Utah lawmaker, husband who sued for gay marriage separating

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In this April 3, 2014, photo, Derek Kitchen, right, and Moudi Sbeity kiss as they hold their certificate of mutual commitment at their home, in Salt Lake City. The young couple that has become the face of gay marriage in Utah is an unlikely pair for the role. Kitchen and Sbeity were both raised in conservative religious families that shun gays, Kitchen in a Mormon home in Utah and Sbeity in a Muslim family in Lebanon. They each came out when they were 16 years old, worlds apart, and met six years later in college in Utah. They chose to become one of three couples as plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging Utah’s same-sex marriage to publicly push back against religions that oppress gays and lesbians. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah state lawmaker who filed a lawsuit that successfully overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is separating from his husband.

Sen. Derek Kitchen announced in an Instagram post Sunday that he and Moudi Sbeity have decided to divorce.

Kitchen says even if the couple had known their marriage would end, they would make all the same decisions.

A former Salt Lake City councilor, the Democrat was elected in one of the state’s few left-leaning districts last November.

Kitchen rose to prominence with his 2013 lawsuit, which came two years before a U.S. Supreme Court ruling extended gay couples’ right to marry nationwide.

He and Sbeity wed in a public ceremony in downtown Salt Lake City in 2015. The couple, who own a cafe, will remain business partners.

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