A landmark ruling of the 10th Circuit Court, announced on Thursday, has confirmed the ruling of the federal judge which deemed Utah’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. According to the decision of the federal appeal’s court in question, it is a violation of citizens’ rights to outlaw same-sex marriage. The seminal verdict basically rejected the assertion made by state authorities, which said that marriage between people of different genders best suits procreating and having children. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver thus becomes the first court of appeals in the United States to issue a verdict regarding same-sex marriage.
The panel that ruled on the decision taken by a Utah judge, who had struck down the ban on same-sex marriage imposed by the state, comprised three members. They found that the ban, expressed in Amendment 3 in Utah, violates the constitutional right of same-sex couples to be equally protected and to benefit from due process. The court’s decision, however, was immediately stayed for implementation. Acting out the verdict depends on an appeal, set to be initiated at the U.S. Supreme Court. The appeal was confirmed on Wednesday by the Utah Attorney General’s Office.
The decision was given out following the Kitchen v. Herbert trial. In it, three same-sex couples stand as the plaintiffs and are represented in court by attorney Peggy Tomsic. Following the decision taken by the court of appeals, Tomsic stated that it comes as “an absolute victory for fairness and equality”, for people in all the states included in the 10th Circuit. Derek Kitchen, one of the plaintiffs in the above-mentioned trial, also issued a statement following the decision. In it, he says: “We are overjoyed by the court’s decision, which means so much to us, our family and everyone who believes in justice and fairness. Since the lawsuit was filed last year, we have received so much support from so many people in our state, and we are now looking forward to the day when we will finally be married.” The other plaintiffs in the trial are Moudi Sbeity, Karen Archer, Kate Call, Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge.
According to the Attorney General’s Office in Utah, the institution will push to have the issue brought before the Supreme Court. The same body has yet to decide whether or not it wants to pursue a full-court review by the 10th Circuit. The statement made by the Utah Attorney General’s Office says: “Although the court’s 2-1 split decision does not favor the state, we are pleased that the ruling has been issued and takes us one step closer to reaching certainty and finality for all Utahns on such an important issue with a decision from the highest court.”