It’s not the news we were hoping for: marriage equality is over in Utah (for now).
The US Supreme Court just ruled that weddings must cease while the state’s appeal works its way through the courts. This is a big disappointment. It’s like rain on your wedding day, only not ironic.
Although the procedure was a little different, this is pretty similar to what happened in California a couple of years ago with Prop. 8. Just like in Utah, a federal district court overturned a marriage ban. And then the decision was stayed while the Prop. 8 Proponents dragged an appeal out over the course of years. That’s why nobody could get married there until 2013.
And now we’re seeing a repeat of that in Utah. There, the state failed to ask for a pre-emptive stay, so marriage started as soon as the district court’s ruling came down. But now, the Supreme Court has decided, equality needs to stop until there’s a final-final decision in the case.
This isn’t the end of the fight in Utah, of course. The state’s appealing the district court’s ruling, in an attempt to permanently end marriage. That could take months, or even years (as in California). And every day that Utah is without equality is a day that couples are harmed by a lack of access to the rights and freedoms associated with marriage.
Fortunately, we’ll get a final decision in the case before too long. It probably won’t take as long as the Prop. 8 case, which was crazy-complicated. Remember, even though this latest ruling is a setback, we still winning! And eventually, we’ll have a final decision that, hopefully, will restore marriage in Utah for good.