Same-sex marriage (SSM) in Utah:
2014-JAN: Error by Attorney General's office.
U.S. Supreme Court issues stay.
2014-JAN-02: OOPS. According to Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, the Utah Attorney General's Office goofed:
She describes a chaotic environment at the Utah AG Office and explains how the State neglected to take an elementary precaution that enabled about a thousand loving, happy, committed same-sex couples to marry:
2014-JAN-03: Utah man is in a hunger strike until the state stops same-sex marriages:
Trestin Meacham, 35, is a former Constitutional Party candidate for the Utah Senate. He started a hunger strike on 2013-DEC-20, consuming only water with weekly doses of vitamins. After two weeks, on JAN-03, he had lost 25 pounds. Various estimates on the Internet of the length of time a person can survive with water but without food range from 30 days to two months.
Referring to the startup of same-sex marriages, Meacham said:
"I'm very disappointed. ... You can start a blog and you can complain on social networks until you're blue in the face and nothing will happen but actions speak louder than words and I'm taking action."
He also said:
"I cannot stand by and do nothing while this evil takes root in my home. Some things in life are worth sacrificing one’s heath and even life if necessary. I am but a man, and do not have the money and power to make any noticeable influence in our corrupt system. Never the less, I can do something that people in power cannot ignore." 3
He proposes that the State use a process called nullification. According to this "states rights" theory, which is promoted by some political conservatives, the State of Utah could stop same-sex marriages instantly by simply refusing to follow the District Court's ruling. He said:
"Jefferson made clear that the courts are not the supreme arbitrators of what is and what is not constitutional. The states also have power. ... They don't have to go through the legal court battles and waste our money, they can end it tomorrow with the act of nullification."
The web site 4Utah.com quotes attorney Greg Skordas as saying that nullification doesn't work in this case, because when the federal government grants people a constitutional right, states must recognize it. The term "federal government" in this case appears to include all three of its branches: the executive, legislative, and judiciary. He said:
"When individual personal liberties are at stake the state can't infringe on that, even if it's the will of the people." 2
Writers for the GaySaltLake web site claim that the principle of nullification:
"... has been ruled unconstitutional under both Article III and Article VI [of the U.S. Constitution] in several Supreme Court cases." 3
2014-JAN-06: U.S. Supreme Court issues its own stay:
In spite of a District Court Judge refusing to issue a stay, and the the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals refusing three times to issue a stay, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning decided to issue its own stay. This has stopped, at least temporarily, any further same-sex marriages from taking place in Utah. This stay will be in place until United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issues its ruling. That will probably be sometime in 2014.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Brian Carlson, "Utah man fasting to stop same sex marriages," ABC, Channel 4 Utah, 2014-JAN-03, at: http://www.4utah.com/
- Rachel Maddow, "Utah AG seeks help to end marriage equality," MSNBC, 2014-JAN02, at: http://www.msnbc.com/
- "Former Constitution Party candidate fasting until gay marriages stopped in Utah," GaySaltLake, 2014-JAN-03, at: http://gaysaltlake.com/
- "Gay marriage in Utah, halted," Washington Post, 2014-JNA-07, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2014-JAN-02
Latest update: 2014-JAN-06
Author: B.A. Robinson