Utah GOP Lawmaker Who Has Fought Same-Sex Marriage For Over A Decade Launches Latest Attack
Utah GOP State Rep. Lavar Christensen has coined the term "marriage sovereignty" apparently out of thin air in his latest attempt to deprive same-sex couples of their legal rights, rights the U.S. Supreme Court has been exceptionally clear on.
Rep. Christensen this week filed H.B. 393, the Utah Sovereign Marriage Authority bill which "declares that the state, while recognizing and complying with judicial requirements, reserves the right to regulate domestic relations within the state."
Contrary to Rep. Christensen's desires, the State of Utah isn't entitled to play games with the law and "reserve rights" willy-nilly – especially when the federal courts have already weighed in.
"The state of Utah holds and reserves the sovereign right to decide all matters constituting and relating to its domestic relations laws and public policies," the bill also claims, albeit erroneously.
The bill also hints at laws "including child welfare and adoption," and falsely claims a "child has a protected right to be reared by the child's natural parents."
In short, Christensen's bill is an attempt to ban same-sex couples from adopting children. It is a pre-emptive shot across the bow, and one that stands little chance of standing up to a challenge in any federal court.
Christensen, unsurprisingly, is the author of Utah's unconstitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage. He also sits on the board of trustees of the virulently anti-gay Sutherland Institute.
Gay rights activists quickly weighed in.
"The bill is useless unless Representative Christensen is planning to amend it to include a declaration of secession," Salt Lake City gay-rights attorney Paul Burke told the Salt Lake Tribune.
In the mean time, however, should it pass and become law, same-sex couples will once again be forced to go to court to prove their equality.
Christensen, a 10th Amendment truther, posted these campaign videos in 2010: