A federal judge in Utah has just struck down that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Because he did not “stay” his ruling for higher court review, same-sex couples are now filing for marriage licenses.
“Applying the law as it is required to do, the court holds that Utah’s prohibition on same-sex marriage conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process under the law,” the ruling states. “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. Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”
“The State of Utah has provided no evidence that opposite-sex marriage will be affected in any way by same-sex marriage. In the absence of such evidence, the State’s unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify the State’s refusal to dignify the family relationships of its gay and lesbian citizens. Moreover, the Constitution protects the Plaintiffs’ fundamental rights, which include the right to marry and the right to have that marriage recognized by their government. These rights would be meaningless if the Constitution did not also prevent the government from interfering with the intensely personal choices an individual makes when that person decides to make a solemn commitment to another human being. The Constitution therefore protects the choice of one’s partner for all citizens, regardless of their sexual identity.”
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