Rights and freedoms were strengthened; a number of people made a commitment to
marriage who were previously denied. Furniture, mattresses, and electronics are
on sale. Things appear to have gotten better.
Many like to talk about the arrogance of Judge Shelby in not issuing a stay -
but anyone who has studied law knows or should know that judges cannot rule on
motions that are not before them. Following proper legal rules and procedures,
Judge Shelby could not issue a stay where there was no request for one. The true arrogance on the stay issue lies with the State of Utah and the
AG's office. It was their duty to acknowledge the possibility of a decision
against them and request a stay should that happen. Usually when a law is
challenged, especially one that affects so many people, a stay request is filed
either as a part of the request for summary judgement or shortly after the
summary judgement hearing. You can blame the failure of the
AG's office on the distractions surrounding the Swallow debacle or
inexperience in the AG's office or just plain arrogance in ignoring the
possibility of a loss, but it is sophomoric to blame Judge Shelby for not doing
the AG's job.
We have been seeing quite an uptick of OP pieces from the Deseret news about the
'consequences' of marriage equality. Why no studies? Because, we have factual examples of the repercussions of marriage
equality in America. Many just choose not to acknowledge them:
*'After 5 Years of Legal Gay Marriage, Massachusetts still has the lowest
state divorce rate...' - Bruce Wilson - AlterNet - 08/24/09
'Massachusetts retains the national title as the lowest divorce rate state,
and the MA divorce rate is about where the US divorce rate was in 1940, prior to
the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.' Ok. Ten years… *'TEN YEARS later, 85 Percent of Massachusetts voters say NO HARM
from Marriage Equality' – 09/27/13 'Massachusetts
now has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, same-sex families now enjoy full
legal protections…' There has never been a factual
consequence to marriage equality. It does zero harm to the
'traditional' marriage in Utah starting after 1890. We all
know what Jesus said about 'False Witness'.
That's some fine whining you've got going there. How dare gay people
actually be able to express joy about something...
What I saw wasn't an endzone dance, but genuine jubilation from couples at
the prospect that their relationships are - even if for a short period of time -
considered "equal", at least in the eyes of the law. The
morning TV news shows showing the people lined up for their certificates looked
like a bunch of adults who were giddy like 4 year olds on Christmas morning.
For many couples - and their loved ones who were allowed to know about their
beaming change in status - the Christmas of 2013 will always be known as a
"Christmas Miracle".Of course there will be a reverberation
- we see it here every day. The only question is how long it will take for the
hearts of those opposed to be softened, and recognition of true equality to
I don't think the Attorney General's office forgot to ask for a stay.
This was a conscious decision, not an oversight. I think they believed asking
for a stay in their initial papers would signal a lack of confidence in their
arguments and thus make it easier for Judge Shelby to rule against them. It was
a high stakes strategic decision, I believe, not an error.
As someone that is old enough and engaged enough to remember the end of
apartheid I have very found and distinct memories of Nelson dancing with great
joy across a stage in front of a massive crowd of people when it ended. Please
do not try to deny those joyous memories for the sack of trying to chastise gay
couples for the joy in the hearts when they got married.
As one of those "leftiest" that were there to witness James and his
partner get married I can honestly say I was focused on the great joy they
expressed for one another and I am pretty sure the religious right and those
that oppose gay marriage were not really in their minds one way or the other but
please feel free to continue to think it is all about you.
We should ... "not rush to change long-standing pillars of society without
understanding the long-term consequences." What responsibility does a judge
have to act as sociologist, psychologist, economist and political scientist in
reaching a decision ?? Perhaps I am naive, but I would rather a judge look at
the facts of a case and reasonably apply law, precedence and rules of procedure
in making a decision. If there are negative long-term consequences of a
decision then the law makers need to address them.
As others have noted, the state did not request a stay. As for Judge
Shelby's supposed arrogance in deciding this issue, he merely dealt with
the issue before him; should these specific plaintiffs be allowed to marry.
Based on the evidence presented, it's difficult to see how he could have
Not repercussions really, more like the result of political court packing
strategies long underway, but Judge Shelby’s decision will unfortunately
further entrench the culture war into our court system.I applaud his
decision on moral grounds but am saddened that this issue will apparently be
decided by an activist court system rather than by changing the hearts &
minds of citizens – something that was well underway and at a rate few
foresaw even 10 years ago. In a few short years this issue would
have been moot. Instead it may become the new Roe v Wade – a political
football kicked around for decades to come and further dividing the nation.When SCOTUS overturns Roe and rules that abortion is a State issue
(something highly likely given their current makeup), don’t be surprised
when a conservative state or federal judge issues a similarly sweeping ruling
that life begins at conception and that a fertilized egg invisible to the naked
eye is granted full person rights.Judicial activism is an equal
My dear cousin seems to think it's the duty of the court to do the
AG's job for them. That is not the case. It's time to face the facts,
marriage equality is coming and fighting it is a waste of time, energy, and good
The column is self serving and self righteous why do those who are opposed to
marriage equality think it is all about them?
