Sunday, January 05, 2014

Gay Marriage: Mark Shurtleff Said This Would Happen

Last week, my dad reminded me of something that I had forgotten about Amendment 3: Mark Shurtleff, who was the Attorney General in 2004 when the Amendment passed, was against the amendment.

 I looked it up, and dad was right.

 Deseret News, August 7, 2004:

All three candidates for Utah attorney general oppose a state constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage because of its potential negative effects on heterosexual marriage.
In a joint statement released Friday by the Don't Amend Alliance, Republican Mark Shurtleff, Democrat Greg Skordas and Libertarian Andrew McCullough announced their opposition to Amendment 3, on which residents will vote Nov. 2.

All of the candidates agreed that the second part of the proposed amendment, which forbids granting "the same or substantially equivalent legal effect" as marriage to other relationships, could also prevent heterosexual common law couples from having basic rights, such as inheritance, hospital visits or powers of attorney.

"This amendment goes too far," Shurtleff said in a statement. "It could forever deny to a group of citizens the right to approach its legislature to seek benefits and protections. This is a bad law and should be rejected."

Shurtleff did make clear that he opposes gay marriages, and supports the current state law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. His concerns center primarily around the second part of the amendment, and he urged voters to oppose the amendment so that he can work with legislators to draft a better one.

"Amend, yes; but not this amendment," he said.

 And this, from Deseret News, September 17, 2004:

Shurtleff said the arguments over the amendment ultimately won't matter.

"It will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court," he said. "The only amendment that's going to matter is the U.S. Constitution."

So, there you have it -- Mark Shurtleff knew that the amendment was a bad idea that would go all the way to the Supreme Court, and he was right.


JM Bell said...

I do remember this. It's long been part of my conflict with Mark. I think, deep down, he's not a total bonehead, but, being a Utah Republican for a guy like Mark, is like hanging out with the wrong crowd when you're a teenager. You can overcome the peer pressure and make the right choices, or, you can be totally week willed and give in to every evil / stupid thing they do. Like Mark and John.

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