A challenge to the US state of Utah’s equal marriage ban is due back in court today.

Three couples are challenging a state constitutional amendment which defines marriage as only between one man and one woman.

Judge Robert J Shelby is expected to ask many questions in today’s hearing, however he will make a ruling in a later date.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert and the state’s Attorney General John Swallow originally responded by releasing a statement declaring: “Utah law and its Constitution define marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman and does not recognize same-sex marriages, among other types of marriages.”

The statement went on to say “that unmarried couples of any kind are – heterosexual, homosexual, polygamous etc are not granted the rights afforded to married couples.” The statement also said that the ban does not discriminate against same-sex couples.

Another brief, which was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in October, argued that a constitutional amendment, and other laws which discriminate based on sexual orientation should be scrutinised in court.

In 2004 voters in Utah voted in a referendum to define marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman.