At least for the time being, Utah now has same-sex marriage. Federal Judge Robert Shelby ruled that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. He wrote, “Applying the law as it is required to do, the court holds that Utah’s prohibition on same sex marriage conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process under the law. The State’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason. Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”
Judge Shelby did not put a stay on his order, which means it is effective immediately. You can bet that the state of Utah will appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, but same-sex marriages are being performed today. That complicates any appeal and will make it interesting to see how this case develops. The logic of Judge Shelby’s opinion could apply equally to every state. The Tenth Circuit is generally considered a conservative appeals court; Judge Shelby was appointed to the federal court by President Obama.
On a personal note, I am pleased that there is a little more love in this world. Congratulations to all the newlyweds and best wishes moving forward.