HRC blasts Utah for wasting taxpayer millions

WASHINGTON -- After the Utah Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday that they would be continuing their appeal of a federal judge’s decision allowing marriage for lesbian and gay couples, the Human Rights Campaign condemned the move as an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars.

Providing no other details, the AG's Office said they will bring in outside counsel at the expense of taxpayers.

The move by Utah -- one of the reddest states -- is similar to one done by the U.S. House's Republican leadership, headed by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). The House Republicans spent millions of dollars to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court, only to get a stinging rebuke from the U.S. Supreme Court in June, when it ruled that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional. The historic ruling has opened the floodgates for almost three dozen lawsuits nationwide to strike down marriage bans based on the Winsor decision.

“Defending discrimination is indefensible," said former San Diego resident Fred Sainz, HRC vice president for communications.

"Defending discrimination while spending millions of taxpayer dollars to do it is beyond explanation. It is an affront to all Utahans that their hard-earned tax dollars – money that should be going into schools, roads or health programs – will instead be used to cement the state on the wrong side of history," he said.

"What is worse is that citizens have no idea how much this legal boondoggle will cost. When Speaker Boehner brought in outside counsel to defend the Defense of Marriage Act – an exercise that turned out to be futile – taxpayers were on the hook for millions in legal fees. It’s time to end this waste of public resources and allow couples to continue experiencing the joy of marriage.”

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