Target: Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Attorney General John Swallow
Goal: Refute Governor Herbert’s and Attorney General Swallow’s claim that the Utah state ban on same-sex marriage is not discriminatory towards the gay community
In response to lawsuits that challenged the state’s ban on gay marriage in Utah’s constitution, Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Attorney General John Swallow asserted that the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage does not discriminate against those in the gay community. They further stated that there is not enough evidence to support allegations that the gay community has faced a prolonged and painful history of state-sponsored discrimination not only in Utah but throughout the country. Such assertions ignore the reality that gay and lesbian individuals don’t have the same rights as heterosexual couples. We must refute and condemn ignorant statements like these In order to achieve equal rights for gays.
In his response, Swallow articulated the belief that marriage between a man and a woman was a fundamental right enshrined by the constitution, but the same did not apply to same-sex couples. This follows with Utah’s legal definition of marriage as a union between a woman and a man, similarly denying gay couples the ability to marry. But because Utah law does not expressly state that gay and lesbian couples cannot marry, Swallow and Herbert claim that the laws do not denigrate the gay community. Left out of this argument are the years of duress same-sex couples have faced. Denial of any knowledge that gays and lesbians have been the target of hate crimes is incompetent and reprehensible behavior from state officials.
At least three same-sex couples have brought lawsuits against the state regarding the constitutionality of Utah law. They are challenging Utah’s constitution because they believe that it aims at buffering the private views of lawmakers that gay couples are immoral and inferior to opposite-sex couples. Meanwhile, both the governor and attorney general have conveyed their lack of awareness about the lives of gay and lesbian individuals. Their sentiments clearly show that the laws discriminate against gay couples based on their sexual orientation. Please sign this petition condemning the ignorance demonstrated by high-ranking state officials seeking to keep members of the gay community second-class citizens.
Dear Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Attorney General John Swallow,
We refute your assertions that marriage inequality discriminates against same-sex couples on the basis of their sexual orientation. Your reasoning is flawed and conveys a large degree of incompetence with regards to understanding Utah law and ignorance with regards to the nature of gay and lesbian lives.
Utah has historically had a constitutional amendment that banned the state recognition of gay marriage. It is abhorrent that you claim that there is insufficient evidence that members of the gay community in Utah have endured a long and hurtful history of state-sponsored discrimination not only in Utah but throughout the country. Your claims are thus ignorant to the reality of the quality of lives of gay and lesbian individuals in the United States and show that you aim to keep gay and lesbian individuals as second-class citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: btaroli via Flickr