Dueling rallies at Capitol focused on same-sex marriage

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A divisive issue was really only divided by a few yards at the Utah State Capitol on Tuesday, where cheers fell on either side of the ongoing same-sex marriage debate in the state.

“There’s something special and unique about the union of a man and a woman,” said Mike Erickson, who helped organized a rally in support of traditional marriage. “That means a mother and a father for children, and that is something special and unique that ought to be recognized in the law.”

But a crowd that filled the Capitol steps disagreed. Their speeches and signs called on state lawmakers to stop an appeal of a federal judge’s decision in December, which struck down Amendment 3, Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“I think people are becoming more and more aware that families like ours are legitimate, and we’re just like everybody else. And we want a safe and wholesome place for our kid to grow up,” said Mark Parkar, who attended the Rally for Equality with his husband and daughter.

Critics at the rally argued the Utah Attorney General’s office should not be using tax-payer dollars to fight the judge’s ruling on Amendment 3, which they believe would not have as much support today as it did when it was passed.

“I think it would be nice to see the lawmakers from the Attorney General’s office to the Governor take the high road. I don’t think they’re taking the high road. I think that they’re focusing on details that probably aren’t important. They’re spending money that shouldn’t be spent, and they’re ignoring love and families in the process,” said rally attendee, Camille Neider.

Inside the Capitol rotunda, however, was a crowd of families arguing just the opposite and applauding attorney general Sean Reyes for moving to preserve the ban, at whatever the cost.

“This fight is worth fighting. It absolutely is because it comes back to the state’s rights issue. Our federal government is out of control with what they’re doing. They really are in so many ways,” said Rod Stott, who rallied in support of Reyes. “Marriage is man and woman.”

By the end of the night, the rally from outside started to spill inside, as chants from protesters calling for equality echoed throughout the room.  The evening ended with a police escort for some, and brought the rest of the two groups together under one roof, still as divided as they started.

7 comments

  • RS

    The 5 O’clock rally was uninterrupted and unimpeded. No worries there, that’s the way it should be. The 7 O’ clock rally was counter protested and interrupted. Hopefully there are criminal charges pending for either side that conducted counter rallies that would try to ‘throw a wrench’ into a rally that had an opposing view. I am surprised vehicles with conservative stickers were not vandalized.

    • Honest Abe

      Fox news forgot to tell the most news worthy thing the Attorney General said! Boo. Guess you had to be there you silent moral majority of ‘sit at home and watch TV cause you are afraid of homosexuals crowd”!
      ——————————————————————————————–
      OK, I’ll tell you. He said that only 300 Grand was spent because so many of the legal all stars they got to defend YOUR rights did the job for FREE. That’s right, 1 MILLION plus 700 Grand given for free by some top lawyers defending your FREEDOM OF SPEECH, and FREEDOM OF RELIGION for FREE from the evil Fed Judges.
      ———————————————————————————————-
      You are a liberal bunch of reporters to misrepresent this fact stated plainly by the AG of UTAH at the event you were supposed to be covering.

  • Joel

    It’s not want the people want, it’s want the Mormon’s want, big difference, Separation of Church and State…

    • Honest Abe

      Wait a sec, Mr. Joel, most of the people are Mormons! That’s called a majority and why does it matter what our religion is you bigot! (Our people hacked this paradise out of a God forsaken desert!) Mormon’s are still the majority here…don’t be silly, why not move to a state that is not mostly Mormon if you don’t like us…stupid is as stupid does.

    • RS

      So why stay in Utah? And whats with the whole shouting and protesting OUR rally? We did not intrude into the proponent rally…. what gives? Tolerance to gays but not from gays? sounds fitting

  • rich

    Between the 400 Anti Amendment 3 Group and the 700 Pro Amendment Group only one was civil. Too bad the bully lefts can’t accept the 66% vote.

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