Utah Employment Law Letter - February 2014: WORKPLACE ISSUES: Legalization of same-sex marriage in Utah will affect employers


Traditionally, marriage has been defined in the United States and in the state of Utah as a legal relationship between a man and a woman. In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under the laws of other states. It also defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Several states enacted similar laws limiting marriage to one man and one woman. In 2004, Utah voters passed a referendum defining marriage that way.

In recent years, same-sex marriage has taken center stage and become one of the most controversial topics in the nation. Over time, same-sex relationships have gained acceptance, resulting in same-sex marriages being permitted in an increasing number of states. Many states have enacted legislation redefining marriage to include same-sex unions.

Originally published in the Utah Employment Law Letter - February 2014.

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