Newly-formed "Utah Unites for Marriage" Broadens Reach for Equality

Mar 18, 2014

Kathy Harbin (l) with son Leo and her partner Michelle Harbin-Call (r) with son Louis speak in support of Utah Unites for Marriage at Salt Lake County Government Complex.
Kathy Harbin (l) with son Leo and her partner Michelle Harbin-Call (r) with son Louis speak in support of Utah Unites for Marriage at Salt Lake County Government Complex.
Credit Bob Nelson

A new coalition in support of marriage equality was announced today Tuesday.  Utah Unites for Marriage kicked off its effort in the same lobby of the Salt Lake County offices where more than 1,000 members of the LGBT Community were married last December and January.  Former U.S. Attorney for Utah, Bret Tolman co-chairs the group with Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and former news anchor Terry Wood. Tolman says marriage equality is happening in more and more states because awareness of the equal protection clause of 14th Amendment is increasing.

“Individuals can see that the initial fear that children wouldn’t be raised as well is not being backed up by studies and concern that it might be a drain on an economy is actually the exact opposite,” says Tolman.

Reverend Curtis Price of the 1st Baptist Church of Salt Lake City says all people, even those who live a faith centered life, are threatened by change.

“Marriage is a sacred, important, central covenant within our society and culture and in all of our faith traditions, absolutely. And that’s why it ought be afforded to these wonderful humans beings who want to share a love commitment with a partner," Rev. Price says.

The new coalition is partners in the statewide effort with the Utah Pride Center,  Equality Utah,  Human Rights Campaign,  Freedom to Marry,  ACLU of Utah,  and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.