Thursday, June 27, 2013

WCF Morning News Roundup: Utah Reacts to Yesterday's SCOTUS Same-Sex Marriage Rulings - Updated

Tempest in a teapot... or are big changes in Utah law looming in the forefront?

Surprise of surprises, there's been a predictably frenzied Utah reaction to yesterday's twin U.S. Supreme Court rulings, which "lit up" the web from coast to coast and beyond.  For the benefit of any WCF readers who may have been hiding under a rock, the Standard-Examiner this morning carries this explanatory Associated Press story:
And, referring to this above story,  here's the gist:
WASHINGTON — In a major victory for gay rights, the Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples and cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.
The justices issued two 5-4 rulings in their final session of the term. One decision wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law (Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA]) that has kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits.
The other was a technical ruling that said nothing at all about same-sex marriage, but left in place a trial court’s declaration that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. That outcome probably will allow state officials to order the resumption of same-sex weddings in the nation’s most populous state in about a month.
The ever-staid Standard treats the story in the morning "hard copy" edition, reporting that Utahns’ reactions were "mixed":
Click to enlarge image
The Trib however reports that Utahns' reactions leaned more in the direction of "joyful":
Utahns basically say "ah'm confused," according to the Deseret News:
And also via the DNews (who else?) we get the "whistling in the dark" reaction of one of Utah's more prominent religious sects:
And not to be outdone on the "church angle" by the church-owned paper up north, the Happy Valley Herald chimes in with the question that's on the minds and tongues of Gentle Mormon faithful everywhere:
The harsh critique of yesterday's Supreme Court decisions isn't confined to the lay clergy of the LDS Church, of course:
The Trib plays the bean-counter inquisitor role and asks a practical question: 
A University of Utah law perfesser chimes in with the "legal angle":
Attorney General John Swallow, perhaps concerned that his name might not be plastered all over Utah print media front pages for at least one day, did a live interview on ABC4 News and offered his own assurances that Utah will still be allowed to blithely discriminate (as God intended) against same-sex couples in the future:

The Trib reports on yesterday's Utah’s Celebration of Marriage "rally" at  South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, where proponents of traditional marriage (and advocates of the crackpot "White Horse Prophesy", perhaps) waved American flags and bravely patted each other on the back:
Even Utah polygamists got into the act:
Will Utah Senator Jim Dabakis and his longtime partner be the first to file a federal equal protection-based Utah "test case"?
Yup, Justice Kennedy and the Supremes definitely opened up a large can of worms in Utah when they knocked down DOMA and kicked Prop. 8 back to the lower court.

So what do our Gentle Weber County Forum readers think about all this?

Tempest in a teapot... or are big changes in Utah law looming in the forefront?

Update 6/27/13 12:07 p.m.: Utah Policy's Lavarr Web asks, "What will the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage mean for Utah? Vote in Utah Policy's survey...":
Don't let the cat get your tongues.


Danny said...

It seems, as usual, everyone is off on the wrong track.

The Sup Ct. did not declare DOMA unconstitutional, but only said it cannot bar queers duly married in a state allowing that, to be denied marriage status by the federal government - a much different ruling than the media is saying.

And in California, did not the trial judge declare Prop 8 unconstitutional by the STATE constitution, so therefore the federal court would appropriately have no say?

So the rulings were far more narrow than is being promoted by the media.

That's what I remember about all this. The dummies in the media, in celebrating this "victory" will only whip up sentiment against gays in the long run.

The public, as usual, has no clue whatsoever.

Bob Becker said...

Don't know what media you've been reading/ watching but the SE's initial story on the DOMA decision got the story right. So did the NYTimes. So did the SL Trib. Re: the Prop 8 decision the same

Bob Becker said...

Great Caesar's ghost, just how historically and constitutionally clueless are the Herald's LDS readers, who are reportedly lighting up the social media with fears that the courts or federal government will require LDS church to perform gay weddings. Do these people actually live in Glen Beck's paranoid world?

There is no possibility of that happening. Like irony? What will absolutely prevent it us the very constitutional doctrine the Christian Right Tea Party loons have been insisting doesn't exist for the last five years: separation of church and state.

Perhaps at last it will dawn on the Christian Right (including Mormons who, given their history, should know better) that their assumption that state-enforced religiosity will only enforce their own particular beliefs and no others is profoundly --- dangerously ---wrong, and that separation of church and state is precisely what protects their right to a faith and its rites that can not be dictated by government at any level.

Danny said...

On the one hand, there is a legitimate concern that government will enforce itself on people. If you know Mormon history, you know that.

On the other hand, the hysteria you cite is what I was talking about in terms of the backlash that will happen against gays due, not to these rulings, but to the way the media is portraying it. The fact that people are reacting they way they are, proves that the media in fact is hyping this and is not reporting it accurately at all.

You may be able to carefully winnow the news, but most people don't.

blackrulon said...

You are wrong about backlash against gays. The majority of US citizens have no problem with gay marriage. The Media so called backlash is being driven mostly by right wing news sources, It is the same dire predictions of doom and gloom predicted when the military allowed openly gay members to serve. The fears that right wingers predicted has not happened. America will look back at this in a few years and wonder what all the fuss was about.

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