Eighty Utah state legislators have filed an amicus brief in which they warn the Supreme Court that upholding the Tenth Circuit’s ruling on same-sex marriage will lead to the legalization of polygamous and incestuous marriages.
The Tenth Circuit did not adequately consider the consequences of its decision for Utah’s prohibitions of polygamous and incestuous marriages. If the choice of marriage partners is an unlimited fundamental right, Kitchen, 755, F.3d at 1215, and if that marriage choice cannot be denied even when a majority believes that choice to be “immoral,” 755 F.3d at 1217 (quoting Lawrence v. Texas, 593 U.S. 558, 571 (2003)), then the fundamental rights analysis applied by the Tenth Circuit will apply with even greater force to consenting adults desiring polygamous marriage or marriage between at least some close relatives. The prohibition of those marriages has always been grounded in morality. Without a moral justification, courts will be obliged to remove existing marriage prohibitions as the U.S. District Court did last month in Utah. See Brown v. Herbert, 2014 WL 4249865 (D.Utah Aug. 27, 2014. Accordingly, this Court should grant certiorari and reverse the Tenth Circuit’s judgment below.
The brief is signed by 22 of the 29 members of the state Senate and by 58 of the 75 members of the state House.