Responses to same-sex marriages being legal again in Utah

Happy People

Plaintiff Moudi Sbeity

“Today we became Americans, with the full protections and rights guaranteed to us under the United States Constitution. Today we were given the opportunity to live as freely as our neighbors do, and as lovingly as our family does. We are so honored, and happy, to finally say that we can say ‘I Do,’ and that many loving couples across our state can stand united as a family, with equal protections to each other and their children. This isn’t where we expected our fight to end, and it surely has not ended yet, because there still are many Americans out there that do not have the same rights as we have now been granted. But it is a day to rejoice, because we are that much closer to becoming a united country that believes in the right to love. Thank you all for the love and support you have shown us, for standing with us, and for making Utah a place to call home. Congratulations to all of the couples out there, and we cannot wait to get married in our home state!”

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker:

“Today is a historic day for equal rights in Utah. I wish to congratulate all of the married couples in Salt Lake City who will now have their relationships legally recognized. This is a momentous occasion for civil rights in our state and nation.”

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill:

“We were pleased with the U.S. Supreme Court’s order this morning taking decisive action on the important issues of same sex marriage and the related fundamental constitutional rights of all Utahns.

Although the Supreme Court’s decision to deny certiorari in all pending cases does not conclusively resolve the issue nationwide, it does provide clarity in Utah and other states where marriage bans were struck down as unconstitutional. In all those states, the intermediate appellate courts had stayed their decisions, i.e., put them on hold, pending action by the Supreme Court.

Given the fundamental constitutional rights at stake, we have every confidence the Tenth Circuit—in light of today’s Supreme Court order declining to hear the Utah case (or any other)—will act swiftly to enter its mandate and lift the stay order.

The Salt Lake County Clerk will begin issuing licenses to same sex couples as soon as the stay is lifted and she is legally authorized to do so.”

Utah House Democrats, Rep. Jennifer Seelig, House Minority Leader

“We support Utah families. We are excited to know that same sex couples are no longer in legal limbo, and have a chance to be made whole with the legal recognition of their unions. We encourage our Attorney General and Governor to move forward, confirming these spouses’ rights to their children and each other. Today is a day to celebrate. We understand that this decision did not come lightly, from Judge Shelby all the way to the Supreme Court. We are proud to come from a state of such growing diversity, and hope that, in this decision, we can respect and support people of differing views. We are all a human family, a Utah family, and now we are a legally united one.”

Utah Senator Jim Dabakis:

“The Supreme Court decision today allows Utah LGBT families to no longer be second-class families. This is good for them and for Utah. Equality and fairness have always been Utah values. The LGBT community was heartened by Saturday’s Conference words of Elder Dallin Oaks when speaking of possible Court decisions involving marriage, Oaks said, ‘We should be persons of goodwill toward all,’ Dallin H. Oaks said, ‘rejecting persecution of any kind, including persecution based on race, ethnicity, religious belief or nonbelief, and differences in sexual orientation.’ It is in that spirit of civility, cooperation and respect for diversity that we as Utahns should seek to move forward together and build an even greater state!”

Utah Attorney General Democratic candidate Charles A. Stormont:

“Only four Justices’ must vote to allow an appeal to proceed to the Supreme Court. The fact that not even four Justices were willing to hear Utah’s case, or any of the other six cases addressing the same issue, demonstrates the weakness of the state’s case. After ten months since the appeals began, now is the time for Sean Reyes to tell the people how much money he has wasted on these fruitless appeals.”

Utah State Democratic Party Chair Peter Coroon

“This message echoes statements delivered during this weekend’s LDS conference — that everyone deserves respect, regardless of differing opinion on this emotional subject. The Utah Democratic Party also supports the Supreme Court’s decision to protect both individual and religious liberties, meaning no church or religious organization will be compelled to an act that is against their beliefs.”

Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“We are ecstatic to hear that same-sex couples will soon be able to marry in thirty states, the District of Columbia, and ten Native American jurisdictions. And while we hoped that the U.S. Supreme Court would decide on the issue of marriage for all fifty states, we are resolute in our work to secure justice, fairness, and equality for all. For millions of hardworking LGBTQ people and our families, we still live in a society that denies us explicit nondiscrimination protections, voting rights, a pathway to citizenship, access to life-saving health care and reproductive rights, and many other basic and fundamental rights. As we continue building on the progress we’ve made on marriage equality we must remain committed to our nation’s promise of America.”

