Ryan Holeywell is a staff writer at GOVERNING.E-mail: email@example.com
Utah is the latest state to weigh in on the debate about same-sex marriage after the state's Attorney General John Swallow, signed on to a pair of amicus briefs urging the Supreme Court to support to rule in favor of parties opposed to the practice.
One case focuses on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denies same-sex married couples some of tax benefits offered to couple in marriages between a man and a woman.
The other revolves around Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative that amended California's constitution to restrict same-sex marriage.
According to Swallow, Utah is one of 19 states challenging an early court ruling that struck down Proposition 8, and it's one of 17 states defending DOMA. “As part of my promise to protect Utah families, we will fight to make sure traditional marriage is protected and preserved," Swallow said in a statement.
Supporters of same-sex marriage argue that laws like DOMA serve little purpose other than to stigmatize same-sex couples.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in both cases will be heard in March, and observers of the court say the ultimate rulings could be among the most significant in the court's history.