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JAHS

Federal Judge Strikes Down Utah’S Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

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As long as it stops with giving gays the right to marry. Looking at the official gay agenda, it will not stop with that. In time, who knows where it will go? In a round about way, perhaps it will lead to easing of condemnation of polygamy, also driven by economic and social factors.

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Gays have been able to legally marry in Utah and every other state in the Union for decades now, they simply did not receive tax benefits for doing so.  If you don't think tax benefits will have any effect then I am unsure what proponents of same-sex marriage are fighting for.

 

-guerreiro9

So maybe we should eliminate the government from recognizing ANY marriage.  Are you ready for that?  I am sure the lawyers in this country would be thrilled with the increased legal work required to pass on inheritance to your spouse, rights to visit people in the hospital, own joint property, joint debt, etc. There are over 1500 laws tied to marriage.  Should we throw all of them out?

 

Quite honestly, I just don't get your objection to allowing gays the legal right to marry.  Why shouldn't tax paying gay couples receive the same tax benefits as straight couples?  If the government would agree to stop taxing me simply because I am gay, I certainly would be willing to not complain about not receiving tax benefits given to married couples simply because I am gay.

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Until the last sentence, I thought we might be jumping off this sinking ship, but as Elder Holland said after the GC when the missionary ages were lowered, "One miracle at a time!"

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Many of the laws pertaining to marriage could be and can be replaced with contract law .Pre-nups do that now. We don't want to derail this thread by discussing how the tax laws as currently constituted are so messed up .

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So maybe we should eliminate the government from recognizing ANY marriage.  Are you ready for that?  I am sure the lawyers in this country would be thrilled with the increased legal work required to pass on inheritance to your spouse, rights to visit people in the hospital, own joint property, joint debt, etc. There are over 1500 laws tied to marriage.  Should we throw all of them out?

 

Quite honestly, I just don't get your objection to allowing gays the legal right to marry.  Why shouldn't tax paying gay couples receive the same tax benefits as straight couples?  If the government would agree to stop taxing me simply because I am gay, I certainly would be willing to not complain about not receiving tax benefits given to married couples simply because I am gay.

 

The removal of government recognition of my marriage would have no effect on my marriage.  My marriage is a covenant between myself, my wife, and god.  If I did not know that it was impossible that I was married in an LDS temple without a valid marriage license I would swear to you that I did not have one, because I don't remember signing one.  

 

If the people of this country feel that there is no benefit in subsidizing any marriage and they vote to remove the subsidization then so be it.  I would support their right to do so, but I would not support a judge individually revoking (or enforcing) this subsidization against the will of the people.

 

I do not believe same sex marriages should receive the same tax benefits as heterosexual marriages, because I do not believe they provide the same level of benefit to society.  This is the whole reason we are subsidizing marriages in the first place.  Less benefit, less subsidization.

 

-guerreiro9

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Gays have been able to legally marry in Utah and every other state in the Union for decades now, they simply did not receive tax benefits for doing so.  If you don't think tax benefits will have any effect then I am unsure what proponents of same-sex marriage are fighting for.

 

-guerreiro9

 

Gays want to get married for the same reason you and I want to get married.  Sure the tax benefits are nice, but did that even enter into your mind when you decided to marry (if you are in fact married)?  Sometimes we talk about gays as if they are some kind of alien species, when in reality they are just like the majority of us straight folks.   

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Gays want to get married for the same reason you and I want to get married.  Sure the tax benefits are nice, but did that even enter into your mind when you decided to marry (if you are in fact married)?  Sometimes we talk about gays as if they are some kind of alien species, when in reality they are just like the majority of us straight folks.   

 

Then can you explain to me what a valid marriage license has to do with any of those reasons?

 

-guerreiro9

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Then can you explain to me what a valid marriage license has to do with any of those reasons?

-guerreiro9

I suggest you take the time to read the ruling. If you aren't able to see the answer to your questions therein, it's unlikely anyone else will be able to explain what you're asking.

"You cannot fill a cup which has already full." One would have to let go of willful ignorance, as a start.

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The removal of government recognition of my marriage would have no effect on my marriage. My marriage is a covenant between myself, my wife, and god. If I did not know that it was impossible that I was married in an LDS temple without a valid marriage license I would swear to you that I did not have one, because I don't remember signing one.

I'm calling your bluff--how about you put your money where your mouth is, get a civil divorce, but keep your temple sealing...? If you want, you and your "wife" could even have a pretend re-"marriage" ceremony (without any government involvement, of course), but I shouldn't be forced to subsidize your marriage, and I just voted not to, since your marriage doesn't personally benefit my children or I in any way.

