It’s been a busy weekend for love in Utah. After a federal judge struck down Utah’s gay marriage ban on Friday, the state literally erupted in gay weddings, despite the best efforts of Utah’s Republican leaders to, as they’re wont to do, kill love.
And today is Mormonism founder Joseph Smith’s 208th birthday. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the birthday of a man that had 34 wives, than the delicious mess that’s currently taking place in Utah as gay couples continue to rush to get married, and the courts continue to shrug in almost a judicial version of “what’s the big deal?”, as the homophobic Mormon Republicans attempt to shut it all down.
The marriages are continuing, the Republican Mormons are still trying to stop them. And to add to the fun, a federal judge in Ohio just struck down that state’s gay marriage ban too! Kinda of. The judge limited his ruling to recognizing gay marriages only for the purposes of death certificates. So you have to die in order for Ohio to recognize your marriage. Brilliant. Still, as the story notes, this is going to have repercussions for future cases as it’s hard to believe the gay marriage ban is unconstitutional for this purpose, but not for any other.
Now back to the big gay mess in Utah. There are a gazillion updates. I’m going to link to them, because there simply are too many to cover.
Five Utah counties, showing blatant contempt for federal law on matters of marriage (sound familiar?), are refusing to process the marriages of gay couples, and are instead closing their offices down entirely. It’s the old “better to close down the city pool than let those black folks in” strategy. How “Christian” of them, right before Christmas.
But in lots of other places, the marriages are continuing – and then some.
The lines are endless at the Salt Lake County offices, reports Equality Utah. Note the lines going all the way to the second floor in this photo:
Here’s a shot in Weber County from this weekend – look at those lines:
Here’s some video that Equality Utah posted to Facebook (ugh), sideways (ugh), and then didn’t make embeddable (ugh). So I’m embedding the entire FB post itself, hoping that this works. Now would be a good time for my rant about activists rarely making it easy for the rest of us to promote their cause by giving us video we can use. This should have been posted on YouTube, for starters. And if it has to go on FB, make the video itself embeddable. Please. /rant
You really have to smile at how the haters always like to talk about what deranged, immoral perverts we are, yet we perverts are showing up in droves to get settled down, while the holier-than-thous are the ones attempting to stop us from having monogamous traditional relationships.
Seth Anderson, who was I think, along with his husband Michael, might have been the first to get married in Salt Lake City on Friday, walks us through the irony:
Today, December 23, Republican Governor Gary Herbert has declared the State of Utah will go before a judge to ”defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah.” I don’t know how he can say that as a Utahan and as a Mormon. Traditional marriage in Utah is non-traditional. How delightfully ironic that today, December 23, Mormons will remember the birthday of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, a man who had 34 wives, 1/3 of whom married Joseph while simultaneously married to other men, and 1/3 of whom were under the age of 20. The founder of Salt Lake City and colonizer of Utah, Brigham Young, had 55 wives and 34 children. 21 of his wives had never been married, 16 were widows, 6 were divorced, and 6 had living husbands.
Governor Herbert knows all this, he’s just trying to save face and appease the rabidly homophobic Mormon constituency in Utah. Plus he’s trying to make up for how ill prepared and incompetently the state acted on Friday.
And as I’ve noted before, the fact that a ton of marriages of gay couples have already taken place makes this entire affair all the more difficult for the Mormon Republicans to overcome, legally or otherwise. Are the courts really going to un-marry potentially thousands of gay couples? Doubtful. But can the court leave some gays married but tell others that they’ll never be permitted to marry? I would suggest that that’s legally untenable in the long-term, as it suggests that even with the same class, some get rights that others aren’t permitted. Good luck defending that one in court.
What a delicious day.