In breaking “The Fight Ain’t Over” news, Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced today that over 1,300 marriages between same sex couples will no longer be legally recognized. The marriages had previously enjoyed a brief stint of legality before Monday when a Supreme Court stayed a federal judge’s previous ruling that the Constitution required marriage equality. In other words, these unions were recognized, and now they are not.
Gov. Herbert’s decision is not altogether surprising; the state’s Constitution specifies that “[m]arriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman.” The US Constitution, which overrules any state laws, does grant equal rights for gay couples. Today’s decision by Utah’s Republican governor is the latest in the state’s ongoing fight against that protection.
Utah’s same sex couples do have their advocates in positions of power on their side; openly gay Utah State Senator Jim Dabakis married his longtime partner Stephen Justeson last month, stating during the ceremony: “There should not be discrimination. That you have religious marriage and you have civil marriage. And all Utahn’s should be free to marry the person they love.”