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Hundreds rally inside Utah state capitol in support of marriage equality

Friday, January 10, 2014
Steve C. Wilson, APDavida Wegner, center left, and Molly Ryan Butterworth, center right, hold an enlarged copy of their recent marriage license during a rally at the Utah State Capitol in support of gay marriage Friday Jan. 10, 2014 in Salt Lake City. Supporters of gay marriage fill the rotunda as they gathered to rally and deliver a petition with over 58,000 signatures in support of gay marriage to Utah Governor Gary Herbert.

Steve C. Wilson, AP
Davida Wegner, center left, and Molly Ryan Butterworth, center right, hold an enlarged copy of their recent marriage license during a rally at the Utah State Capitol in support of gay marriage Friday Jan. 10, 2014 in Salt Lake City. Supporters of gay marriage fill the rotunda as they gathered to rally and deliver a petition with over 58,000 signatures in support of gay marriage to Utah Governor Gary Herbert.

Just hours after the Obama administration said it would recognize the 1,300 same-sex marriages in Utah, hundreds of marriage equality supporters gathered inside the state Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday calling on Republican Gov. Gary Herbert to do the same.

Steve C. Wilson, APSupporters of gay marriage fill the rotunda as they gathered to rally at the Utah State Capitol Friday Jan. 10, 2014.

Steve C. Wilson, AP
Supporters of gay marriage fill the rotunda as they gathered to rally at the Utah State Capitol Friday Jan. 10, 2014.

Steve C. Wilson, APTroy Williams, a local LGBT organizer, speaks to a crowd of supporters.

Steve C. Wilson, AP
Troy Williams, a local LGBT organizer, speaks to a crowd of supporters.

Steve C. Wilson, APOpenly gay Utah state democratic senator Jim Dabakis hugs Cathy Croft during a rally in support of gay marriage at the Utah State Capitol on Friday.

Steve C. Wilson, AP
Openly gay Utah state democratic senator Jim Dabakis hugs Cathy Croft during a rally in support of gay marriage at the Utah State Capitol on Friday.

Steve C. Wilson, AP

Steve C. Wilson, AP

Steve C. Wilson, AP

Steve C. Wilson, AP

[Click on images to expand.]

And for the same-sex couples who have lived through a wave of emotions, the show of support from the federal government provided validation and turned the rally into a raucous celebration.

Among the hundreds of people who packed the capitol rotunda for the midday rally were Seth Anderson and Michael Ferguson, the first gay couple to legally marry in Utah following the Dec. 20 ruling.

They said they were elated to hear they would be allowed to file taxes jointly and enjoy the benefits afforded any married couples.

“Our apartment burst into celebratory anthems of Cher and Beyoncé,” said Seth Anderson about his reaction to Holder’s statement. “It is a great feeling to know the federal government stands with us, especially in a state that has for years tried to exclude us.”

People held signs that read, “Two moms make a right,” ”Love is love” and “Marriage is a human right – not a heterosexual privilege” and “We are Family” played through loudspeakers.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their benefits while courts decide the issue of same-sex marriage in Utah.

President Barack Obama welcomed Holder’s determination, said White House spokesman Jay Carney. He said he didn’t know whether Obama specifically discussed the issue with Holder before the decision, but added the President has publicly expressed his support for same-sex marriage and equal rights for all Americans. Obama publicly came out in support of gay marriage in May 2012.

Holder’s decision came days after Utah officials said they would not recognize the marriages.

The office of Gov. Gary Herbert told state agencies this week to put a freeze on proceeding with any new benefits for the newly married gay and lesbian couples until the courts sort out the matter. But the state attorney general’s office has told local clerks to finish paperwork for same-sex marriages completed before the Supreme Court issued a temporary halt.

In a statement Friday afternoon, Herbert’s office issued a statement that said Holder’s announcement was unsurprising, but state officers should comply with federal law if they’re providing federal services.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes did not have an immediate comment on Holder’s announcement.

The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will consider the long-term question of whether gay couples have a right to marry in Utah. The state’s voters approved the ban in 2004.

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94 more reader comments:

  1. I love this

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:45pm
  2. Thats great to see. Equality is going to happen, it might now all at once, but it will. Never give up fighting.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:46pm
  3. You Go Utah LGBT Utah. Don’t let them get away with this hateful attitude…!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:48pm
  4. Go Utahans …#IstandwithUtahans

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:48pm
  5. <3

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:49pm
  6. Amazing! Great job Utah

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:49pm
  7. Congratulations Utah !! Never Give Up !!
    Anything Worth Having is Worth Fighting For !!!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:50pm
  8. Outstanding!!! So proud

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:50pm
  9. Go Utah, Equality for All…:D

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:53pm
  10. and not one of them responded to supported who needed rides or couldnt find parking becasue nobody carpooled. :D

