A story in the Salt Lake Tribune for Tuesday, December 24, means a great Christmas for gay people and their friends, families and supporters in Utah, and a very Grinchy Christmas for the sanctimonious moralists, homophobes and bigots.
I'm away from Utah for another week, spending time with family in Pennsylvania, and yet watching Utah make big news over a judge's ruling this past Friday.
Federal Court Judge Robert Shelby determined that laws aimed at restricting marriage between same-sex couples is unconstitutional. This is a double blow for Utah Republicans. First, they had the ruling that parts of Utah's anti-polygamy laws are unconstitutional, and now laws against gay marriage.
I've been reading that the Brethren* are meeting hurriedly to try to figure out what to do to roll back what this "activist judge" (Utah governor Herbert's term for him) hath wrought. They quickly filed a request for a stay in the law so that county clerks could no longer issue marriage licenses to gay couples and Judge Shelby wouldn't budge because as he put it, the request for stay just repeated the same arguments he found unconstitutional. So the State went to the 10th Circuit Court and asked for a stay.
On Christmas Eve the 10th Circuit Court refused to issue a stay. As I write this during the late evening of December 24th gay marriage is still legal in Utah. I believe it will go through the court system and come out with the same result: Utah will be the 18th state in which gay people can legally marry.
I think it's great. It was coming anyway, my fellow Utahns and fellow Americans (even Phil Robertson, the anti-gay Duck Dynasty guy). You had better get used to it because it is here, and within a few years, maybe less than five, the rest of the United States will fall in line, and all those anti-gay "pro-family" folks (pro-heterosexual family, that is) will have to adjust to a changed society.
I also read online that Utah is expecting a white Christmas. To all of you Utah people who feel that Santa left you a lump of coal for Christmas, cheer up. It will not be the end of the world. I leave you with a wish that your days be merry and bright. To the same-sex couples exulting in a Christmas gift thanks to the Constitution, don you now your gay apparel and have a great and wonderful Christmas and New Year.
*It is sometimes hard to tell Mormon ecumenical leaders in Utah from state officials, since they are all poured from the same mold.