Letter: Protecting minorities

Published: Thursday, Jan. 9 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

I am a heterosexual Mormon. My wife and I have four children. We have been married 18 years. I typically vote Republican. Based on these facts, one might expect me to be critical of Judge Robert Shelby's ruling striking down Utah's laws prohibiting same-sex marriage.

On the contrary, having carefully read the ruling, I agree with it. It identifies applicable legal standards established by the U.S. Supreme Court over many decades. Judge Shelby objectively applied these standards to the case to reach the only correct outcome.

It is inappropriate for Gov. Herbert and others to characterize Shelby as an activist judge and lambaste him for undermining the "will of the people.” Such tirades reflect a fundamental ignorance of the purpose of the Constitution — to protect the rights of those who are not part of the popular majority.

If states were allowed to enforce laws based on popular vote, free from constitutional restraints, some states would likely deny blacks voting rights or prohibit interracial marriage. Judge Shelby's ruling exposes the flaws in the arguments asserted by the state. Before criticizing Judge Shelby, people should read his ruling. They might then understand that it serves to protect the very principles and liberties forming the basis of our freedoms. The ruling can be found online with a simple Google search.

Paxton Guymon

Salt Lake City

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