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:53pm
  11. Go Utah! If CA can defeat the LDS haters, you can too. Just remember that this is a democracy, not a church state. They have NO RIGHT dictating what we as a nation should believe, nor any other religion.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:54pm
  12. I hope they get equal rights and I wise lgbtq people all the best because everyone deserves equal right no matter who they are or where they are from

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12:00am
  13. This is the type of fighting that will be seen in every conservative state when the issue reaches the end games…this type of crap is exactly why this nation’s LGBTQ community needs to be included as a protected community in new Federal legislation or in The Civil Rights Act. A US citizen is a US citizen,period,the end.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12:07am
  14. It’s all about benefits not equality.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12:14am
  15. Without equality,there are no benefits.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12:17am
  16. Daniel Wilson those benifits bring equality

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12:18am
  17. wish I was in that crowd !

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12:31am
  18. Go Fight Win and do it with pride.www.daddigyrl.com

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12:51am
  19. Mormon Church is still trying to control the state.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:10am
  20. Wish I could be standing there!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:46am
  21. I hope their rallies are relentless. Shame those haters and let them live in hiding for a while. :)

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:55am
  22. Was that hunger strike guy there?

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:55am
  23. Go, family, GO!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 9:24am
  24. I love it nice..

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 11:17am
  25. give us our human rights..

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:54pm
  26. Act human

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:17pm
  27. it’s not wrong to classify someone as any of those.
    It’s like Male/Female/Both/Neither.
    Choose the one you feel that you are and be confident in yourself.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:56pm
  28. The point is, we are all human.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:37pm
  29. shouldn't it be more like a test question then? Which of these are human? ( ) Gay ( ) Lesbian ( ) Bisexual ( ) Straight (X) all of the above

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:38pm
  30. Choose?? Think again.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:32pm
  31. Not a choice for some. Genetic.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:35pm
  32. Rhoda, Gena, you miss the point of my statement I mean that as in the same way you choose what to put on a job application. You have the option to put the gender you aren't, but you choose to select the one you identify as.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:38pm
  33. Hi on a mountain top a banner is unfurled

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:56pm
  34. Kind of irritated the woman left out Trans there.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:57pm
  35. her point was not to call out each and every entity but to point out that we are all human beings.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:34pm
  36. We know that so everyone else is included except us.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:39pm
  37. Theoretically speaking, transgender is not a sexual orientation.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:53pm
  38. Transgender have it better, they can at least have their birth certificates changed and can marry anyone they like in some instances. But inclusion should be used in every instance. Not one person is perfect, and we all have been booty hurt at one point or another. I know I'm sick and tired of the crazies out there bashing us all the time. Ugh...it all gets old for all of us! Just remember, we are all in the same boat and together, we can eventually enact change!

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:16pm
  39. Transgender is a gender, not a sexual orientation.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:29pm
  40. Trans* people, in most states, cannot get their birth certificate changed. In NO way do they have it better. Stop only thinking about marriage. They can get fired in more states than LGB people. They are much more likely not to get a job or be bullied for their gender identity than LGB people are for their sexual orientation. They are also more likely to commit suicide. Hell, they aren't even allowed to use the bathroom that they feel comfortable in many schools and other institutions. Also, they cannot just marry anyone they want. They are usually held back in that regards because of their biological sex. So before you come on here and try to say Trans* people have it better, do your research.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:51pm
  41. Balliet, she and the rest of the people are doing a good thing. Getting nitpicky like you are is childish and petty.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 6:53pm
  42. Let the community come together and protest for justice equality!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:59pm
  43. They should be in jail. Bunch of fags and lesbo's run a muck in Utah

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:06pm
  44. Josh Rife you are wrong and you will soon see that equality for all will soon be law!!!!!!!!

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:15pm
  45. And I see a lot of people going to hell .But there is room for all LGBT there door open 24/7

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:39pm
  46. H.A.T.E.R.S. = having anger towards equal rights success

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:04pm
  47. That’s amazing!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:04pm
  48. I like human

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:06pm
  49. You are a stupid homophobic bigot !

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:07pm
  50. Why do people like Josh Rife even come on here to post anger twords a certain type of people? I’ll never understand…

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:10pm
  51. Why you stalking a gay website? Closet case.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:10pm
  52. Awesome …

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:12pm
  53. Utah is Mormon country, I wouldn’t expect too much from them on equality.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:16pm
  54. Josh Rife, why don’t you just isolate ourself from mankind.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:16pm
  55. Tell you what the USA should move all the LGBT to one island

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:42pm
  56. Can be a new nation ! Fags island

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:43pm
  57. And the out you in a straight jacket and have you join them

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:43pm
  58. What do to have against the gay community anyway?

