We Won A Thing: You Can Get Married in Utah and New Mexico!

A federal judge struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban on Friday, saying the law was unconstitutional.

In the best explanation ever, the judge said it like it is — without all the legal jargon.

“The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason,” wrote U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby. “Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”

Shelby says the state — home of The Church of Latter-Days Saints and this very hot queer lady— did not support its claims that banning same-sex marriage would be in the state’s best interest for “responsible procreation” and the “optimal mode of child-rearing.”

This news comes a day after New Mexico became the 17th state and the District of Columbia to allow same-sex marriage. Justice Edward Chavez ruled that banning same-sex marriage “violates the equality demanded by the equal protection clause of the New Mexico Constitution.”

Before the ruling, 33 counties in New Mexico had already been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. New Mexico’s law was ambiguous and didn’t explicitly say that same-sex marriages was legal or illegal before the ruling. Without any concrete legislation at the state level, county clerks and judges grew tired of waiting and began to issue licenses in August. New Mexico’s Supreme Court decided to settle this matter with this ruling.

That’s it folks, if Utah — a state that only allows liquor of max 4% (queer Utahians will have WILD weddings, for sure) — can do it, the rest of the United States can too. Maybe Texas? I mean, it touches with New Mexico which touches with Utah, which touches me, because I live in Texas. Just saying. Well, whatever the case, congrats to all the queers and their cats in those states!


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Yvonne S. Marquez is a senior editor at Autostraddle and a Latina lesbian living in Dallas, Texas. She’s originally from a weird/wonderful place called the Rio Grande Valley, a region along the Texas-Mexico border. She studied magazine journalism in Austin and worked for a local gay & lesbian magazine for a hot second. She’s a true INFJ, Sagittarius and Ravenclaw, so basically she’s quiet and thinks a lot. In her spare time, she tries to read as many books by women of color as she can, hangs out with a bunch of socialists and social justice organizers, and likes drinking local beer. Connect with her on Tumblr or on Twitter.

Yvonne has written 171 articles for us.

16 Comments

  1. Thumb up 12

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    my instinct right now is to go up to utah and say “yay! you did it!” the way you would if a toddler peed in the toilet for the first time.

  2. Thumb up 5

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    I just screamed at the use of that photo of Kristin and Jenny. I’m going to need to show everyone ever that photo every time we win a marriage thing.

  3. Thumb up 9

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    Now I have more reasons to stay in Utah besides my family, my school, and all the pretty rocks.

    People are already getting married, and the mayor of Salt Lake City has promised to stay up all night processing marriage certificates if he needs to. Sometimes my town rocks.

  4. Thumb up 2

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    YAY! As a resident of Utah, I certainly didn’t expect this. Not that I expect my girlfriend to actually be as willing to marry me as I am to marry her by the time it’s banned again somehow, but for now, I’m going to be excited, dangit!

  5. Thumb up 0

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    Also, as somebody who didn’t grow up in Utah, just lives here, I didn’t expect Utah to come before my actual home state…though I expected both to be amongst the last.

  6. Thumb up 4

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    As an 18-year-old Utahn who will most likely not be married for decades if ever, OHMYGOD OHMYGOD OH MYGOD OH MGYDIOG OH GKJDGDMY GOHDOMGDYODOGHDM I’M FREAKING OUT AND I CAN’T SLEEP BECAUSE THIS CAME OF NOWHERE AND I’M SO EXCITED THAT I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF. SEND HELP

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      and queers. Send help and queers to party with. I am alone in my parents’ house at 3:00 in the morning and I just want to celebrate with someone. OK goodbYE

    • Thumb up 2

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      If I had anyone to marry, I’d be running to the courthouse right now! As it is, I’m passing out congratulations on FB like nobody’s business. OUR STATE. OUR FUCKING STATE. Sure, they’ll appeal. But this is one hell of a step, and I’ve been in tears/near tears all day.

  7. Thumb up 0

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    Congrats to Utah and New Mexico! Also, that photo of Jenny and Kristin should be used for all future marriage-related articles.

  8. Thumb up 0

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    I can’t believe this is Autostraddle’s only coverage of this event. Shelby’s ruling could now (looks like it will probably will if you read reports)set precedent that would strike down similar state amendments in 28 other states. This case nearly nationalizes gay marriage.

    BTW – It is spelled “Utahn” not “Utahian”.

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