Utah's marriage equality ban ruled unconstitutional

A federal judge has struck down Utah's ban on marriage equality, saying it is unconstitutional. The Salt Lake Tribune has the report:

A federal judge in Utah Friday struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

"The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason," wrote U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby. "Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.

On the ground reports say that gay and lesbian couples have already begun to marry:

"At last, loving and committed couples in Utah will have the opportunity to celebrate marriage equality this holiday season. Utah's ruling, which comes after the so-called 'Defense of Marriage Act' was ruled unconstitutional, makes it the 9th state to pass marriage equality in 2013 alone," said Wilson Cruz, GLAAD's National Spokesperson. "We are seeing state leaders and more and more citizens recognize that loving and committed couples should not be legally kept apart. We look forward to seeing that momentum to continue in 2014."

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GLAAD Southern Stories will elevate the experiences of LGBT people in six of the nation's southern states. The initiative amplifies stories of LGBT people thriving in the South, ongoing discrimination, as well as the everyday indignities endured by LGBT people who simply wish to live the lives they love, including stories of family, stories of faith, stories of sports, and stories of patriotism