Gay Folks Are Going to the chapel, gonna get married . . . IN UTAH!

Take a minute to scroll through the pictures in this article from the Deseret News – the photos of Matt Barraza and Tony Milner were taken in my home congregation, Holladay United Church of Christ.  Our pastor, Tom Nordberg, has been with us exactly two weeks and this is the first wedding he’s performed in our congregation.  A legal, same sex wedding in Utah in a church by an honest to God real live ordained minister.  I  never thought I’d see it.  But I was there watching it.  This thing really happened.

There’s a petition at Move On urging the governor to let the Judge’s ruling stand.  Please take a minute and sign it.

If you want to get married in Utah, do it now.  I’m hearing that some county clerk’s offices are open today – call and find out and get down there and get married!


  1. #1 by Becky Stauffer on December 21, 2013 - 1:09 pm

    What a joyous day! I always believed this day would come to Utah, but I was certain we would be one of the last states. I’m so proud and happy equal marriage is now the law in Utah. I’ve signed the petition.

    • #2 by Glenden Brown on December 21, 2013 - 7:11 pm

      Becky – I think everyone was surprised yesterday, some pleasantly and some not so pleasantly. I was following on facebook and I know at least four couples who got married yesterday.

      An attorney friend of mine pointed out that Utah may not get a stay on the law – New Jersey requested one and didn’t get it – because the court looked at the case and determined they had a poor chance of success. Utah did a poor job defending the law and Judge Shelby smacked their arguments down pretty decisively.

  2. #3 by cav on December 21, 2013 - 3:07 pm

    And we’re gonna back up into that ‘real, live, honest God’ in 5,4 3,..

  3. #4 by Richard Warnick on December 21, 2013 - 8:24 pm

    Gov. Herbert says this decision “has created a chaotic situation in our state” – as in numerous heads exploding. It’s great to be reminded our beloved Constitution is a living document that can still afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted!

    The same week as the NSA surveillance of Americans was ruled unconstitutional.

    • #5 by Glenden Brown on December 21, 2013 - 9:00 pm

      I saw the guv’s remark. It’s not chaos. It’s the fear that this gain is incredibly fragile and people are rushing to get married while the window is open. I hope the various county clerks can marry ten thousand people Monday morning before the hearings that have been scheduled.

    • #6 by Nathan Erkkila on December 21, 2013 - 9:26 pm

      In the end, Herbert had the choice of being seen on the right side of history or the wrong side. I see no difference between banning gay marriage and banning interracial marriage and neither will historians.

      • #7 by Glenden Brown on December 21, 2013 - 9:31 pm

        In his decisions, Judge Shelby explicitly compared this case to Loving v Virginia and the ban on same sex marriage to the ban on interracial marriage.

        The big question Utah could not answer was “How does the ban on same sex marriage advance a legitimate and compelling state interest?” The same question Virginia could not answer in the Loving case.

  4. #8 by Larry Bergan on December 21, 2013 - 9:47 pm

    Judge Unleashes an Epic Tornado!


    Sit down, shut up, and reflect.

  5. #9 by Becky Stauffer on December 22, 2013 - 7:19 am

    The “chaos” may have something to do with Ruzicka on a broomstick. On several TV stations, she was foaming at the mouth about “immorality” while criticizing the Gov and interim Attorney General for not being prepared with the appeal and stay, resulting in all those marriages (she didn’t actually call them marriages). Almost immediately the Gov and AG announced the appeal, stay, etc. How scared are Utah politicians of Gayle?

    I agree with your comments, Glendon. Utah presented a terrible case and it will be surprising if a stay is granted now. I’m no lawyer, but I think they are not allowed to introduce new arguments in the appeal but can only address errors in the original trial. Do you know if this is correct?

    There will be a lot of people lined up tomorrow morning at the country clerk offices. I wonder if all counties will issue licenses. I’m particularly watching Utah County.

    • #10 by Glenden Brown on December 22, 2013 - 7:47 am

      You have good timing – I just published a post linking to Ruzicka’s channel 2 interview. She was bad.

      As far as the appeal goes, my understanding is that they are limited to the facts introduced in the original trial – they cannot introduce new evidence or new arguments. The court is not obliged to grant a stay; I think Judge Shelby will reject the request for a stay, the 10th circuit might grant one. I think tomorrow morning, there are going to be huge lines at county clerk offices all over the state.

      I’m betting dollars to doughnuts Utah county will not issue marriage licenses – they will have to be forced to do it.

      FWIW, I think the Weber County clerk is a class act – he wanted to open, was overruled, and offered a personal apology to the folks who waiting in line to get marriage licenses. That’s integrity. I feel for the folks who showed up and waited, but as a public official, he did what he could and he did it well. That deserves praise.

    • #11 by Richard Warnick on December 22, 2013 - 9:17 am

      Any Utah counties that refuse to allow equal rights to same-sex couples will be in violation of a federal court order. Don’t know what would happen in that event.

    • #12 by cav on December 22, 2013 - 9:20 am

      I think portraying Madam Ruzicka as associated with Paganism can be construed as a massive slight to Witches the world around.

      • #13 by Becky Stauffer on December 22, 2013 - 6:38 pm

        Good point, Cav. Not that smart and crafty. The way she babbled, she was clearly rattled. I can imagine the calling tree now lighting up the phones of Utah officials (whom she called “incompetent”).

  6. #14 by Larry Bergan on December 22, 2013 - 8:50 am


  7. #15 by Becky Stauffer on December 22, 2013 - 6:26 pm

    The 10th Circuit has denied the stay. I would say it is unlikely Judge Shelby will approve a stay on his own decision. Let the marriages proceed!

  8. #16 by Shane on December 22, 2013 - 6:49 pm

    Becky, read the reason the state is requesting a stay. It is hilarious.

    “If the ruling is overturned those gay couples allowed to marry will be harmed.”

    If that is their concern, why not drop the issue and allow gays to marry? Doesn’t that fix the issue?

    • #17 by Becky Stauffer on December 22, 2013 - 7:29 pm

      Yeah, that made me laugh, too.

    • #18 by cav on December 22, 2013 - 7:52 pm

      PS. Shane and Becky. It’s nice to see you two around.

      • #19 by Becky Stauffer on December 22, 2013 - 7:57 pm

        Thanks, Cav. Nice to see you, too. I’m always around somewhere, but spending a good deal of my time grandmothering these days.

      • #20 by Shane on December 23, 2013 - 1:17 pm

        Yeah, I should be grading papers, but some things are too great to pass up!

  9. #21 by Brady Williams on December 23, 2013 - 6:49 pm

    How fast is it going to be before the polygamists line up at the courthouse demanding their equal protection?

    • #22 by Nathan Erkkila on December 23, 2013 - 9:19 pm

      Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. When people say Mormons don’t practice polygamy, I laugh. There are polygamists and they aren’t really prosecuted in this state either.

    • #23 by Shane on December 24, 2013 - 9:09 am

      Sorry, maybe you missed it, but that day in court just happened as well.

      • #24 by Larry Bergan on December 24, 2013 - 3:14 pm


      • #25 by Brady Williams on December 25, 2013 - 7:45 pm

        So I get my multiple marriage licenses now? Equal protection!

        • #26 by cav on December 26, 2013 - 9:13 am

          Yes. And some of your brides and grooms are going to be your same sex. Icky, I know.

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