Currently in Utah, gay and lesbian couples can not obtain marriage licenses. In November 2004, Utah's constitution was amended to exclude gay and lesbian couples from these licenses and all of the protections they offer. Utah's constitution also refuses to recognize any partnership or registry that offers the "same or substantially equivalent legal effect" as marriage. more info>
Salt Lake City offers a Mutual Commitment Registry for couples who are not allowed to marry but wish to demonstrate their love, commitment, and support for one another. Businesses that wish to offer benefits to employees and their families can easily use the registry as a tool to prove eligibility. more info>
Federal Law and Other States
In every state, including those that recognize marriage between gay and lesbian couples, these couples are excluded from the more than 1,100 rights and benefits married couples receive under federal law because of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)." Utah couples may obtain civil unions, domestic partnerships, or marriage licenses in some other states, but those relationships are not officially recognized in Utah.
Equality Utah continues to work for civil marriage equality. Until the marriage exclusion is repealed from Utah's Constitution, it is Equality Utah's position that the exclusion should be interpreted narrowly as only dealing with marriage and not as preempting state or local governments from extending equal rights, benefits, and protections to gay and transgender Utahns and their families.
- Utah Constitution: Article 1, §29
- The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is the short title of the law passed on September 21, 1996 as Public Law No. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419. Its provisions are in 1 U.S.C. § 7
- General Accounting Office (GAO) Federal Statutory Provisions Regarding Marital Status
- Presentation: How Government Unintentionally Influences Culture (The Case of Same-Sex Marriage), Northwestern University Law Review 2008, William Eskridge, Jr.
- Article: Mormon Church '08: Fighting Marriage Equality and Backlash, EDGE, Dec. 29, 2008.