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Federal appeals court upholds ruling striking down Utah same-sex marriage ban

[JURIST] A panel of judges sitting for the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday upheld [opinion, PDF] a lower court's ruling striking down Utah's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The US District Court for the District of Utah [official website] struck down [JURIST report] Utah's constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage in December, holding that such bans violate due process and equal protection [JURIST op-ed], guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment [text] to the US Constitution. In upholding the decision, the Tenth Circuit noted [Reuters report] that the right to marriage cannot be contingent upon issues surrounding procreation, child-rearing or tradition. However, the court stayed the implementation of its ruling [AP report] pending a decision by the US Supreme Court [official website] on the matter.

Since the Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act [text] last year, many federal courts have declared state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. Earlier Wednesday a federal judge in Indiana ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional [JURIST report]. Also in June the ACLU challenged Alabama's same sex marriage ban, days after Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban was struck down [JURIST reports]. In May a federal judge struck down [JURIST report] Pennsylvania's same sex marriage ban. That followed a similar ruling in Oregon, where a federal judge struck down [JURIST report] that state's same sex marriage ban as well.

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