Utah is the 18th state were same-sex marriages have been legalized. This happened on December 20, 2013. However, on January 6, 2014, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver would reconsider the case, due to a stay granted to the State Attorney General’s office. Same-sex marriages which were performed in the small window (between December 20 and January 6) were automatically recognized by the federal government, but for those that married after the stay, a separate ruling was required to recognize the marriage (this stay will expire in 10 days).
We are drawing closer to the faithful date of July 21, and new problems emerged. In May, a different federal judge ruled that the state should lift its ban benefits (for example child custody) in the case of same-sex couples. The state then asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit to delay benefits until the larger issue of marriage bans enters the court. Yesterday, the 10th circuit denied Utah’s request for indefinite delay. It also added that Utah should wait until 21 July to ask for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in. The state will seek Supreme Court Review of gay marriage ruling.
The Utah case was the first in the nation where a federal judge struck down a state ban on same-sex marriage, and was quickly followed by a similar ruling in Oklahoma, which is in the same federal appeals district. (Source: www.latimes.com)
Utah is an extremely conservative state which has voted for the Republican party for the last few decades (from 1968 to 2012). In other words, the problem of gay marriage led to explosive reactions and division between America’s families and politics. Although some politicians decided to wind down their tone (probably because the re-elections are coming soon), others are still out in the open and proud of their position on gay marriage.
For example, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who is a Republican, is currently pursuing court appeals of a judge that struck down the constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage. He considers that it’s a state’s right to define marriage. It may be true that approximately 20 states accept & tolerate gay-marriage at the moment, but the issue might soon be headed to Supreme Court.
Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky are scheduled to bring arguments against same sex marriage rulings and rates to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on August 6. We can only wait and see what happens. For now, the Republican party supports the same declaration as two years ago: it chooses to define marriage according to the federal constitutional amendment: “the union of one man and one woman”.
Other states in which appeals are still pending include Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Indiana, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Religious beliefs aside, there is literally no reason, and no legal argument against same-sex marriage. Americans should redirect their attention to more pressing matters, and move past the opposition to gay marriage.
Same-sex marriage is a right that as denied harms many, and as denied, fails to further any interest of the right’s antagonists.