The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the state of Utah over the issue of gay marriage, saying the official decision to stop granting benefits for newly married same-sex couples has created wrenching uncertainty. The lawsuit filed Tuesday says the state has put hundreds of gay and lesbian couples in legal limbo and prevented them from getting key protections for themselves and their children. “They’ve put a giant question mark over the lives of all these people that have married,” said John Mejia, legal director for the ACLU in Utah. Utah governor’s spokesman Marty Carpenter responded by saying that Gov. Gary Herbert “has said throughout this process that his responsibility is to follow the law.
That is exactly what the administration is doing, and we respect the rights of those who disagree to take their grievances before a judge.” The four married gay and lesbian couples in the lawsuit spoke Tuesday during a news conference about how the state’s action is harming them. They cited a range of concerns that include emergency medical decision-making and child-raising. Matthew Barraza and Tony Milner have a 4-year-old son, Jesse, but only Barraza is legally recognized as a parent. “Heaven forbid if something should happen to one us, Jesse would have the security of having the other parent take care of him,” said Milner, 34. “Now, because of the state’s refusal to recognize our marriage, this peace of mind is once again out of reach.” More