Target: Governor Gary Herbert
Goal: Legalize gay marriage in Utah
In 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that gay and lesbian couples could legally marry and were entitled to the same benefits that opposite sex partners have. However, thanks to a state law that makes gay marriages illegal, thousands of these marriages were not recognized in Utah. Many believe that the governor of Utah purposefully used this law to bar the way for same sex couples. However, due to an announcement by the Obama administration, the Justice Department will recognize same sex marriages performed in Utah during a short period of time. There shouldn’t be a time constraint on marriages, especially since the Supreme Court’s ruling overrides all state laws.
When asked about why the state of Utah would not recognize same sex marriages, the governor’s chief of staff wrote, “Please understand this position is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages– that is for the courts to decide. The intent of this communication is to direct state agency compliance with current laws that prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages.” A district judge found in December, 2013 that a law passed in 2004 banned same sex marriage and conflicted with the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. A federal court appeal will be held sometime around March, although how long it will take for this case to be resolved is a mystery.
Despite what the state law says, same sex couples have the right to legally marry as ruled by the Supreme Court. The mere fact that their marriages are recognized by a state law is ridiculous, wasting the time of citizens and tax payer money. The state of Utah needs to immediately legalize gay marriage.
Dear Governor Gary Herbert,
I realize that a law passed in 2004 makes gay marriages illegal, however our Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that gay marriages are now legal and are entitled to the same benefits as opposite sex couple. While your state law says that such a partnership is illegal, the federal law overrides it. I am asking you to do everything in your power to expedite the appeals and hearings to make gay marriages legal in Utah.
Same sex couples shouldn’t have to jump through anymore hurdles now that the Supreme Court has made it legal for them to be married. If you were in their place, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to have to wait any longer to get married.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue via flickr