SALT LAKE CITY – With the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 5-4 decision declaring same-sex marriage a constitutional right Friday, politicians, institutions and others across Utah have been quick to issue statements regarding their stance on the issue.
Though the Supreme Court’s ruling now makes same-sex marriage legal across the nation, it has been legal in Utah without interruption since October 2014.
At the time the Supreme Court declined to hear Utah’s appeal concerning Amendment 3, the state’s own same-sex marriage ban. Amendment 3 had been struck down as unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby in December 2013 and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently upheld Shelby’s ruling.
Over 1,300 same-sex couples were married across Utah between Dec. 20, 2013 and Jan. 6, 2014, following Shelby’s ruling.
The Supreme Court approved a stay on Shelby’s ruling Jan. 6, 2014, putting future same-sex marriages in Utah on hold until the high court ultimately decided not to hear the issue last October.
Gov. Gary Herbert
Marriage, as defined by the people of Utah, has been redefined, first by the federal courts and today the outcome of that decision has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. I am disappointed with the decision by the court to usurp state authority and overrule the voice of the people of Utah as demonstrated by legislation with regard to marriage. I am also very concerned with the overwhelming trend to diminish state autonomy. I believe states should have the right to determine their own laws regarding marriage. Clearly, the majority of the justices disagree and their decision provides finality with respect to the law.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah
The issue of same-sex marriage involves deeply held convictions on all sides of the debate. While I oppose discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, I do not support redefining the fundamental nature of marriage as between a man and a woman. But now that the Supreme Court has spoken, I will do everything in my power to ensure that this decision does not infringe on important concerns such as our fundamental right to the free exercise of religion.
Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah
In light of today’s ruling by the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage, we must remember to treat each other with kindness and love.
I personally believe that marriage is best defined between one man and one woman and I wish that the courts would have deferred to the states on this divisive issue. Moving forward, we must now work to protect the rights guaranteed in the First Amendment respecting the establishment of religion and allowing the free exercise thereof.
Utah House Democratic Leader Brian King
Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a great thing. It is the culmination of the work of many U.S. federal district and circuit court judges over many years. These judges have struggled to reconcile the difficult legal and Constitutional issues same sex marriage presents to our country.
We know this has been a divisive issue. And we recognize that each individual has the right to their own moral and religious beliefs regarding same sex marriage. But we welcome this ruling because it makes clear that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not acceptable under the Constitution and that families of all types are entitled to protection under the law. All people are created equal in this country and they deserve equal rights. As such, today’s ruling is a tremendous legal victory for not just the LGBTQ community but for all of us. The finality this ruling brings to this legal issue will help us move forward as a more united society.
Sen. James Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City
Dr. Martin Luther King said the, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
This momentous day of equality has been a long time coming for Utah but it’s here. The system works. Justice prevailed.
I want to reassure my fellow Utahns who sincerely disagree with the Supreme Court decision today–that as a Democrat and as a gay man Utahn–that I am used to losing–and I understand your pain. But I am hopeful that over the coming months and years we can all come together with civility and respect for all in our community. Especially with those with whom we have serious differences. That ability to disagree yet live together in the same community, with civility and respect is the foundation of our democracy.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court’s decision does not alter the Lord’s doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice.
The Church has outlined its doctrine and position on marriage in the document The Divine Institution of Marriage.
Spencer W. Clark, executive director of Mormons for Equality
This is a beautiful day for so many families and we applaud the Court’s ruling. But our work is not done. Alongside changing the laws, we must continue to change hearts. For over two decades Mormons have feared – and fought – civil marriage equality. It will take time to overcome and repent of our past, but as we’ve seen already, the more that we come to know same-sex couples and their children, the more we discover that our fears were misplaced. Mormons believe in the importance of families, and for increasing numbers of Mormons, that means all families.
Utah Pride Center
The Utah Pride Center is thrilled with the Supreme Court decision granting full marriage equality across the United States. Strong families are a hallmark value of our state, and this ruling provides constitutional clarity that the rights of individuals and of LGBTQ families are protected by the same ideals for which our country’s founders fought.
While Utah LGBTQ couples have had full equal rights within the state, they can now travel or move across the entirety of their country knowing their status doesn’t change by crossing a border, that they are equal everywhere they go. Today we stand with all the current families, and future families, throughout the United States who are now equal in the eyes of the law of their country.
Connor Boyack, president of the Libertas Institute
Our LGBT friends have good reason to be happy today, but those concerned about our laws and legal structure have great cause for alarm. As Chief Justice Roberts said in his dissent, ‘The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent… Just who do we think we are?”
Today’s opinion—and let’s be clear, that’s all it is—provides an opportunity for lawmakers to reconsider their long-standing support for government intervention in such an important societal relationship. In the coming months, we will be encouraging elected officials to consider a proposal to repeal government licensure of marriage, allowing churches, notaries public, and others to privately officiate and sanction these unions.
Despite what some lawyers think, there is no ‘fundamental right’ to a government permission slip. The long-standing violation of the sacred union of marriage — encouraged by those looking to shape society to match their vision — needs to be fixed.
The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City
Today the Supreme Court of the United States decided state marriage bans are unconstitutional, meaning all states will perform and recognize same-sex marriage. This decision, though significant, does not conclude debate over the definition of marriage. As the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City responded when U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, so we again affirm our pastoral response.
As Catholics, we seek to uphold our traditional belief in marriage as a sacrament, a well established and divinely revealed covenant between one man and one woman, a permanent and exclusive bond meant to provide a nurturing environment for children and the fundamental building block to a just society.
At the same time, we respect the dignity of all persons, not wishing to undermine their pursuit of happiness but only to preserve and defend the gift of marriage as divinely revealed in scripture and in natural law. Although we respectfully disagree with those who would define marriage otherwise, we firmly hold that all persons are loved by our compassionate God and deserve the respect and dignity that is inherently theirs as human beings.
We acknowledge the right of our nation’s highest court to provide for a well ordered society by establishing laws that protect the common good and safeguard the civil and contractual rights and privileges of its citizens. At the same time, we urge our lawmakers and judges to respect those institutions that are beyond state and federal jurisdiction, institutions such as sacramental marriage that transcend civil law and whose origins precede the existence of the state and go beyond its competence.
- Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide
- Utahns respond to Supreme Court hearing same-sex marriage case
- Supreme Court hears arguments on same-sex marriage
- Governor says Utah will recognize same-sex marriage
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