Two groups have formed to support a Utah state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The Constitution Defense of Marriage Alliance registered Monday with the state Elections Commission, and Yes for Marriage formed late last month. The two campaigns have the same goal but slightly different philosophies.
"We'll complement each other," Gayle Ruzicka, director of Constitution Defense, said. "Their group is concentrating more on scientific issues, scientifically why same-sex couples are not good for families. We'll touch on that; we're also working on moral issues."
The director of an opposition group, the Don't Amend Alliance, said studies that suggest gays and lesbians are not good parents are "out of context, not scientific, or the vast majority of people in these professions simply disagree with the conclusions of these studies."
Don't Amend director Scott McCoy said the amendment is unnecessary because same-sex marriage is already banned by state law and it would take away basic rights, such as inheritance and hospital visitation, from unmarried couples--gay or straight.
That also was the argument of the three candidates for Utah attorney general, who issued a joint statement Friday that they are against the amendment. Signing that statement were Libertarian Andrew McCullough, incumbent Republican Mark Shurtleff, and Democrat Greg Skordas.
Constitution Defense's official campaign kickoff is planned for next Wednesday. Its cochairmen are the amendment's sponsors, state senator Chris Buttars and state representative LaVar Christensen. Yes for Marriage's kickoff is planned for sometime after Labor Day.