Posted By Eric Ethington on January 27, 2011
Salt Lake City, Utah – BREAKING: State Representative LaVar Christensen (R, HD48) has reintroduced a bill he tried to run in 2006 which prohibits same sex couples from making contractual arrangements such as wills and financial arrangements. Get calling!
LaVar Christensen, the man who introduced and passed Utah’s Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, has reintroduced an old enemy of the LGBT community. The bill, known in 2006 as HB 304 but now as HB 182, slides in under the generic title “Voiding Transactions Against Public Policy.” The bill’s language is virtually word-for word from the narrowly-defeated measure from 2006 and if passed will strip even more rights away from the same sex couples who desperately depend on contractual arrangements as Utah denies them any of the inherent protections afforded to any other couple.
Same sex couples in Utah already have so few protections in Utah, in fact almost the only thing we can still do is create legal contracts to protect our loved ones in the case of our deaths. Make no mistake, this bill would leave you powerless and at the mercy of your partner’s family if he or she were to pass away!
We must get to work on this immediately! Whether you live in HD 48 or not, call or email LaVar as well as all of your representatives and tell them they must work to defeat HB 182!
Home Phone: 801-571-8603
Work Phone: 801-572-9878
Cell Phone: 801-550-1040
From the Utah Law Department when LaVar tried to run the bill in 2006:
It is uncertain whether Utah’s marriage amendment prevents unmarried cohabitants from contracting to protect their financial interests. However, in the 2006 General Session of the Utah Legislature, pro-marriage advocates were at work to make sure laws were enacted to preclude such contracting. Draper Representative LaVar Christensen introduced House Bill 304 (“H.B. 304”).70 The entire language of H.B. 304 was a simple sentence that read, “[a]n arrangement, agreement, or transaction that is unlawful or violates public policy is void and unenforceable.” Representative Christensen is the same legislator who introduced the Utah marriage amendment, the basis for this discussion. Christensen explained the purpose of the bill was to reduce to statute a common law practice which has been around for a century.71 He said the main purpose of the bill was to outlaw contracts based on drugs and gambling. However, Christensen’s consistent agenda to curb the expansion of rights to unmarried heterosexual and same-sex couples had many worried about Christensen’s intention.72 Terry Kogan, Professor of Lawat the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, spoke against the bill during the session. He stated, “[Christensen] may be trying to undermine the ability of same-sex couples to protect their financial and other interests.”