by Senator Scott McCoy
So what does this mean for same-sex couples in Utah? Well, when we strip away all the political rhetoric and demagoguery, really not much in the short term. Yes, some couples, including my partner Mark and I, may in the next few months head off to California to be legally married. If and when we do, we will be husband and husband under the law and in the eyes of the community in California. Of course, when we return home, opponents of marriage equality here in Utah will be quick to remind us that our marriage is only worth the paper upon which our marriage license is printed. And they will be right; for now.
We won’t sue, and frankly neither should any other Utah couple. Utah courts are not likely to lead out on marriage equality for Utah. (Nor arguably should they.) Those first legal recognition battles will be fought elsewhere in more favorable venues. But that does not mean we will sit idly by here in Utah. What we will do here in Utah is live openly and honestly as spouses. Married spouses. Yes, we will lead and convince by example. Even if the law will not formally recognize our unions, they will still be unions of the same intrinsic value as all of our opposite-sex married friends and neighbors. Our marriages will not reduce the value of all of the existing marriages in Utah. Nor will straight couples who marry in Utah after we marry in California reduce the value of our marriages. After all, this isn’t a zero-sum game with only a limited supply of marriage goodness to go around. We will love each other, care for each other, and sustain each other. I will call Mark my husband because that is precisely what he will be. He will do the same for me. At our workplaces, in our communities, in social settings, at the Legislature, in church, at the PTA meetings, at soccer practice, and at the grocery store, we will all live our lives here in Utah as married spouses. Our fellow Utahns will see that we are just like them and our marriages, when it really comes down to it, are just like theirs. Familiarity will breed acceptance.
What we will do is make change, not through lawsuits, but by being ourselves and living our lives genuinely, just as we have been doing, only now as spouses. It may take time, but we’ll get to marriage equality in Utah. I have no doubt because of two things I know to be true: No. 1, Equal is right; and No. 2, Utahns are good and fair people who understand No. 1.