In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the 7 petitions it was considering on the question of same-sex marriage, effectively overturning bans on same-sex marriage in 5 states including Utah, a Utah lawmaker has introduced a bill that would officially refer to marriages between same-sex couples as "pairages." The New York Times reports:
Just hours after a curt order from the United States Supreme Court on Monday opened the door to same-sex marriages in 11 states, State Representative Kraig Powell, a Republican opponent of same-sex marriage, opened a bill file in the Utah legislature to revise marriage statutes. He suggested rewriting the law to refer to same-sex marriages as “pairages” — an idea that one openly gay Utah lawmaker, State Senator Jim Dabakis, dismissed as so discriminatory that it represented “apartheid marriage.”
But Mr. Powell said the legislature might need to change its laws to reflect what he called the innate differences between a straight couple who are both the biological parents of a child and a same-sex couples who are not. And he said that even the heading that groups the state marriage laws — “Husband and Wife” — would now need rethinking.
“It’s going to start from the very title page,” Mr. Powell said. “If anyone thinks that’s just a technical process, changing wording here and there, they’re mistaken.” He added: “The differences between a same-sex relationship and an opposite-sex relationship are large enough that maybe we ought to recognize the difference between them.”
You'll recall that Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes promised to uphold the 10th Circuit Court's ruling after the Supreme Court decided not to weigh in on the challenge to Utah's marriage ban. Said Reyes on Monday, "We are a state and a people who believe in upholding the law of the land and that has been determined for us today in a way that may be not satisfactory for some, but it is the law of the land."
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