Marriage equality has made big strides in the past few days! First there was New Mexico, and then Utah’s ban on gay marriage was overturned. Elizabeth Banks is very happy about all of it, and she shared a heartwarming picture of two women who had just gotten married in Salt Lake City.
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) December 21, 2013
Same-sex marriage is being allowed in more and more states, but many people are surprised to see Utah added to the list. Utah has a high Mormon population, and Mormon heads have spoken against same-sex marriage, leading to large Mormon donations and campaigning against marriage equality.
U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby was responsible for the change, ruling that the ban against same-sex marriage couldn’t stay in place because, essentially, two men or two women marrying isn’t going to harm people marrying someone of the opposite sex. “In the absence of such evidence, the state’s unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify the state’s refusal to dignify the family relationships of its gay and lesbian citizens,” he declared.
The Internet is full of pictures of beaming brides and grooms in Utah, who have rushed to get married now that they’re allowed to wed the person they love. Still, Governor Gary Herbert is trying to put a stop to these marriages, saying, “I am very disappointed. … I am working with my legal counsel and the acting attorney general to determine the best course to defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah.”
What will happen in Utah remains to be seen. But, as Elizabeth shows, right now there are many smiling faces over new marriage licenses.
For 25 years, GLAAD has worked to amplify the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
GLAAD offers opportunities for getting involved in LGBT equality issues locally and nationally.