Marriage equality is on hold in Utah, even though it should not be. Slightly more than 1300 couples, like the couple to the right, married in Utah's equality window. The anti-gay leaders of this conservative state are on course to fight for discrimination all the way to the Supreme Court. That course began yesterday. Utah's Republican Governor Gary Herbert put recognition of those marriages on hold: his state agencies will not recognize the marriages until there has been a final disposition of the case. This entire situation demands we ask several questions: What of the 1300-odd marriages performed in Utah's equality window? Are they valid? Will they be undone if marriage discrimination is upheld? Should the state recognize them as married? Will the federal government recognize them as married.
These are real-world, Main Street concerns. The turn of the calendar to 2014 brings tax questions. Plus, uncertainty as to the legal status of a marriage could delay family planning, relocation, and employment decisions, to say nothing of the stress, anxiety, and associated depression that can result from living in a state of limbo.
The problem is that this limbo was foisted upon loving, committed couples by conservatives hell bent on discriminating against gays for no other stated reason than to maintain the status quo. This really puts the injustice of the stay and the appeal into stark relief.
At the end of the day, the marriages should be valid, at the state and federal level, regardless of what ultimately happens with this particular case.
I discuss why, AFTER THE JUMP...