Conservatives Flip Out As Federal Judge Rules Same-Sex Marriage Legal In Utah

Kody Partridge, Laurie Wood, Peggy Tomsic

On Friday, US District Court Judge Robert Shelby ruled that the gay marriage ban in Utah, which has been in effect since 2004, is unconstitutional. Therefore, same-sex marriage is now legal in the state. This ruling was warmly received by hundreds of gay couples, who flocked to the county clerk’s office in Salt Lake City on Friday night to get married. The ruling came as the result of a a lawsuit that was brought up by three gay couples in Utah who challenged the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The trial ended on Wednesday and Judge Shelby released his ruling and opinion on Friday.

One notable quote from the judge’s 53-page ruling was this:


“The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason. Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”

Obviously, the state is going to appeal the ruling and we may see this go all the way up to the Supreme Court. For a short while on Friday, state attorneys were thinking about trying to get an emergency stay to try to prevent any marriages from being performed. But, as there was a flood of gay and lesbian couples making their way to county clerks’ offices around the state and registering for marriage certificates, they decided against it. Therefore, hundreds of couples were able to get legally married on Friday and Saturday.

With Shelby’s ruling, Utah becomes the 18th state (including the District of Columbia) to legalize same-sex marriage. New Mexico had also ruled it legal earlier this week. Of course, the normal amount of conservative whining about this ruling started outpouring right away. Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert was upset of Shelby for being ‘an activist federal judge’ and vowed that he and the state’s attorney general would continue to fight this ruling.

However, it was the hard-right Christians that really took the news hard and came out of the woodwork to express their disappointment. Bryan Fischer, Director of the American Family Association and right-wing radio host, took to Twitter on Saturday to complain. (He was too busy on Friday night still  defending Phil Robertson.)



Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, released a statement after the ruling. In the statement, he had this to say:


“This ruling is a travesty of justice. The voters of Utah made their will in this matter perfectly clear less than 10 years ago when adopting an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This ruling should concern every American who cares about the rights of citizens and their involvement in determining the laws that govern us. This trend of vetoing the voters from the bench must be stopped.”


Conservative Christians just need to come to the realization that gay marriage is here to stay. In the coming weeks and months, more and more states will legalize same-sex marriage and eventually every state will have it legalized. Hell, if a gay marriage ban can be overturned in Utah, it can be overturned in any other state, regardless of how ‘red’ it is. Get used to it, America.

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