Federal Judge Rejects Utah's Ban on Gay Marriage Calls it unconstitutional, but state can appeal By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Dec 20, 2013 4:02 PM CST 138 comments Comments Plaintiffs Laurie Wood, left, and her partner, Kody Partridge, center, walk with attorney Peggy Tomsic after leaving the Frank E. Moss United States Courthouse on Dec. 4, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) (Newser) – It's the second victory for gay marriage in as many days: A US judge has struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. Today's ruling says Utah's 2004 law violates gay and lesbian couples' rights to equal protection. It's unclear what the immediate effect would be, however, because the state can appeal. Similar challenges are pending in other states, but Utah's is closely watched because of its history of opposition to gay marriage as home of the Mormon church. Attorneys for the state argued that Utah's law promotes the "optimal mode of child-rearing." The lawsuit was brought by three gay and lesbian couples.