The Denver-based court will hear oral arguments Thursday, April 10, at 10 a.m. MDT in the Utah same-sex marriage case Herbert v. Kitchen.




The plaintiffs in Utah’s landmark marriage case: Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity,
and Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge,
at the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Photo by Restore Our Humanity.

Oral arguments before the 10th Circuit in Utah’s landmark marriage case begin today. Lisa Keen writes, “The Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals this week will become the second federal appeals court to tackle the question of whether statewide laws banning same-sex couples from marrying violate the U.S. Constitution.

The Denver-based court will hear oral arguments Thursday, April 10, at 10 a.m. MDT in the Utah same-sex marriage case Herbert v. Kitchen.

In that crowded courtroom, a three-judge panel will scrutinize the decision last December of U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby. Shelby ruled that the state constitution’s definition of marriage as being only between “a man and a woman” is not permissible under the U.S. Constitution. He said the law’s prohibition of same-sex couples marrying violates the due process and equal protection guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. He said the ban denies gay and lesbian citizens their “fundamental right to marry and, in doing so, demean[s] the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason.”

From our friends at Freedom to Marry on what’s happened so far:

Last night, the state of Utah filed a brief with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals requesting that their references to Mark Regnerus’ so-called “New Family Structures Study,” the severely flawed document that marriage opponents have relied on again and again over the course of this year, should be dropped from their arguments.

The Regnerus study has been disputed by nearly every parenting and psychological organization, and just last month, after Regnerus testified against the freedom to marry in Michigan’s DeBoer v. Snyder, Judge Bernard Friedman wholly dismissed the testimony, writing: “The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 ‘study’ was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it ‘essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society’ and which ‘was confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study.’ While Regnerus maintained that the funding source did not affect his impartiality as a researcher, the Court finds this testimony unbelievable. The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged.”

Follow @equallywed and @freedomtomarry for updates. Join the conversation on Twitter with #10thCircuit.