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Politics
1:12 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Gay Marriage Advocates Host Vigil in Salt Lake

Hundreds of civil rights advocates gathered at Salt Lake City’s library square on Monday night for a candlelight vigil and rally in advance of the US Supreme Court’s hearings on the issue of gay marriage this week. KCPW’s Roger McDonough reports.


The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in two cases that deal with gay marriage this week. On Tuesday, the court will debate a challenge to Proposition 8, California’s ban on same sex marriage that was to some extent bankrolled by the Mormon Church. And on Wednesday the Court will hear a challenge to the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA – which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

The rally at Library Square, one of hundreds of similar gatherings across the country, was organized by the Utah Pride Center – whose lawyers recently filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to make gay marriage legal.

Jackie Biskupski, Utah’s first openly gay state lawmaker and rumored 2015 Salt Lake mayoral candidate – addressed the rally.

“History is on our side and so is the cherished US Constitution – Equality is inevitable. Every time the government has singled out a particular group and has chosen to take their rights away those actions have been undone. Every time.”

In an interview after her speech, she reiterated that it was only a matter of time before gay marriage was legal in all 50 states.

“I believe it is coming and I believe it will be here sooner than later – I do. And it is time we are all able to be treated equally in the eyes of the law.”
 
Arlen Bradshaw, a member of the Salt Lake County Council, said that he too believes that marriage equality is inevitable.

“I believe it is coming and I believe it will be here sooner than later – I do. And it is time we are all able to be treated equally in the eyes of the law.”

Dozens of prominent Republicans, including former Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge, actor Clint Eastwood and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr, have signed a legal brief in support of Gay Marriage. Huntsman also recently penned an article for the American Conservative Magazine entitled “Marriage Equality Is a Conservative Cause.”

Meanwhile, the LDS Church and religious groups presented their legal arguments for traditional marriage last month.

Polls show that a majority of Americans now support same sex marriage, though that number drops substantially in the state of Utah. Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in nine states and the District of Columbia.

The court is unlikely to rule on either of the cases before the end of June.