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.