Utah is at the Forefront of the Fight for Marriage Equality
Utah district judge Robert J. Shelby was the first federal judge since the overturn of Prop 8 and DOMA to strike down a statewide gay marriage ban. With his ruling that Utah’s Amendment 3 violates 14th Amendment rights to equal protection and due process under the law, he has put Utah at the forefront of the fight for equality. Since the ruling, federal judges around the nation have unanimously ruled in favor of same sex marriage, and on June 25th 2014, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals became the first appellate court to rule on the issue of gay marriage, and upheld Judge Shelby’s ruling.
In response to the 10th Circuit Court decision, the Utah Pride Center released the following statement :
For a decade and a half, Utah lawmakers have enacted legislation that obstructs the rights and protections of LGBTQ individuals, couples, and families. The Tenth Circuit’s opinion affirms Judge Shelby’s decision, and joins the unanimous chorus of federal judges who recognize that the United States Constitution requires that the fundamental right to marry be extended to gay and lesbian couples. We encourage Governor Herbert and Attorney General Sean Reyes to stop spending tax dollars to defend Utah’s unconstitutional ban on marriage equality and accept the lawful decisions of our federal courts. Even our Senior United States Senator, Orrin Hatch, accepts the rulings of the federal judiciary recognizing marriage equality. Utah’s gay and lesbian couples are ready to move forward with their lives and continue to help make Utah the best place to raise a family.
Even with plans to appeal to the US Supreme Court, the work towards marriage equality isn’t finished. We need the beautiful families in our community to participate with us as we continue to promote acceptance and full equality for the LGBTQ community through education and increased visibility within our state. Our new Road to Equality project will aid us in this effort, and we are calling on those willing to share family photos and stories to display at Pride festivals and events by all of the marriage equality organizations we partner with across Utah.