S. Saluja SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (TIP): A federal judge, on December 20, struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the law “conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process under the law.” In striking down the state law, which voters had approved in 2004, U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby wrote in a 53-page ruling that the state’s “current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason.
“Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional,” he said. A day earlier, on December 19, the New Mexico Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the State, declaring in a ruling that it is unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to gay and lesbian couples. There are 18 States now that allow same sex marriage. 7 States have allowed pursuant to Court decision. These are California (June 28, 2013), Connecticut (Nov. 12, 2008), Iowa (Apr. 24, 2009), Massachusetts (May 17, 2004), New Jersey (Oct. 21, 2013), New Mexico (Dec. 19, 2013), Utah (Dec. 20, 2013). 8 States have allowed same sex marriage through State legislation.
The states are Delaware (July 1, 2013), Hawaii (Dec. 2, 2013), Illinois (law will take effect June 1, 2014), Minnesota (Aug. 1, 2013), New Hampshire (Jan. 1, 2010), New York (July 24, 2011), Rhode Island (Aug. 1, 2013), Vermont (Sep. 1, 2009). 3 States have allowed same sex marriage by Popular Vote. These states are Maine (Dec. 29, 2012), Maryland (Jan. 1, 2013),Washington (Dec. 9, 2012). Massachusetts is the first State to allow same sex marriage while Utah is the latest to join. However, Illinois legislation to allow same sex marriage will take effect on June 1, 2014.