Here's a state legislator from Utah who's got a unique idea on how to pay for the state's legal defense of their marriage discrimination amendment found unconstitutional last month. Of course, he's a Republican.
Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, suggests a novel way to pay for the state's ongoing legal battle to ban same-sex marriage: Allow taxpayers to donate part of their income tax refund for it.
His HB48 would create a check-off on forms for a "Marriage Defense Fund." It would also allow direct donations to the fund via cash, check or credit card -- and would direct the state to conduct a marketing campaign to help raise money.
"I see it as a way to placate proponents of same-sex marriage who have complained about the cost" to taxpayers for the state's ongoing appeals to defend Amendment 3, said Nelson, an attorney for Kirton McConkie, whose clients include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "I see it as a peacekeeping measure.... I see this as a way to placate both sides."
"It sounds disingenuous," said Kent Frogley, vice chairman of the Utah Pride Center board. "It makes it sound like same-sex marriage is an attack on traditional marriage. What we are seeking is equality in marriage."
He dislikes that donations would go to a "Marriage Defense Fund." But, Frogley said, "I would love it if it said [on tax forms] that it was going to fight against marriage equality."
Utah is spending over a quarter of a million dollars to keep any more gay and lesbian couples from getting married.