Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Sad Day... Predictable, but Sad...
My Current Mood: The current mood of crimsondove at www.imood.com

Salt Lake City -- Equality Utah today expressed disappointment over the signing of SB24 into law by Gov. Olene Walker. The law is a restatement of Utah's 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that disallows Utah from recognizing equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples coupled with additional language that bans any relationship such as a civil union, domestic partnership or the like for gay and lesbian couples in the state.

“It's a shame that the fearful, closed-minded politics of a few so strongly influence a thoughtful person like Gov. Walker to sign such a divisive act into law,” said Michael Mitchell, Executive Director of Equality Utah. “The law does absolutely nothing to 'protect' marriage or families, as sponsors and supporters contend. What it does do is legislate instability into our neighborhoods and communities by saying that gay and lesbian couples willing to enter into life-long, committed relationships are not worthy of the rights and responsibilities of marriage or other unions.”

The law is the first part of a one-two punch that came as a body-blow to Utah's LGBT community in the recently ended legislative session. A proposed amendment to the Utah Constitution banning gay marriage or any other kind of relationship will appear on the ballot this fall for voters to decide.

In a meeting earlier this month, Equality Utah, along with several gay and lesbian families, met with Gov. Walker to ask her to veto SB24 and to come out against the proposed amendment in the upcoming campaign season.

“With SB24 now on the books, the proposed amendment becomes all the more redundant,” said Mitchell. “How many times do LGBT people need to hear that we don't matter and that civil rights are reserved solely for the majority?”


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