I’m a little late to the party having just found out about this now, but Utah yesterday became the 18th state in the U.S. to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Wow. It’s probably the last place in America I would have expected to do that. I’ve got tears of joy right now.
A of couple random early-morning thoughts:
As I was reading the Boston Globe article on this, I had a feeling it wouldn’t be long until I saw the phrase “activist judge.” And then came paragraph 8:
The decision drew a swift and angry reaction from Utah leaders, including Republican Gov. Gary Herbert. “I am very disappointed an activist federal judge is attempting to override the will of the people of Utah,” Herbert said. “I am working with my legal counsel and the acting attorney general to determine the best course to defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah.”
Oh that religious right… always so predictable.
Also, the rush to obtain marriage licenses reminded to me of the rush to get off another play in American football before the other team can throw the challenge flag… and we did. We got the play off, just like what happened in California before Proposition 8 passed. No turning back now.
I’m certainly no law expert — this falls under the “What Do I Know, I’m Just A Dumb Porn Star” category — but the moment the first ceremony was performed, new rights were available to any gay Utah couples who chose to marry… and dozens of couples have already claimed those rights. If a stay is ordered by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (which, by the way, currently consists of 5 Democrat-appointed judges and 5 Republican-appointed judges, with the chief being a Clinton appointee) and new marriages are halted, wouldn’t that violate the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment? You’d have two classes of gay couples in the state, those have been enjoying marriage benefits and protections and those who haven’t (and can’t). While it’s possible, I guess, that the state could work to take away rights already granted legally, I think it would be a long uphill battle for them. Existing marriages would stand, this would go to the Supreme Court as a 14th Amendment case, and any circuit-level appeal that might have succeeded would be overturned.
To wit: In August 2010, Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, since it purported to re-remove rights from a disfavored class only, with no rational basis. Maybe I’m just an idealistic Dumb Porn Star, but that’s why I believe there’s no turning back now. But what I keep asking myself, over and over, is this: Why do some people continue to resist the inexorable march of freedom?
On another note, check out one of couples who sued so that they could be allowed to marry. Hot!