Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Keith Johnson | Tribune file photo) Mark Hofeling, left, exchanges rings with new husband Jesse Walker while being married by Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker outside the Salt Lake County clerk's office, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.
Editorial: Stop gay marriage fight, Utah leaders

Accept gay marriage, Utah leaders.

First Published May 20 2014 04:46 pm • Last Updated May 21 2014 08:11 am

It is only getting harder to deny the conclusion of last summer’s Windsor decision defining marriage as a due-process right of any couple. In the last two days, federal judges in Oregon and Pennsylvania came to the same inevitable conclusion as Judge Robert Shelby did in Utah last December. In recent months 14 federal judges have ruled against state same-sex marriage bans, and in some cases the states didn’t even bother to defend their laws in the wake of Windsor.

And now yet another Utah judge has gotten into the act. U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball, a former BYU law professor, ruled Monday that the state cannot deny marital rights to the same-sex couples who married in Utah during that two-week period at the end of 2013. Kimball’s decision has no bearing on the Amendment 3 case Judge Shelby decided, but his ruling rests squarely on the precedent of the Windsor case: "As in Windsor, the State’s decision to put same-sex marriages on hold ‘deprive(s) some couples married under the laws of their State, but not other couples, of both rights and responsibilities’," Kimball wrote.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Attorneys arguing for Utah continue to cling to other language in Windsor that reserves the right of states to define marriage. States still can define marriage, as long as it is applied equally to all people. The state can say marriage requires classes on managing relationships. The state can say no one gets a marriage license on the weekend. But it can’t say marriage is for some couples and not for others. This is the reality of Windsor no reasonable federal jurist will deny.

It’s worth remembering that this applies only to the legal act of marriage and rights therein. It has nothing to do with how churches define marriage, and there has been enough history inside and outside this country to know that religion and same-sex marriage can co-exist.

It’s also worth recalling that this has been an evolution, and it didn’t begin last summer. It was more than 40 years ago that psychiatrists stopped considering homosexuality a mental disorder, and it was more than 10 years ago that the U.S. Supreme Court took the police out of the nation’s bedrooms by striking down sodomy laws.

Even Utah’s reliance on the 2004 vote on Amendment 3 is questionable when polling has shown how people have pivoted. In the meantime, the state is hurting its own citizens by denying their rights to adoption, health insurance and other benefits they deserve.

The coming days will see the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rule on the Utah’s appeal of Judge Shelby’s ruling, and it’s difficult to see how that court could reconcile the state’s position with the Windsor precedent. Then will come the Supreme Court, which would have to twist like a pretzel to resolve its Windsor due-process right with a state’s right to deny that right.

No, this is over, and persisting just reinforces the perception that Utah is behind the times and out of sync with the nation.

Come up with a graceful exit, Gov. Herbert and Attorney General Reyes.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.