“I can’t believe this is Utah.”
Those were the words of Elisa Noel who stood in line for a license for marriage with her same-sex partner on Friday after a federal judge struck down the state’s gay marriage ban.
U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby overturned Utah’s ban on Friday on the grounds that it violates same-sex couples’ rights to equal protections and due process that are protected in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. constitution.
“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 Shelby in a 53-page ruling. “Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”
NPR‘s Howard Berkes reports, “Within minutes of the federal court decision, the Salt Lake County Clerk’s office was inundated with gay couples seeking marriage licenses. And marriages were performed in the lobby and hallways long after the office was scheduled to close.”
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