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I suggest you take the time to read the ruling. If you aren't able to see the answer to your questions therein, it's unlikely anyone else will be able to explain what you're asking.

"You cannot fill a cup which has already full." One would have to let go of willful ignorance, as a start.

 

I have read the ruling.  I disagree.  What in my posts do you find ignorant?  Disagreement is not in and of itself ignorance.

 

I'm calling your bluff--why don't you get a civil divorce, but keep your temple sealing...?

 

There is no way to currently receive a civil divorce without affecting your standing in the Church, so the situation is not a cut and dry as you have presented.

 

I am not a fool and will not turn down tax benefits when offered to me.  I take every opportunity to reduce my tax obligation and this is no exception.  I stand by my statement, dissolution of government recognition of my marriage would not affect my marriage.  It would however mildly affect my wallet which I avoid when possible.

 

-guerreiro9

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There is no way to currently receive a civil divorce without affecting [my] standing in the Church, so the situation is not a cut and dry as you have presented.

Your church isn't important, because at least I'll still be able to get married to my husband in my Unitarian Universalist church, which preserves religious liberty. My religious freedom matters, not yours. I shouldn't be forced to recognize your religion or marriage anyway--I just voted against your marriage, remember...?

 

D

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The Boston Globe weighs in:

Judge overturns Utah’s same-sex marriage ban

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2013/12/20/gay-couples-wed-utah-after-judge-overturns-ban/RJ1H7E7OoHUYDu67vS0PdN/story.html#skip-target

By Brady McCombs |

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban Friday in a decision that marks a drastic shift toward gay marriage in a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it.

The decision set off an immediate frenzy as the clerk in the state’s most populous county began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples while state officials took steps to appeal the ruling and halt the process.

Cheers erupted as the mayor of Salt Lake City led one of the state’s first gay wedding ceremonies in an office building about three miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church. Dozens of other couples were lined up to get marriage licenses.

Deputy Salt Lake County Clerk Dahnelle Burton-Lee said the district attorney authorized her office to begin issuing the licenses but she couldn’t immediately say how many had been issued.

Just hours earlier, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby issued a 53-page ruling saying the constitutional amendment Utah voters approved in 2004 violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment. Shelby said the state failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any way.

‘‘In the absence of such evidence, the State’s unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify the State’s refusal to dignify the family relationships of its gay and lesbian citizens,’’ Shelby wrote.

The decision drew a swift and angry reaction from Utah leaders, including Republican Gov. Gary Herbert.

‘‘I am very disappointed an activist federal judge is attempting to override the will of the people of Utah. I am working with my legal counsel and the acting attorney general to determine the best course to defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah,’’ Herbert said.

The state filed a notice of appeal late Friday and was working on a request for an emergency stay that would stop marriage licenses from being issued to same-sex couples.

‘‘It will probably take a little bit of time to get everything in place,’’ said Ryan Bruckman, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office. Bruckman said the judge told the attorney general’s office that it would be a couple of days before he would review any request for an emergency stay.

The ruling has thrust the judge into the national spotlight less than two years after Congress approved his nomination to the federal bench. Shelby was appointed by President Barack Obama after GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch recommended him in November 2011.

Shelby served in the Utah Army National Guard from 1988 to 1996 and was a combat engineer in Operation Desert Storm. He graduated from the University of Virginia law school in 1998 and clerked for the U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene in Utah, then spent about 12 years in private practice before he became a judge.

Many similar challenges to same-sex marriage bans are pending in other states, but the Utah case has been closely watched because of the state’s history of staunch opposition to gay marriage as the home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The church said in a statement Friday that it stands by its support for ‘‘traditional marriage.’’

‘‘We continue to believe that voters in Utah did the right thing by providing clear direction in the state constitution that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and we are hopeful that this view will be validated by a higher court,’’ the church said.

The Utah ruling comes the same week New Mexico’s highest court legalized gay marriage after declaring it unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. A new law passed in Hawaii last month now allows gay couples to marry there.

If the ruling stands, Utah would become the 18th state to allow gay marriages, said Jon Davidson, director of Lambda Legal, which pursues litigation on LGBT issues nationwide. That’s up from six before the U.S. Supreme Court last summer struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The District of Columbia also allows same-sex marriage.

‘‘The momentum we are seeing is unprecedented in any human rights struggle,’’ Davidson said. ‘‘To have this fast a change in the law and in public opinion, is quite remarkable.’’

State Sen. Jim Dabakis, chairman of the Utah Democratic Party, was one of the first to get married in Salt Lake City with his longtime partner, Stephen Justesen.

