Utah Federal District Judge Robert J. Shelby issued a ruling today striking down an amendment to Utah’s Constitution that required marriage can take place only between a man and a woman. Judge Shelby said the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violates due process and equal protection under the law outlined in the US Constitution.
In his decision, Judge Shelby wrote, “The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of those same-sex couples for no rational reason. Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”
Almost as soon as the ruling was read, couples began lining up at the Salt Lake County Clerk’s office for marriage licenses. Marriage ceremonies were performed at the City and County Complex at 2100 South and State Street.
The Utah Attorney General’s Office says they are drafting a motion to get a stay on the ruling.
Governor Gary Herbert expressed his disappointment in the ruling, calling Judge Shelby an “activist judge,” and declared he will work with the Attorney General in order to “determine the best course to defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah.”
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Source: KUTV News, FOX 13 News, KSL News, Utah Policy.com, Salt Lake Tribune