by .
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