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:44pm
  59. Nothing I don't think laws should be put in place to make people approve of it . You want to be gay keep it to yourself . I don't want my kids to see it . I nominated Mr Putin of 2016

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:55pm
  60. Putin is an asshole and an idiot he create anti gay laws and them tells gays he wants them to feel comfortable. Yeah ok, that makes sense lol. If you are straight, keep it to yourself too, it's only fair. I'm a proud straight ally. No one has to approve of anything dude, we are just giving them equal rights, acceptance is by each person. Your kids will see a lot of things, to shelter them would mean to put them in a bubble in a locked room.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:58pm
  61. If lay with dog you get flea's or in this you my get aids . It you approve it your as guilty .Just read Sodom and gomorrah

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:13pm
  62. So you're being cliche and comparing gays to bestiality, real clever. Another cliche, you put in a bible reference. Aids is acquired by straight people too in case you didn't know. I don't believe half the crap the bible says, and laying next to dog won't automatically give you fleas, but good try with the poor analogy. You know, gays and lesbians are no different than you and me. The only difference is that they're attracted to the same gender. Why don't you try to understand people instead of fearing and hating them. I'm not saying you should approve of them or accept them, just understand them better.

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:17pm
  63. Josh Rife than act it!! You sound like a total closet case idiot don’t be angry with others who choose to be happy and live there lives with love just because your too scared of it or probably as it seems to me you don’t know how to cone out and identify yourself as who you really are. Being a prick about it on a lgbtq site is just ridiculous why were you looking at the site to begin with??? Come out already and love and be loved!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:23pm
  64. Same reason the fags are pushing there nasty lifestyle on every normal person . And to let you know I'm married to a woman . That is the best reply you got ????? As much as you freaks march you should be better then

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:39pm
  65. better than...?

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 6:17pm
  66. Go Utah

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:28pm
  67. Who cares who you want to kiss. Everybody deserves to be treated with respect and honor.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:29pm
  68. GOOD FOR THEM

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:31pm
  69. Organize more protest and occupy demand equality justice fairness dignity human rights for LBGT!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:38pm
  70. Why is Trans left out? Was going to share then I saw no trans – so no share.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:38pm
  71. Josh Rife….I just reported you for a false profile.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:41pm
  72. Hey Josh Rife, your an ignorant ass. Who officially is gay and doesn’t know how to deal with his emotions.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:48pm
  73. I’m a seventh grader and I am gladly willing to beat this asshole up

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:50pm
  74. Josh Rife your married to a woman but your obviously miserable that’s why you shine so much hatred and I myself am also straight married to man with three kids and am more than comfortable with any bodys sex preference its all about love and being United were all the same HUMAN. and for you to say there all going to hell is obviously a sin if you read the Bible clearly playing gods role ans saying who is going to hell isn’t your call to make see you in hell.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:08pm
  75. Anytime someone says “all the gays need to move to an island”, I immediately recognize their lack of intelligence.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:12pm
  76. Josh Rife. You are a ignorant asshole, who doesn’t know their Bible. Sodom and Gomorrah wasn’t destroyed because of homosexuality. It was destroyed for rape. How about go reading the original translations, before you go open your mouth and talk about something you obviously do not have a clue about.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:16pm
  77. I had a civil marriage I am happy with that

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:34pm
  78. But trans people are more visible at least when they are starting.and Most states you can still brew fired or refused to hire based of perceived gender or sexual orientation. Trust me

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:38pm
  79. Go for

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:47pm
  80. Josh Rife may be married to a woman but obviously that woman is his sister, mother or first cousin and tonight they will have for dinner the dead possum they find on the side of the road and chew it with the one tooth they each have in their mouth.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:15pm
  81. if she human how come gays cant marry and striahgt can

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:21pm
  82. Homophobes cannot be reasoned with they have to be confronted it’s time for gay revolt against injustice and hate!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:38pm
  83. ( ) Gay
    ( ) Lesbian
    ( ) Bisexual
    ( ) Straight
    Darn they haven’t updated the bathrooms to fit each title he- she’s they them all in one and one for all sounds like an orgy
    (x) all of the above

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:43pm
  84. Choice # 5!!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:45pm
  85. All LBGT deserve equality including gay war vets who, Fight for this nation and come back to discrimination .

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:45pm
  86. It’s not hate it’s more like no sense of identity. I want to be this ? oh no wait I want to be that ? oh no what do I want to be hmm that’s some confused people but they are humans.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 5:46pm
  87. Imagine the reaction if any other minority group in the US was told they must pay taxes (to pay the salaries/family medical insurance/lifetime pension of their “representatives”) but could not have the civil right of civil marriage for their families?

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 6:10pm
  88. Same on you,the Lord is watching

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 6:10pm
  89. I will move to an island as long as it’s tropical

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 6:51pm
  90. Fuck the moron church. Make them pay taxes.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 6:51pm
  91. c’mon utah! quit being ignorant!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 7:28pm
  92. Why use labels, we are all humans

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 7:39pm
  93. It doesn’t even matter if it IS a choice. We have the constitutional liberty to pursue happiness.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 7:45pm
  94. I am with them in spirit.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 7:51pm