US: Lesbian couple due baby in less than a week sue Utah to recognise their marriage

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A lesbian couple in the US has filed a lawsuit against Utah to push the state to recognise their marriage as they are expecting a baby in the first week in February.

Kate Doe and Beh Roe, who are legally married, are hoping for a quick resolution to their lawsuit, given that Ms Doe is expected to give birth in four days time on 3 February.

According to the documents filed, Ms Doe is “on the cusp of giving birth to their daughter, the state’s refusal to recognize her marriage to Beth strips Kate of a legal spouse and the rights and benefits thereof.”

The couple are worried that Ms Roe will be able to “make emergency and other significant decisions for their daughter,”  if the state refuses to recognise their marriage.

The couple were married in New England back in 2010, and later returned to their home state of Utah.

According to the Friday lawsuit, when a US District Judge in December 2013 overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, the couple obtained a marriage licence to renew their vows in Utah on 23 December.

Between 20 December and 6 January, some 1,300 couples married in the state as a US District Judge ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage violated the state’s constitution.

The US Supreme Court since put a stay on equal marriage in the US state, forbidding same-sex couples from being issued with marriage licences in the state during an appeal against a ruling to allow them.

The Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes advised Governor Gary Herbert that marriages between gay couples who married in that short period should not be recognised by the state for benefits purposes.

Herbert has since accused US District Judge Robert Shelby of being an “activist”, and said his strike-down of the same-sex marriage ban was one step away from a “dictatorship”.

The Governor also defended his decision to spend over $300,000 of taxpayers’ money towards recruiting out-of-state counsel to help defend Amendment 3.