Tyler: "When SCOTUS overturns Roe and rules that abortion is a State
issue..."Sorry, but we're not talking about setting speed
limits or the legal drinking age here - we're talking about fundamental
civil rights of American citizens. Basic personal rights, including the right to
marry, will never be held to be "state" issues. Or do you
really think that a state could decide on its own to deny marriage rights to
people of different races, or deny women the vote? That's every bit as
unlikely to happen as a decision to permit states to deny marriage rights to
I was one of those at the county building that showed much joy when in what in
Utah was rare moment of acknowledgment of the basic humanity of a segment of our
society who in the in the past 100 years have been subjected to forced shock
therapy, forced lobotomies, forced castration, incarceration and forced
hospitalization in the United States and rounded up by the thousands and killed
by the Germans so please do accept my apologies for my excitement, we shadows do
not mean to offend.
@Blue – “Or do you really think that a state could decide on its own
to deny marriage rights to people of different races, or deny women the
vote?”I think you misunderstood my comments…Conservatives have been engaged in a campaign of loading our courts with
people who first & foremost believe in an extremely conservative
interpretation of the Constitution. They view this is a proper reaction to the
perceived excesses of (starting with) the Warren Court.We now have a
SC (and many lower court judges) who reflect this strategy, and it’s how
they will decide this issue that matters (not my opinion).So my
comments were not about me but about how the culture war has infiltrated our
courts and what the ramifications of this will likely be – and if you
think conservatives will find a right for same-sex couple to marry in the
Constitution (even in the 14th amendment), I have a few real estate deals
I’d like to pitch you.But I assume we both hope I will be
I think Frank and LaVarr would be the perfect duo to unravel the mystery of
Judge Shelby's failure to stay his own ruling. There seem to be two
versions:1. The National ViewNational news stories insist the
problem was that Utah's lawyers neglected to file a contingency petition
for a stay with the Judge. They also claim when Shelby had a conference call
with both sides before announcing his ruling, Utah's lawyers failed to
request consideration of a stay before it was docketed. It was only after
marriage licenses were being issued Utah first asked for a stay and then they
wanted the judge to do it unilaterally without a hearing. 2. The
Utah ViewFrankly nobody seems to want to address whether procedural issues
were botched by Utah's attorneys or not. They insist proper procedure was
for the Judge to issue one, even if he wasn't asked.I think
everyone, especially the people of the State of Utah, would like to know what
Utah hasn't been around for a thousand years. The USA hasn't been
around for a thousand years. Honestly, people like the two whining in this
editorial act like marriage for heteros will now suddenly disappear. My wife and
I will have been married 25 years in March. I don't expect SSM will
suddenly dissolve that.
Webb: "All this lone, low-level federal judge did was to reject a thousand
years of tradition."I thought the tradition in Utah until 1890
was to permit plural marriage.
I am happy to report that in the weeks since my husband and I were married, not
a single traditional marriage has been destroyed. Like as has happen in so many
states, chicken littles will cry that the sky is falling, and then no one will
believe them after it never actually does. Life will continue to go on in the
great state of Utah, just as it has in Iowa or Washington or New Hampshire or
Maryland or Minnesota, and no one will be any the wiser, except those who have
no idea how to keep their noses outside of the private affairs of others.
Long term consequence: Gays get married.Big deal.
Best line from the article:"Social conservatives must shoulder
some blame for their situation. Had they been willing to support personal
contractual relationships (i.e. domestic partnerships, civil unions) while
maintaining opposition to marriage, the trajectory of this issue would have been
very different."======= Utah gambled and up'd
the ante to All-or-Nothing.Only goes to show that it is a Good thing
gambling is illegal in Utah, because that was the worst gambling I have
As someone much more in line with Mr. Webb's thinking and as a member of
Utah's majority, I expected 'exactly nothing' from Mr.Pignanelli
when I decided to read this article. Wow! Frank, you
came through!!! I humbly beg your pardon. Thank you for
your words. These were especially satisfying and meaningful, and I
THANK YOU for being HONEST enough and big enough to say them:(from
article) "Instead, they performed an end zone dance. Veteran politicos
across the spectrum were shocked at the flamboyant and gleeful responses by many
Democrat officials. There was a real perception of "rubbing the noses"
of religious and community organizations in the judicial outcome."
"Instead, they performed an end zone dance. Veteran politicos across the
spectrum were shocked at the flamboyant and gleeful responses by many Democrat
officials. There was a real perception of "rubbing the noses" of
religious and community organizations in the judicial outcome."
