On Tuesday, Equality Utah and the Utah Pride Center filed a friend of the court brief in the Amendment 3 challenge. This brief seeks to defend and protect the many LGBT Utah citizens and families who suffer real, profound, and ongoing harm by Amendment 3.
While Amendment 3 has the same basic purpose as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), it has a more harmful impact on the state’s families, because it imposes inequality even more deeply into their lives, a news release stated. Amendment 3 denies loving, committed couples the freedom and responsibility of making a lifelong promise of love and support for one another. In effect, Amendment 3 also tells children of committed same-sex couples, “Your parents are not really married, and one of your parents is not really your parent.” It ensures that our families will never be legally recognized as “real” families—families entitled to equal respect and protection under our laws.
The impact of Amendment 3’s inequality is not limited to the thousands of same-sex couples living in Utah, or even to children being raised by those couples.
By writing discrimination into Utah’s laws, Amendment 3 inflicts a devastating blow on LGBT children, who are among the State’s most vulnerable citizens. As the district court recognized, “Utah’s prohibition of same-sex marriage further injures the children . . . who themselves are gay or lesbian, and who will grow up with the knowledge that the State does not believe they are as capable of creating a family as their heterosexual friends.”
By filing this brief, Equality Utah and Utah Pride Center said they hoped to express the equal dignity of all Utah families, and to secure protections for all LGBT people living under the harms inflicted by Amendment 3.