Nearly 120 years ago, the federal government required marriage discrimination in the proposed Utah state constitution as a condition to becoming a state.
For 40 years the federal government had persecuted the people of Utah territory, including jailing polygamists, banning them from voting and holding public office, and preventing them from serving on juries. And over the years, many challenges to the constitutionality of this discrimination were heard and rejected by the federal courts.
In more recent years, the question of same-sex marriage arose. Utah joined other states in banning same-sex marriage by amending their state constitution. This was an extension of, and perfectly in harmony with, the discrimination that the federal government required for Utah's statehood, discrimination that has been repeatedly upheld in court battles over more than a century.
Now a federal judge has determined that this latest discrimination violates the U.S. Constitution. The appeals will ultimately lead to the U.S. Supreme Court making a final decision. And if the ruling is upheld, will the polygamists in Utah and other states then have the precedent they require to reverse 120 years of marriage discrimination against them? I should think so.
I wonder how many in the LGBT community and those who support them will, in turn, support the polygamists in their fight for marriage equality.
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