On December 20, 2013, Utah became the 18th state to legalize marriage equality following U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby's ruling overturning Utah's anti-equality Amendment 3. Since then, political and religious leaders in Utah have vowed to fight Shelby's decision. Now it seems, Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart (R-Provo), along with other GOP leaders and the state's newly appointed Attorney General, Sean Reyes, are prepared to spend $2 million of tax payers money hiring an outside law firm in their bid to reverse Shelby's earlier ruling.
$2 million is an absolutely astonishing sum and nearly totals the $2.3 million the U.S. House GOP spent defending DOMA.
While Utah's decision to appeal Shelby's decision shouldn't come as a surprise (Utah is after all one of the most conservative states in the union) its willingness to spend such a large sum of money for outside consultants runs contrary to the states boastful claims of fiscal responsibility. For example, in 2013 Utah allocated a mere $500,000 in grant training money for their Math teachers, another $500,000 in tuition assistance for their National Guard, and a scant $200,000 for Veterans Outreach Programs.
Like many states, Utah has been slashing budgets as of late, which leaves one wondering: Is wasting $2 million fighting the inevitable really the best use of tax money?