Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Via The Republic of T., some of the folks in Utah who were in such a frenzy to enact the state's gay marriage ban are realizing now that it could come back and bite them in the ass (which of course, to hetero Mormons, would be a very bad thing). Unfortunately, so far it hasn't bitten hard enough to get them to fix it.
After rushing to write a ban on gay marriage into the state constitution last year, Utah legislators are in no hurry to repair damage the law could deal other kinds of domestic partners.

The Senate overwhelmingly voted Tuesday to kill a bill that would have eased restrictions imposed by the gay marriage ban. The legislation came under fire from conservative lobby groups in this heavily Republican state where anything seen as advancing gay rights is often doomed to failure.

Taken literally, the gay marriage ban could deny hospital visitation or survivor's property rights to children being brought up by grandparents, or to senior citizens who live together but do not marry for financial reasons. Siblings living in the same household also could find themselves without customary rights.

Utah's Legislature - overwhelmingly Republican and Mormon, and one of the most conservative bodies in the nation - ignored warnings from the state's Republican attorney general that the amendment went too far. Utah voters ratified it with 66 percent approval in November.

But in a moment of sober reflection, some of the same lawmakers were looking at giving back to adults who live together but are ineligible to marry - a category that includes same-sex couples - some of the rights of husband and wife.

The Senate rejected Bell's bill on an 18-10 vote, after Republican senators huddled over lunch with two marriage-law experts who argued there was nothing wrong with Utah's constitutional ban on gay marriage.