Archive for the ‘Utah’ Category

Federal Government Recognizes Utah Marriages

January 10, 2014

Federal Government Recognizes Utah Marriages

The U.S. Government recognizes 1,300 Utah same-sex marriages, even though the state government refuses to. Couples rushed to the altar in December after a Federal judge ruled that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the U.S. Constitution. A Federal appeals court refused to halt the weddings until it hears the case, but the U.S. Supreme Court issued a temporary stay, putting the status of the earlier marriages in question.

Today Attorney General Eric Holder announced that, as far as Federal benefits, taxes, and laws are concerned the 1,300 gay couples are married:


Panic in the Beehive State!

December 21, 2013

Panic in the Beehive State!

There’s panic in the streets of Salt Lake City! U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby has ruled that a 2004 Utah state constitutional amendment and two state laws banning same-sex marriage violate gay and lesbian couples’ 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection under the law. The state measures claimed to be “defense of marriage” provisions, but the state failed to show that same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any manner, according to the judge.

After Judge Shelby ruled, the office of the Salt Lake County Clerk began issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples. Utah’s Attorney General immediately applied for an emergency stay to halt this while he filed an appeal. Utah’s governor and the Mormon Church hope the ruling will be reversed on appeal. The church may be preoccupied with another recent court ruling that decriminalized plural marriage in Utah.


Salt Lake Tribune Endorses Obama

October 20, 2012

Salt Lake Tribune Endorses Obama

The editors of the Salt Lake Tribune, leading newspaper in “largely Mormon, Republican, business-friendly” Utah, really wanted to endorse “the Beehive State’s favorite adopted son,” Mitt Romney. Instead, they concluded that Barack Obama has earned another term. Here’s why:

“From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: ‘Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?'”

“More troubling, Romney has repeatedly refused to share specifics of his radical plan to simultaneously reduce the debt, get rid of Obamacare (or, as he now says, only part of it), make a voucher program of Medicare, slash taxes and spending, and thereby create millions of new jobs. To claim, as Romney does, that he would offset his tax and spending cuts (except for billions more for the military) by doing away with tax deductions and exemptions is utterly meaningless without identifying which and how many would get the ax. Absent those specifics, his promise of a balanced budget simply does not pencil out.”


A Tweet from Utah

June 18, 2010

A Tweet from Utah

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff announced the execution of convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner with three tweets from his iPhone. Mr. Shurtleff live-streamed his post-execution press conference.

Mr. Gardner had no last words before his execution by firing squad. We do not know if he had any last texts or tweets.


“Utah firing squad death announced on Twitter,” BBC News.

“Too Much: Utah Attorney General Tweets Execution,” Michael Suen, Geek-O-System.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Burgers and Bedfellows

May 19, 2009

Burgers and Bedfellows

“Oh man, if I had run a campaign saying I’d be working closely with Marion Barry, I don’t know that I would have been elected,” Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R, UT-03) told Marc Fisher of the Washington Post. But Mr. Chaffetz is on the House subcommittee that oversees Washington DC, and Marion Barry, former three-term DC Mayor, represents Ward 8 in the District of Columbia Council.

The Council passed a law mandating DC recognition of gay marriages performed in other states and countries, with Mr. Barry casting the lone dissenting vote. Mr. Chaffetz also disapproves of that new DC law and, thanks to historical accident, he gets a chance to overrule the duly-elected local government.

Mr. Chaffetz also says DC doesn’t need a vote in Congress since he will represent Washington’s citizens. Why does the Congressman feel no qualms about making laws for a place where he doesn’t live?  Probably because he doesn’t live in the Utah district he represents, either. Under Utah state law it is perfectly legal for Jason Chaffetz to live in Alpine, in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District (served by Democrat Jim Matheson) while representing the 3rd Congressional District.

For the record, Marion Barry actually lives in Ward 8.

Mr. Chaffetz loves to amuse the media by sleeping on top of a flagpole on a cot in his DC office and eating cheap fast food. A canny professional political operative, the Congressman favors Five Guys Burgers and Fries — it’s a DC-area chain but has locations in his Utah district (Bountiful, Midvale, Orem, Sandy, West Valley). What a coincidence!