The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the lower court ruling in the Utah marriage discrimination case — Kitchen v. Herbert — that the U.S. Constitution guarantees same-sex couples due process and equal protection.
This is the first ruling by an appellate court since the landmark U.S. v. Windsor case was decided last June, striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and instructing the federal government to recognize marriages of same-sex couples.
“Today’s decision by the Tenth Circuit affirms the fundamental principles of equality and fairness and the common humanity of gay and lesbian people,” said Peggy Tomsic, one of the attorneys in the case. “As the Court recognized, these families are part of Utah’s community, and equal protection requires that they be given the same legal protections and respect as other families in this state. The Court’s ruling is a victory not only for the courageous couples who brought this case, but for our entire state and every state within the Tenth Circuit.”
The 10th Circuit also heard the Oklahoma marriage discrimination case the same day, and is expected to hand down its ruling in the case any time now.