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The Travesty of January 6, 2014

Marriage equality advocates gather at the Utah State Capitol Building. (Courtesy Photo)

The sky opened up, the world ended, and gay marriage became legal in Utah.

Same-sex marriage became legal in the state on Dec. 20, 2014, after a ruling by the US District Court for the District of Utah. It was one of those moments in time when you remember exactly where you were, and what you were doing when you heard the news.

My mother had just picked me up from school and we were driving home when we tuned in to the local NPR station. They were in downtown Salt Lake City interviewing the hordes of people waiting in line for their marriage certificates.

My mother and I hurried to call everyone we knew and headed downtown. We stood across the street from the courthouse and watched history take place. The one thing we had been working on since I could walk had suddenly come true. We held the hands of our loved ones and laughed till we cried, not believing it had finally happened.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, on that day alone, 1,200 same sex couples were wed in Utah.

16 days later it was stolen from us.

The Supreme Court put a stay on the District Court’s appeal on Utah’s Defensive Marriage Act. Suddenly, not only was gay marriage no longer legal, all the marriages that had taken place were no longer legitimate. Words could not express the utter disappointment and frustration we felt.

We put our faith in a government who had never supported us, and were now disappointed in ourselves for trusting anyone outside of the minority of liberal-minded people in Utah.

Wedding invitations were returned, adoption applications shredded, and hope faded. Yet, it only took the world media a week to forget this travesty.  Even as our community was falling apart, no one else seemed to notice. The media was just around to see the first round of tears, but as the grief continued, the world lost interest.

Our community, which had once plastered the front pages of newspapers, was no longer worth anyone else’s concern.

Ten months later, while lazily looking at my phone, I saw a text from Maxine Plewe, my virtual mother, saying that she and her girlfriend of five years are now able to be wed.

The Supreme Court removed the stay. Suddenly I was crying, again stuck between joy and fear, because even though the rest of the world may have forgotten the travesty of Jan. 6, I don’t have that luxury.

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The Travesty of January 6, 2014