Kimberly Houk ReportingThe three candidates running to be Utah's next Attorney General are joining together and asking Utahns to vote no this November to a proposed Utah Marriage Amendment.
All three candidates have opposing views on whether or not gays should be allowed to marry, but they do agree on one thing -- Amendment Three, an initiative that will be on November's ballot, goes too far.
Mark Shurtleff, Attorney General: “People have to understand that this is more than that amendment.”
Come November, most people will probably think Amendment Three is only talking about how marriage should be defined, but there's a part in Amendment 3 that's referred to as Part Two and it goes deeper than a definition.
That's why Mark Shurtleff, Greg Skordas, and Andrew McCullough, all three running to be Utah's next Attorney General, are uniting together to educate the public against voting for this Amendment.
If passed, "Part 2" would prohibit the Utah Legislature from ever extending the most basic partnership rights to an unmarried couple.
Mark Shurtleff: “Their ability to get death benefits and wills and inheritance issues. It could deprive these people of hospital visitation.”
These rights would be stripped from not only gay couples, but also from people joined together in a common law marriage.
Mark Shurtleff: “These basic fundamental rights, we ought to protect not deprive."
Both McCullough and Skordas were not available for an interview today, but they did release a joint statement that reads: “Amendment 3 would prove unnecessarily hurtful to many Utahns and their families, we oppose the amendment."
Mark Shurtleff : “Just leave it at definition of marriage, and don't go to the other point."
Shurtleff says he wants to see Amendment Three struck down in November, and come January give the state legislature a chance to come up with a better version that would hold up in a court of law.
This proposed amendment did not go through the Constitutional Revision Committee, a standard process, before lawmakers passed on it. Shurtleff says this is the first time this has happened.