FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)
"This ruling should concern every American who cares about the rights of citizens and their involvement in determining the laws that govern us. This trend of vetoing the voters from the bench must be stopped." — Brian Brown, NOM president —
Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today condemned the December 20th decision by a federal district court judge in Utah which overruled the state's constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Justice Robert Shelby wrote in his decision that even though the majority opinion in the Windsor case overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act specifically stated that it was up to the states to define marriage, he believes the Court will find in the future that marriage between one man and one woman is unconstitutional, and thus Shelby invalidated Utah's amendment in anticipation of such a future ruling.
"This ruling is a travesty of justice," said Brian Brown, NOM President. "The voters of Utah made their will in this matter perfectly clear less than 10 years ago when adopting an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This ruling should concern every American who cares about the rights of citizens and their involvement in determining the laws that govern us. This trend of vetoing the voters from the bench must be stopped."
NOM commended Utah's Acting Attorney General Brian Tarbet for his decision to immediately seek an emergency stay of the decision to facilitate an orderly appeal of the case to the higher courts. Such a move is essential because, according to news reports, immediately following the issuance of Shelby's ruling, clerks in Salt Lake County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the county District Attorney stated that there was no reason to wait to do so.
"We appreciate Attorney General Tarbet's swift action in seeking a stay of this decision and his commitment to appeal the ruling to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals," Brown said. "The rush to issue same-sex ‘marriage' licenses in Salt Lake County before the ink is even dry on Judge Shelby's decision is unseemly and an insult to the people. This is one of the most important issues facing the state and country. The constitution of the United States is not changed because a single judge says it should be. This critical matter needs to be considered by the higher courts immediately."
Brown said that the decision is further evidence that it is time to amend the US Constitution to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. "The decision today is remarkable because the judge claims that it's the purview of the state to define marriage, yet he has invalidated their definition of marriage, one overwhelmingly adopted by both the state Legislature and the people of Utah. Everyone in America should be concerned to see how easily activist judges can cavalierly toss out the will of overwhelming majorities of legislators and voters alike. It's becoming increasingly clear that the people of America need to reclaim their sovereignty and amend the US Constitution to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman."
To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Matille Thebolt (x143), [email protected], at 703-683-5004.
Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).