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Appeals court dismisses Utah gay marriage recognition case


Appeals court dismisses Utah gay marriage recognition case

By Dennis Romboy | Posted - Oct. 8, 2014 at 6:33 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A federal appeals court dismissed Utah's same-sex marriage recognition case Wednesday.

Meantime, some supporters of traditional marriage aren't letting Monday's U.S. Supreme Court decision stop them from continuing the fight.

Utah asked the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday to dismiss its appeal of a lower court ruling forcing it to recognize about 1,300 same-sex marriages performed in the state last winter.

The state said the case was moot after the Supreme Court let stand another 10th Circuit ruling that legalized gay marriage in Utah. The governor's office advised state agencies to immediately recognize all legally performed same-sex marriages.

Marina Gomberg, interim executive director of Equality Utah and a plaintiff in the recognition case, said she didn't think she could feel any more relieved after Monday's news.

"Yet today I feel even more relieved that this is just done and behind us," she said. "I just feel lightness. Honestly, I'm overjoyed."

But for some, the issue is far from settled.

We are not shaken in our resolve or diverted from our cause by this development, not one bit.

–Brian Brown, NOM president

The National Organization for Marriage started an online petition urging Congress to draft a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

"We are not shaken in our resolve or diverted from our cause by this development, not one bit," NOM President Brian Brown posted on the organization's blog. "Indeed, we see this as an emphatic call to action."

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in a statement this week that he intends to introduce a constitutional amendment to prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws.

Earlier this year, Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced legislation to ensure state legislatures have the authority to define marriage.

Gomberg said she isn't surprised by the continuing efforts against same-sex marriage.

"I recognize that that shift is uncomfortable for folks," she said. "It always unfortunate when there are people so fervently fighting to keep us from the same protections that they enjoy."

Gomberg said Gov. Gary Herbert and Attorney General Sean Reyes oppose the freedom to marry but have committed the state to following the law.

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