Dear Utah: It Gets Better

There’s a lot of stories right now about Judge Robert Shelby’s ruling overturning the ban on same-sex marriage in Utah.   This has caused  LGBT couples in Utah to apply for marriage licenses, couples are being married (including by the Mayor of Salt Lake City), and there’s lots and lots of news stories.  Of course, the state wants to appeal, screaming about “activist judges.”

Gov. Gary Herbert issued a statement following Shelby’s ruling, saying he was disappointed.

“It’s not surprising to me. It’s disappointing, but not surprising,” Herbert said. “Typical wisdom would have had, with the order of last Friday, a stay to accompany with it. It clearly was going to be appealed, no matter what the decision was, it would be appealed by either side. So the process will move forward, that’s the democratic process.

The usual crowd on the right wing are also screaming their heads off, with the usual dire warnings and rush to the bastions to “defend marriage.”

As someone who lives in a state that a little over two years ago passed a law legalizing marriage equality, let me tell you what’s in store.  First, you should know that even though this state is considered “liberal,” it isn’t all that liberal.  Marriage equality didn’t happen quickly or easily.  There were numerous attempts to pass it, interestingly enough, pushed by a Republican, lawsuits, arguments, churches against it, you name it.  Pretty much all the arguments you’re having right now, using the same statements and dire predictions.  That’s why it failed to pass numerous times, and when it finally did pass, it wasn’t by much.  Much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued among the religious and conservative groups.

Yes, sure it was big news when it passed and there was the initial stampede of LGBT couples to get married, which you’re now seeing.  Lots of front page pictures, and news stories about it ensued. The people who had fought it went “ick!” and vowed to repeal the law, or at the very least remove any lawmaker that voted for it.   Yes, marriage had been “destroyed” by this, according to them.

So what happened?   No one’s marriage was destroyed or ruined by it.  It’s not even news anymore when a gay couple gets married.  There’s an announcement in the marriage section of the paper, if the happy couple decides to put one there.  No churches have been forced to perform marriages if they don’t want to.  I should also point out that we are in no danger of legalizing bestiality or marriage to animals, children are not being “recruited” to become gay, and heterosexuals have managed to continue getting married at the same pace they were before marriage equality became the law. In the long run, nothing changed except that LGBT couples could now get married.

So, Utah, I understand you’re upset.  You think you’re being singled out, and you’re not sure what to do, or where to go.  You’re worried that your way of life is threatened, and trying to avoid facing what you know is going to happen sooner or later.  Well, let me tell you:  It gets better.  Really.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Dear Utah: It Gets Better

  1. Dancer

    So sad they even need the reassurance IMHO…
    I remember when I thought the most important message of Xmas was PEACE ON EARTH! Actually I still do but almost NEVER hear it said or see it written…glad I’m old.

    • Peace on Earth is more a hopeful wish, but a nice one. :-)

      Some years back when NY had just failed to pass the legislation, a conservative friend of mine and I were discussing it. I told her then that it was only a matter of time, and I didn’t see the point in wasting a lot of energy attempting to stave off the inevitable. What do you know, but after much sound and fury, and lots of lobbying money spent by both sides, it ended up passing a couple of years later. These days? Most people in the state would probably have to stop and think to remember that it was a big deal at all.

  2. S. Holland

    Thank you Norbrook!

  3. see above

    well put, Dan Savage would be proud of this post

  4. BruceJ

    This one is a biggie, though, because it has the potential to be the ‘Loving’ decision on same sex marriage.

    It directly targets a state constitutional amendment banning them on 14th amendment grounds. If this one survives SCOTUS this will invalidate all those amendments and laws. This isn’t like the narrow ruling in Windsor or the prop 8 case.

    The judge’s ruling in this case pretty effectively demolishes all the arguments made in favor of bigotry, and reduced them to ‘this was passed out of animus to gays’ and you cannot do that under the 14th Amendment.

    Oh how it must *burn* all those dixiecrats-turned-republican that an amendment championed by their great Satan Lincoln would be their undoing…

    • A lot depends on whether Utah decides to take this to the Supreme Court. I should also point out that while Windsor was a narrowly crafted decision,it’s also used extensively as the basis of this decision. Alright, he quoted the dissent a lot :lol: in it, but it still serves as a precedent case.

      My personal opinion, from the actions since the 10′th Circuit bounced their request for a stay, is that Utah is resigned to becoming the 18′th state that has marriage equality. They may not be happy about it, but they’re moving towards it being inevitable. My consolation for them is that it turns out that none of the horrible things that the opponents say end up being the reality. :-D

  5. I think the reason wingnuts really fear same-sex marriage is because they’re worried that absolutely nothing will happen. As the author pointed out, nobody’s marrying their pets and straight couples are still getting married. But for all the warnings from the religulous right about dire consequences, it’s worse for them if nothing happens. Aside from not getting a chance to gloat over the misfortunes of the immoral and getting a chance to say, “I told you so”, there are larger implications: either there is no invisible sky father to rain down retribution on the immoral or, maybe even worse, there is one, but he doesn’t really care what people are doing with their crotches. Either way, their entire system of belief and basis for authority (and lucrative incomes) is gone – and that is the real issue.