Same Sex Debate in Utah

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One of the heated debates occurring in the country right now is that same sex marriage. It is an especially prominent topic in Utah since same sex marriage was legalized on December 20, 2013.

It was ruled by federal judge Robert Shelby that the voter approved constitutional amendment that ruled marriage as a union between a man and a woman “violates rights to due process and equal protection as set forth in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” On January 6, 2014, the federal representatives put a stay on the decision. In the time between the two events, more than 900 same sex couples got married.

It posed a dilemma for many. The topic is being debated at a federal level, and a decision has not been made to make the stay permanent or to continue allowing same sex couples to get married in Utah.

The decision of a federal judge “to redefine marriage in Utah is lawless, and we are pleased that the Supreme Court has put this decision on hold to allow the state to appeal it in an orderly fashion,” said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage.

Now a debate on whether or not the marriages that occurred directly after the stay should be recognized. In a letter from the Utah Governor’s office it states, “The original laws governing marriage in Utah return to effect pending final resolution by the courts. It is important to understand that those laws include not only a prohibition of performing same-sex marriages but also recognizing same-sex marriages.”

“Though future marriages are on hold for now, the state should recognize as valid those marriages that have already been issued, and those couples should continue to be treated as married by the federal government,” stated John Mejia, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah.

The state of Utah remains divided in the debate, and time will tell what Utah’s final decision will be.

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