Group formed in support of same-sex marriage

SALT LAKE CITY — In December the Salt Lake County Building was filled with same-sex couples getting marriage licenses after Amendment 3 was struck down by a federal judge.

With that case still making its way through the courts, same-sex marriage advocates gathered Tuesday in the same atrium to launch what they call a public education campaign to keep the conversation alive.

“I hope my children and my children’s children know that I fought for equal protection under the law and for marriage equality,” said Brett Tolman, Former U.S. Attorney.

Tolman is one of several prominent Utahns behind the organization, Utah Unites for Marriage.

“Once people start realizing that it’s not a statement on their own marriage or their own religious belief, but it’s whether the government can discriminate against a cross section of our fellow citizens,” Tolman, co-chair of the organization, said.

Kathy Harbin and Michelle Call were recently married with two kids. Both are actively involved in Utah Unites for Marriage.

“I see this as a public education campaign where people can begin to understand what’s real about what’s going on and what’s not real about what’s going on,” Harbin said.

The new group, which includes members of the ACLU, the Utah Pride Center and Equality Utah, plans to host events, which they hope serves as a place to debate and learn about same-sex marriage.

“For me one of the most important things is that we’re visible because I think that if people know who we are it might change what they believe about us because so many things we hear about why we shouldn’t be allowed to marry or adopt children do not speak to who we are,” Harbin said.

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