The War Is Over, Everybody! They’re Getting Gay Married in Utah Right Now!

"The Book of More Men," Amirite?Utah
just became
the ninth state in 2013 to begin legally
recognizing same-sex marriage.  It happened just a couple of
hours ago and people are already getting
marriage licenses
. The Salt Lake Tribune

A federal judge in Utah Friday struck down the state’s ban on
same-sex marriage, saying the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s
guarantees of equal protection and due process.

“The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens
their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the
dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason,” wrote
U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby. “Accordingly, the court
finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”

Shelby’s ruling is the first decision to address whether a state
may ban same-sex marriages or refuse to recognize legal same-sex
marriages since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision this
summer that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The
Utah judge ruled just 16 days after he heard arguments in the case
and well before his self-imposed deadline to render a decision by
Jan. 7, when the next hearing in the matter was to be held.

“It feels unreal,” said Moudi Sbeity, who with his partner Derek
L. Kitchen were plaintiffs in the case. “I’m just very thrilled
that Derek and I will be able to get married soon, if all goes well
and the state doesn’t appeal. We want a farmer’s market wedding
because it’s where we spend a lot of time.”

The full ruling is
. Some may be amused to note that Shelby actually quotes
Justice Antonin Scalia’s warning from his dissent in Lawrence
v. Texas
(which overturned sodomy laws) that the majority
opinion opened to door for this very ruling. He says that Scalia
was absolutely correct, but obviously Shelby sees this consequence
very differently from Scalia.

When they’re getting gay-married married in Utah, folks, the war
is over. It does leave one to wonder which state will be the last
to recognize gay marriage (presuming there isn’t another Supreme
Court decision in the future).

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