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Utah Constitutional Amendment 3 was a controversial amendment to the Utah state constitution designed to define marriage in the state of Utah. It passed in the November 2 2004 election, as did similar amendments in ten other states.
The amendment reads as follows:
- Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman.
- No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect.
The proposed amendment attracted considerable controversy in Utah. Both pro and anti amendment groups formed to sway voters. The "Don't Amend Alliance" organized in spring, much earlier than pro-amendment groups. The Alliance raised hundreds of thousands dollars, catching supporters of the amendment by surprise. They responded with the "Yes! For Marriage" group, which only began a coordinated campaign on October 5. Nonetheless, latent support for the amendment appeared high with over 60% support for the Amendment in a Salt Lake Tribune poll conducted early October.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS church), though not officially endorsing the amendment, publicized a statement in July endorsing constitutional amendments that define marriage. On October 18 they issued a revised statement with the added text, "any other sexual relations, including between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of family." Supporters of the amendment asserted the second statement showed specific LDS support for Amendment 3. Others, including moderately conservative Latter-day Saint KSL radio talk show host Doug Wright believed that since the new statement applied only to "sexual relations," it highlighted precisely how Amendment 3 went too far.
Three candidates for Utah attorney general, including incumbent Republican Mark Shurtleff, issued a joint statement opposing the amendment on August 6. In many other political races, notably the gubernatorial race, candidates weighed in on this issue.
On November 2, 2004, Amendment 3 was approved by 66% of Utahns and rejected in two counties in a closer than expected race. Governor Huntsman proposed recirpocal benefits for gay couples in reaction. The reciprocal beneficiary measure failed in the Utah Senate during the 2005 legislative session on a ten in favor to eighteen opposed poll.
Arguments for Amendment 3Edit
Supporters of Amendment 3 said that the amendment would do three things:
- Prevent state courts from making a ruling that current Utah marriage legislation unconstitutional.
- Prevent state courts from forcing recognition of out-of-state marriages.
- Prevent the creation of "counterfeit marriages", such as civil unions.
Arguments against Amendment 3Edit
Those opposed to the amendment say that section one of the amendment is completely unnecessary since Utah already outlaws same-sex marriage. They also say the second part of the amendment "goes too far". They feel that it would invalidate common law marriage as well as reducing rights to will property to whomever one chooses.
On November 2, 2004 Amendment 3 passed by a margin of 65.8% to 33.2%. Results were 593,297 votes for and 307,488 votes against the amendment. The amendment went into effect on January 1, 2005. Legal challenges are expected.
|County||Yes Yes vote||No No vote||Final outcome|
|Wasatch metropolitan area:|
|Davis||71% (75,780)||29% (31,524)||Yes Yes|
|Salt Lake||54% (190,364)||46% (159,605)||Yes Yes|
|Summit||39% (5,696)||61% (9,079)||No No|
|Tooele||64% (10,399)||36% (5,886)||Yes Yes|
|Utah||82% (119,948)||18% (26,290)||Yes Yes|
|Weber||62% (43,885)||38% (26,894)||Yes Yes|
|Rest of state:|
|Beaver||76% (1,851)||24% (572)||Yes Yes|
|Box Elder||76% (13,707)||24% (4,246)||Yes Yes|
|Cache||75% (29,137)||25% (9,832)||Yes Yes|
|Carbon||61% (4,929)||39% (3,101)||Yes Yes|
|Daggett||72% (340)||28% (130)||Yes Yes|
|Duchesne||80% (4,288)||20% (1,076)||Yes Yes|
|Emery||77% (3,483)||23% (1,039)||Yes Yes|
|Garfield||77% (1,599)||23% (467)||Yes Yes|
|Grand||46% (1,840)||54% (2,163)||No No|
|Iron||78% (11,625)||22% (3,364)||Yes Yes|
|Juab||74% (2,437)||26% (870)||Yes Yes|
|Kane||72% (2,080)||28% (792)||Yes Yes|
|Millard||81% (3,844)||19% (894)||Yes Yes|
|Morgan||75% (2,866)||25% (941)||Yes Yes|
|Piute||79% (584)||21% (159)||Yes Yes|
|Rich||76% (772)||24% (248)||Yes Yes|
|San Juan||78% (3,243)||22% (897)||Yes Yes|
|Sanpete||79% (6,518)||21% (1,753)||Yes Yes|
|Sevier||80% (5,957)||20% (1,498)||Yes Yes|
|Uintah||77% (7,337)||23% (2,135)||Yes Yes|
|Wasatch||67% (4,907)||33% (2,429)||Yes Yes|
|Washington||78% (32,946)||22% (9,217)||Yes Yes|
|Wayne||71% (935)||29% (387)||Yes Yes|
- Same-sex marriage in the United States
- Same-sex marriage legislation in the United States
- Same-sex marriage in the United States by state
- Same-sex marriage in the United States public opinion
- Same-sex marriage status in the United States by state
- List of benefits of marriage in the United States
- Defense of Marriage Act
- Marriage Protection Act
- Defense of marriage amendment
- Federal Marriage Amendment
- Domestic partnerships in the United States
- Freedom to Marry Coalition
- History of civil marriage in the U.S.
- Deseret Morning News — Marriage measure dividing Utah race
- Salt Lake Tribune — Amendments pass, No. 3 by wide margin
- The Money Behind the 2004 Marriage Amendments -- National Institute on Money in State Politics