Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Utah Ordered to Recognize Gay Marriages

by Brig Bagley

20 May 2014

Another federal judge has ruled that Utah cannot refuse to provide marriage benefits to couples that were legally married in the state during the window it was allowed. The plaintiffs in the case were upset that the progress they had planned with their families, including adoptions, has been halted because of the State's unwillingness to recognize their marriages.

The case poses an interesting questions of whether these moves are redundant, or that they condone judicial activism and overreaching. Since the validity of the Judge Shelby ruling is in progress, this case is just reiterating what is already being reviewed. However, the ruling was meant to give the benefits to those awaiting them sooner than when the Amendment 3 case resolves, which could be over a year.

But again, all of these moves are by federal judges, not by the state, nor the people. Doesn't that make all of this forced outside law?

Ironically, the judge for this case is an active Mormon and LDS area authority. So you don't have to be an activist, godless liberal to support equality.

Is the will of the people being overthrown? In 2004, Amendment 3 passed in Utah with a 65% majority wishing to ban same-sex marriage. That is with a 57% voter turnout in the state. Polls taken this year with a sample size of 746 Utahns, the approval of same-sex marriage is almost evenly split. Is the will of the people still largely against gay marriage? Not anymore. It would be interesting to see what a vote would reveal today.

Since public opinion has changed, the movements of federal judges is not entirely out of order. Because the officials of Utah wish to uphold laws with outdated approval, the federal courts are enforcing the change that would happen anyway. Why force it sooner? Well, there are over 1000 families that are depending on the benefits. That's why.

This ruling is stayed for 21 days pending appeal from the state. Appeal is expected, although no word has yet come from state offices.

Read more here: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=29958554

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