Op-ed: A day of joy for many Utah couples, families
There is goodness in the world, and yesterday that goodness wondrously expanded for many gay people in my home state of Utah.
Ordinary goodness is often overlooked or taken for granted as we go about the business of our daily life. Stopping to smell the roses, or as a dear friend puts it, taking time to "pause and rejoice," is good for the soul.
Yesterday, I watched as hundreds of families showed up to mark the moment and ask for a license to be married. As there is no waiting period in Utah, marriages were being performed on the spot. There were the high-profile individuals in the limelight. However, I was drawn to those not on TV or being interviewed.
There was a couple in front of us who had been together 20 years; they have children and grandchildren together. There was another couple with their two boys. I was happy for the boys that their family was no longer "less than" another.
It was beautiful to see the joy in those young eyes watching their parents married by Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City mayor. Their moment was long overdue. I went to sleep last night thinking of that family. I was happy for them. I wondered what their ride home might have been like. This morning I wonder how they feel. It would be a treat to sit with them today at breakfast.
There was another family who showed up with their kids, and they were giving hugs and flowers to the newly married couples. This family brought their kids down to celebrate with friends and strangers alike. What a beautiful moment to share with your children and help them learn that their family actually benefits when others are allowed to participate in what they already enjoy.
I thought about what might have been their conversation on the way home. I think this morning about their discussion over breakfast. I believe that they must see a little more clearly today that there is so much goodness in the world. I believe they must be happy that they took the moment to pause and rejoice with others.
Love is inclusionary and is never diminished. To the contrary, the more we give, the more it grows. There was an excitement, a reverence to the moment that is impossible to describe. It was holy. It was beautiful. It was sacred.
Judge Robert Shelby said, "The state's current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their basic 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."
No rational reason. It is simple as that. Opposition is based only on fear.
So far, this is the best Christmas of my life.
Ken Kimball grew up in Utah. He and his husband and partner of 16 years live in Salt Lake City.