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ACLU of Utah Celebrates Historic Supreme Court Ruling On Right Of Same-Sex Couples To Marry

26 June 2015 Published in Newsroom

The ACLU of Utah joins millions of colleagues, allies and loved ones all over the country today in celebrating a momentous win for freedom, equality, inclusion and above all, love!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2015

Salt Lake City, Utah - The ACLU of Utah joins millions of colleagues, allies and loved ones all over the country today in celebrating a momentous win for freedom, equality, inclusion and above all, love, as the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to legal recognition through marriage. This ruling will bring joy to families, as well as final nationwide victory to the decades-long Freedom to Marry movement.

The ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the national ACLU acted as co-counsel, will bring joy to families, as well as final nationwide victory to the decades-long Freedom to Marry movement.

“Words cannot express the happiness we feel from the Supreme Court decision,” exclaimed Angie Roe, on behalf of herself, her wife, and daughter Lucy. “We are extremely grateful for all of the plaintiffs and hard work of all of those people out there who have helped make marriage equality a reality for all…we are so thrilled for this momentous day in history.”

The Roes are plaintiffs in the ACLU of Utah’s current Roe v. Patton lawsuit, seeking to compel the State to recognize both women as parents on their child’s birth certificates.

The Court has affirmed what a bipartisan majority of Americans have come to understand: that the freedom to marry is a precious, fundamental right that belongs to all. In that spirit, the ACLU of Utah hopes that with this definitive ruling, state officials will move more swiftly to implement the many legal benefits that flow from state-recognized marriages, so that other couples won’t have to experience the same discrimination the Roes did when their daughter was born.

Today’s ruling is one of many public affirmations of the long-term relationship between husbands Tony Milner and Matt Barraza, plaintiffs in the ACLU of Utah’s successful Evans v. Utah lawsuit. Together since 2003, Milner and Barraza had a commitment ceremony in 2007, and then were legally married in Utah on Dec. 20, 2013, after Judge Robert Shelby’s groundbreaking decision in Kitchen v. Herbert.

In Utah, the case of Evans v. Utah issued a permanent injunction requiring the state to recognize marriages between same sex couples performed after Amendment 3 was struck down by the federal court, but before the Supreme Court’s temporary stay of that order. In Evans, the federal district court found that the plaintiffs were substantially likely to prevail on their argument that their marriages cannot be retroactively invalidated by the state, regardless of any policy the state may choose about issuing marriage licenses in the future. The ACLU of Utah was co-counsel with the national ACLU and the local firm of Strindberg & Scholnick in Evans.

“We weren't seeking the spotlight in joining the Evans lawsuit. We thought only of providing our child with the benefits and social acceptance of two legal parents, joined by a legal marriage,” reflected Milner. “Being legally married in Utah was joyful and provided a peace of mind, but it didn't come anywhere close to the emotion I felt when I was granted legal parental status over my son. It's just a piece of paper, but what that paper represents means the world to me and my family.”

The ACLU of Utah and its allies pledge to harness the momentum from the marriage victory to the work of securing additional advances toward equality, especially full non-discrimination protections for LGBT Americans.

Supreme Court of the United States ruling on OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL. (Decided 6/26/15)

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Information on the ACLU of Utah’s current case of Roe v. Patton

Information about the ACLU of Utah’s successful case of Evans v. Utah.


The ACLU of Utah will be joining our Salt Lake City friends and allies to celebrate this ruling at 6:00 p.m. at City Creek Park (110 N. State Street)