‘‘Do you, Jim, take Steven, to be your lawfully wedded spouse?’’ the mayor asked during the ceremony, shortly before a celebration erupted.

Marriage ceremonies were being performed once every few minutes in the lobby of the clerk’s office, each one punctuated by hoots and hollers from the large crowd.

Brian Morris let out a loud yelp after getting married to his partner, who dissolved into tears.

‘‘I'm so exicted,’’ Morris yelled. ‘‘I love you.’’

But at the Utah County clerk’s office in Provo, same sex-couples were still denied marriage licenses.

Patsy Carter, 42, and her partner of eight years, 39-year-old Raylynn Marvel, said they went to the office immediately after hearing about the ruling but the clerk said they office was still reviewing the ruling and consulting with the county attorney.

Carter said the ruling was still a positive step and she believes Utah County, considered one of Utah’s most conservative, will eventually have to start granting the licenses.

‘‘If my marriage licenses could say, ‘Provo, Utah,’ that’s probably the most epic contradiction ever,’’ she said.

Utah’s lawsuit was brought by three gay and lesbian couples, including one that was legally married in Iowa and just wants that license recognized in Utah.

One of the couples that brought the case, Moudi Sbeity and Derek Kitchen, were roasting eggplants for a farmers market Saturday when their lawyer, Peggy Tomsic, called them with the news.

‘‘We had a positive feeling after the hearing on Dec. 4, but it’s still a surprise to hear it,’’ Sbeity said. ‘‘We’re excited and happy and hopeful to see what happens what next.’’

During the nearly four-hour hearing on the case, attorneys for the state argued that Utah’s law promotes the state’s interest in ‘‘responsible procreation’’ and the ‘‘optimal mode of child-rearing.’’ They also asserted it’s not the courts’ role to determine how a state defines marriage, and that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling doesn’t give same-sex couples the universal right to marry.

Another of the couples, Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge, said they were elated.

‘‘I'm just kind of in shock. My brother called and said, ‘When are you getting married?’’ said Wood, 58, an English professor Utah Valley University.

In the ruling, Shelby wrote that the right to marry is a fundamental right protected by the U.S. Constitution.

‘‘These rights would be meaningless if the Constitution did not also prevent the government from interfering with the intensely personal choices an individual makes when that person decides to make a solemn commitment to another human being,’’ Shelby wrote.

Associated Press writers Paul Foy and Michelle Price contributed to this report.

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Your church isn't important, because at least I'll still be able to get married to my husband in my Unitarian Universalist church, which preserves religious liberty. My religious freedom matters, not yours. I shouldn't be forced to recognize your religion or marriage anyway--I just voted against your marriage, remember...?

 

D

 

If this is the most thoughtful and articulate statement you can come up with then you probably do not have much to add to the discussion.

 

-guerreiro9

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If this is the most thoughtful and articulate statement you can come up with then you probably do not have much to add to the discussion.

-guerreiro9

I agree the points I've been making in my last several posts to you are not very thoughtful and don't substantively address the issue, at all.

Perhaps it would be helpful to point out that I've been intentionally employing caricatures of the most common arguments and rationale that anti-gay-marriage opponents usually use against same-sex marriage in an attempt to ironically display the absurdity of said arguments. I call it "irony." ;-) My intention was for you and others to see how vacuous and offensive these tactics really are.

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From the ruling:

Although the State did not directly present an argument based on religious freedom, the court notes that its decision does not mandate any change for religious institutions, which may continue to express their own moral viewpoints and define their own traditions about marriage. If anything, the recognition of same-sex marriage expands religious freedom because some churches that have congregations in Utah desire to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies but are currently unable to do so.

See Brief of Amici Curiae Bishops et al., at 8-15, United States v.Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013) (No. 12-307) (arguing that the inherent dignity of lesbian and gay individuals informs the theology of numerous religious beliefs, including the UnitarianUniversalist Church and the United Church of Christ). By recognizing the right to marry a partner of the same sex, the State allows these groups the freedom to practice their religious beliefs without mandating that other groups must adopt similar practices."

The logic here is astonishingly airtight. This judge is amazing. I have no doubt it will affect and be quoted in a future SCOTUS ruling.

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I agree the points I've been making in my last several posts to you are not very thoughtful and don't substantively address the issue, at all.

Perhaps it would be helpful to point out that I've been intentionally employing caricatures of the most common arguments and rationale that anti-gay-marriage opponents usually use against same-sex marriage in an attempt to ironically display the absurdity of said arguments. I call it "irony." ;-) My intention was for you and others to see how vacuous and offensive these tactics really are.

