(KCPW News) The ruling of the California Supreme Court today to uphold a ban on same-sex marriage came as no surprise to anyone involved in the marriage equality argument in Utah. Nate Bassett of Utahns for Marriage Equality sees the decision as an opportunity to further educate the public.
"Marriage equality, I think, is going to come in the near future. In California they're planning on putting it back on the ballot in 2010. We hope it comes soon," said Bassett. "It really just depends on how much work we are willing to put into it and willing to speak out and talk to other people about it. The freedom to be in a legally recognized relationship with the person you love is fundamental."
The California court voted 6-to-1 to uphold the ban, however it also allowed approximately 18,000 marriages performed before the ban to remain intact.
With Governor Jon Huntsman stepping down to become ambassador to China there are questions as to whether the political climate in Utah surrounding same-sex marriage will change. Huntsman is a supporter of civil unions, however his replacement, Lieutenant Governor Gary Herbert is not. Gayle Ruzicka of the Utah Eagle Forum doesn't expect the change in leadership will change the state's political view on the subject.
"Just because Governor Huntsman supported civil unions didn't mean the people of Utah support it, nor the legislature. We certainly didn't anticipate there would ever be any change in Amendment Three, so I don't think that's going to change anything about how we live and handle traditional marriage in Utah," said Ruzicka. "But it's nice to have a governor who agrees with Amendment Three, and Gary Herbert supported Amendment Three from the beginning and continues to support it."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement that it recognizes there are strong feelings on both sides of the issue but reasserted its belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, saying it has profound implications for society. Utahns for Marriage Equality will hold a rally in support of marriage equality at the State Capitol tonight at 6:30.