A federal appeals court has granted Utah's request for more time to prepare opening arguments in defense of the state's same-sex marriage ban. A lawyer for the plaintiffs in the Amendment 3 case happened to be speaking at the University of Utah Law School today, and said she was disappointed by the extension, but not discouraged.
Prominent LGBT advocate Kate Kendell was in the middle of a talk about the future of marriage in Utah, when word came down that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the state seven more days to prepare opening arguments, extending the deadline to February 3. Kendell who is co-counsel representing the plaintiffs in that case – was quick to do the math on when they could have their day in court.
“I wish that an extension of any kind hadn’t been granted, because we’re rarin’ to go and we’re ready to be in court. If the briefing is all completed by March 4th, I don’t see why they couldn’t set oral argument for sometime in March,” Kendell says.
The Attorney General’s office says in a statement that it’s pleased with the extension because it’s an important case that should not be hurried. Kendell says she’s just hoping the federal appeals court judges assigned to the case won’t be ideologically fixed against her side.
“If your best argument - and it seems to be that this is now the state’s best argument is that we cannot permit same-sex couples to marry because children do best when they are raised only by their biological mother and father who are married to each other - if that is your best argument I like our chances,” she says.
Kendell is executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco. She is an University of Utah alumna and was the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. Kendell’s daughter Emily Holmes married another woman in Utah on December 23rd.