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Arguments against same-sex marriage by Utah unjustified

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Utah is currently locked in an ongoing battle over the constitutionality of same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriages were allowed in Utah for a short amount of time after federal Judge Robert J. Shelby struck down the voter-approved ban.

Shelby’s ruling was controversial because Utah is such a conservative state. Despite the backlash, Shelby refused to stay his ruling, so the matter was eventually brought before the Supreme Court, which decided to block further same-sex marriages in Utah until it could resolve the case.

The arguments Utah has presented against same-sex marriages are appalling and ignorant. In one instance they claimed that children raised by same-sex parents are less well-adjusted than children raised by opposite-sex parents, according to the New York Times. This is, of course, not true.

Utah also argued that withholding the right to marry for same-sex couples, while encouraging man-woman unions as the “preferred” child-rearing situation would lead to the likely increase of children being raised in a heteronormative arrangement. Though why this matters at all is unclear.

Children raised by same-sex parents turn out just as well as children raised by opposite-sex parents. So there is no actual benefit in promoting man-woman unions at the expense of ensuring equal rights for its citizens. It’s not saving the children from some awful fate; LGBTQ people are just as capable of being great parents as heterosexual people.

Despite the legal mess in Utah, this past year was good for marriage equality. Since March, the number of states allowing same-sex marriages has risen from nine to 17 states, and if the Supreme Court does not overturn Shelby’s ruling, Utah will make 18 states. That would be more than a third of the United States.

The quick rise in states granting equal marriage rights has given us the false hope that marriage equality would come in a quick tide of sweeping change. However, this past year was the easy part. That is not meant to diminish the victories of 2013, but those successes were mostly in liberal states that voted for President Barack Obama. Now we need to start making significant gains in the conservative states.

Securing equal marriage rights in red states is going to be a hard fight. While public support is shifting toward same-sex marriage, there are still many people who strongly oppose it. Those prejudices are not going to be changed overnight.

Granting equal marriage rights state-by-state was a good first step, but as the fight moves into the deep red states, it’s going to take a ruling from the Supreme Court to make the next big push forward. Without a ruling establishing same-sex marriage as a constitutional right, it is going to be a very difficult fight.

This will likely be long, drawn out, and frustrating, as most things involving the government tend to be. It could easily be a few years before a decision on the matter is made, but whatever the decision, it is going to set a new precedent.

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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University
Arguments against same-sex marriage by Utah unjustified