Being a student at Dixie State University on the cusp of its evolution into a university is nothing short of thrilling; the state of Utah is going under a similar evolution in its changing views on same-sex marriage.
In March, three same-sex couples living in Utah filed a challenge against the Utah Constitution Amendment 3. This lawsuit was filed on behalf of Utah citizens who want the same right to marry that opposite-sex couples have, not only for the legal rights that automatically flow from a state sanctioned marriage, but the dignity and equality that comes from marriage.
The state’s answer came in a 13-page file to the federal court on Aug. 12, 2013. It stated that marriage between and man and woman is a “constitutionally protected fundamental right and/or liberty interest.”
It was a big step backward in 2004 when anti-gay forces in Utah pushed through the Utah Constitutional Amendment 3; it excludes same-sex couples from marriage and prohibits same-sex couples from any other form of legal family status.
While a perpetual state of denial may have worked in the past, that attitude is outdated for the times, and it’s time to recognize the reality of the same-sex marriage situation.
It’s a fair argument to say people in Utah simple don’t agree with the idea of homosexual couple joining in holy matrimony. However, they allow the couples to be together and do as they please. That is okay, but the changes a repeal on Amendment 3 could pose detrimental effects on Utah communities. Change may come too fast and the gay-rights movement would risk a huge blow to their cause.
I wonder about the sort of effort it takes for the Utah politicians to hold up a fight against the challenges they think homosexual couples uphold. How much money do anti-gay marriage groups spend per year? How much valued time was spent writing that 13-page file on an issue long-since debated about when officials could have spent that time on more pressing matters in the state?
I’m not one to judge how people spend their time; I might be considered a real slacker if people knew I was actually playing video games or BLM camping when I told them I was working by the sweat of my brow on an upcoming article deadline.
But even politicians must have a set of priorities. It’s a shame that anti-gay marriage interests are sometimes at the top of the list.
Same-sex couples in Utah have priorities too: receiving state and federal recognition of their marriage rights, knowing they can own a home together, being able to raise their kids, and filing joint tax returns.
These are all things heterosexual married couples can do with ease and not worry about the restrictions of the law against them. They are the same wishes any two people in love would hope for.
The solution is plain and simple: Just let it happen. It’s a painless act to allow people in love to receive the same privileges as ones not in a heterosexual relationship.
Let the men and women who want to spend the rest of their lives together do just that with ease and peace by allowing the revision to Utah’s unfair constitutional amendments.