Have you read some of the comments now that the supreme court has put a stay on
gay marriage? I will expect dancing in the streets. But
that's not 'rubbing our nose' in the fact that LGBT cannot marry
in Utah. Let's go down the temple weddings!
The Democratic party was long ago gerrymandered out of significance here in
Utah. Lavarr Webb's warning to Democrats that linking themselves to SSM
will be politically damaging may be true, but it hardly instills a fear of loss
amongst those in this community with no voice to begin with.
Like many GOP "arguments" against marriage equality, Webb's answers
are non-responsive to the actual questions.Q: "Will Utah
politicians' reactions to Shelby's ruling impact local
politics?"Webb: "Same-sex marriage activists"
"own" the Democratic party! They're in "lock-step"-- a
marching army! And gay Dabakis: Oh, the "unrestrained
distain!" Oh, the drama. He paints a colorful image:
an outrageous attack on (his limited version of) Utah values. His
conclusion: some moderates might not vote for Democrats. Big thought. Q: "How will the Supreme Court rule?"Stand by for an
analysis of the legal basis for the ruling? No. More personal drama.Webb:
Shelby "lacked humility!" A display of "judicial
immodesty!" "Unleashed an eruption" of "gay" marriages!
Forcing "wrenching changes" on society! So Webb
wanted a stay it gets him worked up. But what about the question?
Q: "What are some of the indirect ramifications of the decision on similar
issues?"Webb: Have some propagandistic language instead: young
people "with same-sex attraction" need support, he says. Sounds nice.
Of course he's promoting the incredibly insulting and simplistic notion
that gay people aren't actually gay, they just "have"
this "same-sex attraction" thing, like it's a craving for a
Big Mac they can just choose not to eat. Maybe he should ask some
his "dear friends who are gay" their take on this more comforting (to
him) but clueless version of gay. (Hint: gay's just like straight: who you
love and who you desire, not what you do.)Webb, in summary:1.
Democrats = gays = militants = disdain "mainstream" values!2.
Judge Shelby = hubris = subverting the will of the "people" = forcing
change = "redefining" marriage!3. Oh, and some of my best
friends have the gay.Who needs to listen to the questions when you
have so many answers already?
LaVarr, were you really that troubled by the sight of loving people experiencing
such joy? I'm reminded of the scene in "Toy Story"
under the big tanker truck where Woody and Buzz Lightyear are arguing and Buzz
says to Woody, "You are a sad, little man."
Neither Webb nor Pignanelli mentioned a repercussion I think is all but
inevitable. I'm certain many member of our state legislature are outraged
by the decision and are going to file "message" bills intended to signal
their displeasure. We will be subjected to legislators gravely moralizing on
the sins of activists judges and the need for the legislature to protect Utah
from these judges.I agree that the momentum for anti-discrimination
laws will slow if not cease entirely as our legislators solemnly remind us that
one day you're protecting gays from discrimination and before you know it
they're getting married - that's an argument they've used
before.I realize I'm a cynic but I've also lived in Utah
my entire life. I have seen our state legislature engage in all kinds of public
antics and hissy fits. Individually they're (mostly) good men and women
but somehow the whole is less than the sum of its parts.
I hope the Deseret news allows OP's now that the supreme court has put a
stay on gay marriages… as all the OP's the allowed
against gay marriage, when marriage equality was allowed in utah.
@Kalindra:"The true arrogance on the stay issue lies with the State of
Utah and the AG's office. It was their duty to acknowledge the possibility
of a decision against them and request a stay should that happen."They asked for a stay (obviously not timely) but got a 'no' for an
answer anyway. Twice.@DanO:"It's time to face the
facts, marriage equality is coming and fighting it is a waste of time, energy,
and good will."You need to think this through. Marriage
equality cannot mean just hetero- and homosexual marriages if marriage is to
widened by court order beyond one man/one woman.All other marriage
combinations that can be conjured must be included... Such as polygamy,
incestuous marriage, brother/sister, cousins and other close relatives, even
group marriages containing a variety of sexes and ages.If the courts
decide that marriage means something other than one man/one woman you can figure
on kissing (no pun) marriage good-bye.
@Alfred:"All other marriage combinations that can be conjured must be
included..."I would like to be responsible for writing the new
Utah marriage law... It can't be that hard:"Anyone who
wishes to marry for whatever reason, ie, love, intimacy, companionship, family,
children, inheritance, state/federal tax return filing's, hospital
visitations, sharing/transferring of assets, etc., can do so with whomever they
wish, be they a babe in arms or a 110 year old adult, of any sex. Group
marriages of from three to dozens are also authorized."