Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Domestic partners hoping to marry supported by ACLU

A growing number of people in Salt Lake City are having family law issues with the concept of same sex marriage. Family law is in flux as an increasing amount of couples seek to have their union legally recognized. The various challenges to the law claiming that people of the same sex cannot be legally wed is sparking different opinions and reactions to the hot button issue.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the marriages of same sex people that were completed in Utah should not have their legality called into question by the state. According to the ACLU, the constitution of the United States protects the marriages, same sex or not. The state had requested a stay that the marriages had to be recognized. The ACLU is against this. At issue here is the providing of spousal benefits to people who are married and of the same sex. The state continues in its quest to have the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. A previous decision by a U.S. District Judge stated that these marriages must be recognized, but the state is still fighting and insists it will do so all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Regardless of the family legal issues that are in dispute, it is imperative to know how the law functions. Whether it's a divorce between a man and a woman, domestic partners, a battle over who will care for the children, how much spousal support will be paid, adoptions and unmarried couples, there are many nuances that have to be understood. Taking the time to know the law will help to smooth the process as it moves forward no matter what obstacles arise.

In the case of the same sex marriage debate, many opinions are arising with the rights of the state to make laws coming in direct opposition to what groups like the ACLU believe the constitution says. It's a complicated issue and domestic partners who are hoping to have their marriages recognized or one day to get married legally would be wise to contact an experienced legal professional to discuss their situation.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, "ACLU says same-sex marriages must be recognized by state," Jessica Miller and Pamela Manson, July 19, 2014

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