Marriage Equality USA Executive Direction Brian Silva

“Today is a great day for millions of Americans who can now access the rights, responsibilities and protections that only marriage can provide,” said . “But we know that for millions more Americans, today’s ruling still leaves them vulnerable to the harm caused by a lack of access to marriage. Just yesterday, as we crossed the bridge from Virginia into DC, we made a point of noting that we had gone from being married on Thursday morning to being unmarried that night, to now being married again. And now we’ll be married no matter which direction we leave DC.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin

“Any time same-sex couples are extended marriage equality is something to celebrate, and today is a joyous day for thousands of couples across America who will immediately feel the impact of today’s Supreme Court action. But let me be clear, the complex and discriminatory patchwork of marriage laws that was prolonged today by the Supreme Court is unsustainable. The only acceptable solution is nationwide marriage equality and we recommit to ourselves to securing that ultimate victory as soon as possible.”

Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy

“My heart is filled with joy for the couples that will see their relationships legally affirmed following today’s decision. The Supreme Court thankfully brings the wait for equality to an end for couples in Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Virginia. However, it leaves far too many others in limbo, denied equality before the law. That lack of resolution is unacceptable in our democracy that claims equal justice for everybody. While the political and legal logic of today’s decision are evident, the moral logic remains confounding. How can we abide a decision that denies people living in some states the same fundamental human right to marry that is given to people in other states? If the Constitution’s promise of religious freedom mandates that no one religion’s definition of marriage can be given precedence by the state, how can that freedom be limited to only those Americans who happen to live in the right jurisdiction? Our nation’s leaders – whether through the courts or the legislature – must act swiftly to secure equality and freedom for all Americans. There is no moral justification for delay.”

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin

“Today’s action by the U.S. Supreme Court is a huge victory for freedom and equality both in Wisconsin and in states across America. And now we can proudly say that marriage equality is the law of the land in Wisconsin. Love is love, family is family, and discriminating against anyone’s love, against anyone’s family, is not only wrong, it’s unconstitutional. This is a huge step forward for our entire country being a place where every family’s love and commitment can be recognized and respected under the law.”

Sad People

Utah Gov. Gery Herbert:

“While I continue to believe states should have the right to determine their own laws regarding marriage, we will uphold the law. Each state agency has been advised to begin today to recognize all legally performed same-sex marriages. I encourage all Utahns, regardless of their personal beliefs on this issue, to treat each other with respect.”

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“The succession of federal court decisions in recent months, culminating in today’s announcement by the Supreme Court, will have no effect on the doctrinal position or practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is that only marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to God. In prizing freedom of conscience and Constitutional guarantees of the free exercise of religion, we will continue to teach that standard and uphold it in our religious practices. Nevertheless, respectful coexistence is possible with those with differing values. As far as the civil law is concerned, the courts have spoken. Church leaders will continue to encourage our people to be persons of good will toward all, rejecting persecution of any kind based on race, ethnicity, religious belief or non-belief, and differences in sexual orientation.”

Sutherland Institute’s Director of the Center for Family and Society Bill Duncan:

“Children are entitled to be raised by a married mother and father. Sutherland Institute is deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court has failed to correct the lawlessness of lower courts that have deprived the people of Utah and other states of their ability to protect that entitlement. While it appears that Utah is being forced by the federal courts to recognize same-sex marriages, there are still other states whose laws the courts have not yet disrupted. We will provide whatever support we can to those states and hope the Supreme Court will reconsider this unwise action in a future case.”

Celebration of Marriage:

“The credibility of the judicial system is permanently damaged when it concludes that adult relationships are so important that children must give up their relationships with their own mother or father when it comes into conflict with gay marriage. In denying to hear Utah’s case, the Supreme Court has turned a blind eye to a child’s need for both a father and mother. This causes irreparable rifts in every aspect of family law, from custody battles in divorce courts, to adoptions that idealize motherless and fatherless family structures. The resulting fracture of family law will weaken Americans’ natural respect for the Court and turn the question of children’s legal relationships into an unresolvable and painful chaos. Although the lower courts have been allowed to redefine marriage in Utah, Utahns who stand with children will continue to vigorously support policy that prioritizes children’s most important relationships above other considerations.”

Utah Senator Mike Lee:

“The Supreme Court’s decision to not review the Tenth Circuit’s ruling in Kitchen v. Herbert is disappointing. Nothing in the Constitution forbids a state from retaining the traditional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Whether to change that definition is a decision best left to the people of each state — not to unelected, politically unaccountable judges. The Supreme Court owes it to the people of those states, whose democratic choices are being invalidated, to review the question soon and reaffirm that states do have that right.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch

“This issue is actively being litigated across the country and I believe that the court will eventually address it.”

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