Colleen and Jolene Mewing just filed their first joint tax return.
It was a dramatic moment for the new couple, who married in December when same sex unions briefly became legal. And Thursday afternoon, Colleen Mewing said she hoped that opportunity would return to everyone in the state.
Mewing, a chapter leader for Marriage Equality USA, organized a rally in support of same-sex marriage Thursday. By 5:30 p.m., when the rally officially began, about 30 people held rainbow-adorned signs at the passing rush hour traffic on the corner of State Street and 400 South. The group’s goal: to put a human face on same-sex marriage in Utah as three 10th Circuit Court of Appeals judges in Denver decided if the state’s ban on such unions should stand.
As Mewing passed out pro-same-sex marriage signs Thursday to other rally participants — some handwritten, others professionally printed — she said she hopes all Utahns soon get the same opportunity she and Jolene had in December. Mewing added that the case “is not a slam dunk” but she remains optimistic.
Others at the rally shared that optimism. By 6 p.m. the crowd had grown in size to about 50 adults, as well as half a dozen kids running around on the grass of the City-County Building. Among them, Jennifer Robinson stood with her girlfriend Jamie Palmer in a particularly sunny spot on 400 South. The two women held a large, heart-shaped sign with the names of the plaintiffs in the Amendment 3 case written in marker along the edge. “We stand with you!” big red letters in the middle of the sign exclaimed.
“I would love to be able to marry my girlfriend,” Robinson said while the group around her chanted.
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Nearby, Scot and Genie PostvanderBurg stood with their three young children. Scot said the family decided to come to the rally because they have gay relatives on both sides and because they wanted to set an example for their kids.
“We wanted them to be aware,” Scot added. “We as a family are completely supportive.”
The rally wound down about 6:30 p.m., but not before hundreds of cars drove by honking with passengers waving. At times, the chorus of honking cars — and even a couple of trains — was so loud it drowned out the rally participants’ conversations and chanting. They didn’t seem to care though, as they waved back and excitedly thrust their signs into the air.