Tell Utah Gov. Herbert: Recognize all Same-Sex Marriages

Andrea and Coral Getting Married

Andrea waited 25 years to marry the love of her life, but it only took 14 days for the state of Utah to strip her marriage of recognition.

After more than two decades together, her partner, Coral, was diagnosed with a progressive disease with a survival rate of 3 years without adequate treatment. Without the option to get married in their home state, they lacked rights to hospital visitations and vital financial protections.

So in December, when a federal judge announced that the state’s ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional, Andrea and Coral moved to get married immediately. Coral’s conservative Mormon family of five siblings are incredibly supportive of their relationship — her mother sewed a wedding dress for their commitment ceremony 23 years ago, and her sister immediately drove up from New Mexico with her son to celebrate their marriage in 2013.

But only two weeks after finally getting the freedom to marry, Utah's governor, on the advice of Utah's attorney general, directed all state agencies to place all benefits to these married couples "on hold" indefinitely while the courts deal with the appeal. Hearing the news in her office, Andrea broke down in tears thinking about Coral and the more than 1,300 same-sex couples in Utah who were issued marriage licenses during this time.

Andrea and Coral can’t afford to lose these protections again. They are relying on the state of Utah to enforce the protections that are provided to all married people in their state.

Governor Herbert has the authority to protect couples like Andrea and Coral while the courts decide on the freedom to marry in Utah — and he needs to know that thousands of Americans are watching and demanding that he does the right thing.

Long ago, Andrea and Coral committed to protect each other in sickness and in health. It’s time for Utah to do the same for all its citizens. Tell Gov. Herbert to allow Utah agencies to provide equal protections and recognize the marriages of all same-sex couples that were legally married in Utah.

To Gov. Gary Herbert:

Allow Utah agencies to provide equal privileges and recognize the marriages of all same-sex couples that were legally married in Utah immediately.

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