 

I didn't find your tactics offensive.  I did worry that maybe you had fallen from your computer and smacked your head as your comments did not appear in line with previous discussions.

 

I think it is becoming increasingly difficult to have rational conversations about topics about which we disagree.  You lump me in with others and saddle me with baggage which frankly I do not have.

 

I am glad that today's decision brought many people joy.  It appears you are one of those excited by the decision, enjoy it.  Your side has fought long and hard for it.

 

I disagree with the decision, primarily because of the way it was handled.  I do not think it is a judges place to make law, a place which they are occupying more and more often.  If it had been voted on by the people and the voice of the people had been in favor of it, I would have accepted it and moved on.  This, however is a dangerous precedent.  Lest we forgot, one of the founding events of our country happened because the colonist were obliged to pay a tax which they did not vote for.

 

 Our society has a difficult time dealing with ambiguity.  They like to label something as either completely wrong or completely right when this is rarely the case.

 

I do not view same sex marriage as evil, but I also do not believe it provides the same benefit to society as heterosexual marriage.  Perhaps it is my training as a scientist and engineer, but this seems pretty clear cut to me, you place your resources in the area that provides the greatest return.  Based on what I have seen that is heterosexual marriage.

 

Our society is becoming increasingly unwilling to label anything as "better" or of more value than another.  But the fact of the matter is some behaviors, cultural traits, and lifestyles are better suited to bring prosperity to our country than others.  We should encourage those and subsidize those even if proponents of less efficient methods feel discriminated against.

 

-guerreiro9 

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Then can you explain to me what a valid marriage license has to do with any of those reasons?

-guerreiro9

Its what it represents, a loving committed relationship. Gays being allowed to marry would affect a very small percentage of the population, my guess around 1%. Is saving a possible few dollars more important to you than denying a committed loving couple the right to marry?

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what did the church say of the recent US district court ruling to decriminalize cohabitation in Utah, particularly religious cohabitation for polygamists in Utah?

http://m.sltrib.com/sltrib/mobile3/56894145-219/utah-polygamy-waddoups-ruling.html.csppolygamists mormons in Utah

I haven't seen one, I can't imagine any upside to the Church doing so. I have only read half of the opinion, but it looks like the Utah Prosecutor who brought the case kind of wished he hadn't . What I found most interesting in the opinion was disclosure of the Utah Attorney Generals internal policy not to bring clean polygamy cases. By that I mean they don't prosecute polygamy unless some other crime is involved like underage sex or welfare fraud or actually obtaining multiple marriage licenses. I doubt the AG will appeal the decision, and I doubt the Church would want to see the case appealed. The Judge clearly thought that the reasoning in US v Reynolds was totally unacceptable, but would not hold against it because it had been recently referenced by the SCOTUS. There is a very good chance that if a clean polygamy case made its way to the SCOTUS, the polygamy cases would all get overruled , something I doubt the Church would welcome right now.

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Its what it represents, a loving committed relationship. Gays being allowed to marry would affect a very small percentage of the population, my guess around 1%. Is saving a possible few dollars more important to you than denying a committed loving couple the right to marry?

 

I have said nothing about denying same sex couples the right to marry.  You define marriage rights differently than I do.  I believe we have a fundamental right to chose who we spend our lives with.  We have a right to form committed loving relationships with whom we chose.  We have a right to have intimacy within those relationships.

 

We do not have a right to demand that others extend tax benefits to subsidize our chosen relationship.  If enough people view our relationship as beneficial and wish to subsidize it then wonderful.  Tax benefits do not rise to the level of an unalienable right in my book.

 

Sexuality does not exist in a bubble, it is strongly affected by our culture.  The more we promote same sex relationships, the more people will enter into them, thus depriving society of the more beneficial heterosexual relationships.

 

I do not think same sex relationships are bad, and they should be provided with some benefits especially when children are involved, but I do not believe they should be treated equally with heterosexual marriage.

 

-guerreiro9

 

NOTICE:  Two threads on same topic have been merged.

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I haven't seen one, I can't imagine any upside to the Church doing so. I have only read half of the opinion, but it looks like the Utah Prosecutor who brought the case kind of wished he hadn't . What I found most interesting in the opinion was disclosure of the Utah Attorney Generals internal policy not to bring clean polygamy cases. By that I mean they don't prosecute polygamy unless some other crime is involved like underage sex or welfare fraud or actually obtaining multiple marriage licenses. I doubt the AG will appeal the decision, and I doubt the Church would want to see the case appealed. The Judge clearly thought that the reasoning in US v Reynolds was totally unacceptable, but would not hold against it because it had been recently referenced by the SCOTUS. There is a very good chance that if a clean polygamy case made its way to the SCOTUS, the polygamy cases would all get overruled , something I doubt the Church would welcome right now.

