Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage gathered for separate rallies Tuesday night at the state Capitol. Both sides said fundamental values are at stake.
Mark Lawrence says supporters of same-sex marriage believe in the same family values as opponents. Lawrence is founder of Restore Our Humanity, and that group brought the lawsuit that overturned Utah’s Amendment 3 that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. He told those at an anti-discrimination rally that prejudice against gays and lesbians is no way to give children a healthy, loving start.
“Marriage, family policy, potty-panic legislation and continued resistance to resolving basic rights in the form of non-discrimination do not reflect the values of Utah,” he said. “We are not asking for special rights. We are demanding human rights.”
Shortly after, opponents of same-sex marriage packed the Capitol Rotunda to hear from the National Organization for Marriage and other Amendment 3 supporters. Siri Davidson brought her husband and five young children from Payson to be part of the Stand up for Marriage Rally.
“Marriage is ordained of God,” she said. “That’s the way it’s always been. If you want a civil union, fantastic. Let’s cater to everyone, so everyone’s happy. But let’s not push our agendas on each other.”
Legislative leaders say they don’t want to spend a lot of time on bills that might change while the state argues its case in federal court. But Republican Sen. Steve Urquhart of St. George says he intends to move forward with a bill that outlaws discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation.