On the evening of Tuesday, January 28, both supporters and opponents of marriage equality will gather outside Utah’s Capitol building.
Stand for Marriage intends to gather at 7:00 pm at the building in support of Utah’s Amendment 3, the ban on same-sex marriage. They have encouraged supporters to wear blue and pink to represent traditional marriage.
Stand for Marriage is looking to gather the larger crowd, with around one thousand people expected to turn up in support.
At the gathering, supporters will hear speakers such as the National Organization for Marriage’s president Brian Brown and activist Doug Mainwaring, who oppose marriage equality; Mainwaring has claimed that “denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil.”
Activist Robert Oscar Lopez, who was raised by lesbian mothers and has equated same-sex child rearing with child abuse will also appear, via video.
At 5:00 pm, two hours prior to Stand for Marriage’s meeting, the Rally for Equality is due to begin at another part of the Capitol building.
The organizer of the Rally for Equality and assistant editor of Q Salt Lake magazine has said, “The message is that we’re angry, we’re hurting and we’re tired of people thinking it’s OK to cause pain.”
In light of the two groups potentially meeting, he added, “There are some people who want to express that hurt, they want people to understand that pain, but I really don’t want to see this turn into a hate-fest.”
Stand for Marriage also intends to maintain a respectful attitude at the event.
These opposing factions are gathering amidst a state dispute over Amendment 3, passed in 2004, which banned same-sex marriage.
Between December 20, 2013, and January 6, 2014, around 1,300 same-sex couples were able to legally marry in Utah after a US District Judge deemed the state’s marriage laws unconstitutional.
However, since then the Supreme Court has called a halt to marriage equality in Utah after the state appealed the ruling, which has left all 1,300 same-sex marriages deemed invalid until further notice.