Oops this got posted on wrong thread sorry.

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I have said nothing about denying same sex couples the right to marry.  You define marriage rights differently than I do.  I believe we have a fundamental right to chose who we spend our lives with.  We have a right to form committed loving relationships with whom we chose.  We have a right to have intimacy within those relationships.

 

We do not have a right to demand that others extend tax benefits to subsidize our chosen relationship.  If enough people view our relationship as beneficial and wish to subsidize it then wonderful.  Tax benefits do not rise to the level of an unalienable right in my book.

 

Sexuality does not exist in a bubble, it is strongly affected by our culture.  The more we promote same sex relationships, the more people will enter into them, thus depriving society of the more beneficial heterosexual relationships.

 

I do not think same sex relationships are bad, and they should be provided with some benefits especially when children are involved, but I do not believe they should be treated equally with heterosexual marriage.

 

-guerreiro9

 

NOTICE:  Two threads on same topic have been merged.

As soon as you start to take an active role in eliminating all tax benefits for all marriages than I will take your statement seriously.  If you truely believe in this principle then you should start with your own marriage and refuse any tax advantages your marriage receives.  Let us know when you follow through with your beliefs.  

 

Perhaps you are living in the wrong country if you believe that some peoples marriages just because they are gay should be treated any differently than heterosexual marriages.  In this country, it is the duty of the court to enforce the constitution which is built on a principle of equality for all Americans.  That means that THIS government believes all marriages should be treated equally.

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As soon as you start to take an active role in eliminating all tax benefits for all marriages than I will take your statement seriously.  If you truely believe in this principle then you should start with your own marriage and refuse any tax advantages your marriage receives.  Let us know when you follow through with your beliefs.  

 

Perhaps you are living in the wrong country if you believe that some peoples marriages just because they are gay should be treated any differently than heterosexual marriages.  In this country, it is the duty of the court to enforce the constitution which is built on a principle of equality for all Americans.  That means that THIS government believes all marriages should be treated equally.

 

I haven't written anything about eliminating tax benefits for all marriages, why would taking an active role in their elimination make my statements more believable?

 

The constitution mandates that people should be treated equally, but does not mandates that all behaviors should be.  If the constitution actually says that all behaviors should be treated equally then we need to change our constitution.  If judges are just interpreting the constitution to mandate that all behaviors are treated equally then we need new judges.

 

As far as I can tell every adult in the country has the same right as any other to engage in a heterosexual or homosexual marriage as the constitution mandates.  The constitution does not say these two behaviors should be treated equally, but you are right that many judges have interpreted it this way.

 

If one behavior provides more benefits than another, and if all are equally free to engage in this behavior, I see no conflict in promoting that behavior over another.

 

-guerreiro9 

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I haven't written anything about eliminating tax benefits for all marriages, why would taking an active role in their elimination make my statements more believable?

 

The constitution mandates that people should be treated equally, but does not mandates that all behaviors should be.  If the constitution actually says that all behaviors should be treated equally then we need to change our constitution.  If judges are just interpreting the constitution to mandate that all behaviors are treated equally then we need new judges.

 

As far as I can tell every adult in the country has the same right as any other to engage in a heterosexual or homosexual marriage as the constitution mandates.  The constitution does not say these two behaviors should be treated equally, but you are right that many judges have interpreted it this way.

 

If one behavior provides more benefits than another, and if all are equally free to engage in this behavior, I see no conflict in promoting that behavior over another.

 

-guerreiro9 

So you are ok with tax benefits for marriage?  Good to hear.

 

If you are married in this country, you receive the legal rights that come from being married.  There is no criteria on how you behave or what you do in that marriage for ANYONE.  A husband that cheats on his wife, a wife that is an abusive mother, parents that use their children as weapons against each other all receive the same marital benefits.  Married couples do not report to social services before qualifying for those benefits.

 

The judge is simply affirming that the right to marry extends to all Americans.  This is not a complicated concept.  And it is not the first time the courts have made such a declaration.  The Supreme Court has previously ruled 17 times that marriage is a right in this country.  The reason we even have judges is to protect the rights of all Americans guarenteed in the constitution.  Those rights can not be voted away from a minority simply because the majority in Utah wants to withhold those rights.  Is it really any surprise that the judge ruled to uphold the right for equal protection?

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