SALT LAKE CITY — A conservative Christian lobbying group filed a court brief Thursday supporting Utah’s appeal of a judge’s ruling that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The Family Research Council submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing Utah’s marriage law does not violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. The state filed its opening argument in the case Monday.
The council urges the appeals court to reverse U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby’s decision because “the novel and unprincipled fundamental rights analysis on which it is based are deeply flawed.”
Paul Benjamin Linton, an attorney for the council, argues in the brief that the question isn’t who may marry but what marriage is. The issue before the court, he wrote, is not whether there is a fundamental right to marry the person of one’s choice, but whether there is a right to same-sex marriage.
“The principal defining characteristic of marriage, as it has been understood in our ‘history, legal traditions and practices,’ is the union of a man and a woman,” according to the filing.
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