SALT LAKE CITY — Countless rounds of applause filled the Utah State Capitol last night as Utah residents rallied together in support of traditional marriage.
“Love 1 Another.” “Biology is not Bigotry.” “For marriage, not against anyone.” Signs such as these filled the hall as supporters tried to promote traditional marriage without exhibiting hatred toward the LGBT community.
“To support traditional marriage you don’t have to be against anyone,” said speaker Nicole Kay Brinkerhoff, BYU graduate and local marriage advocate. “My support for traditional marriage comes out of love and personal experience.”
Brinkerhoff’s experience comes from many close relations within the LGBT community, including her uncle, brother, mother and best friends.
Other speakers ranged from Utah political figures to those who have firsthand experience with the matter. They pointed to two main forces supporting the sustainment of traditional marriage: every child’s right to both a mother and a father and the preserving of the moral values that the country was founded on.
One speaker, Robert Oscar Lopez, is an outspoken opponent of gay marriage who was raised by two lesbians and used to be gay himself. He spoke directly to the gay community on the necessity of a father figure in every child’s life.
“I have this plea for the gay community,” he said. “Please stop what you’re doing. I hope that you will say no to depriving kids of a mom and a dad. Say no to treating children like objects. Say no to gay marriage.”
“The sexual revolution will never trump the American revolution,” said Rep. Lavar Christensen, R–Salt Lake City, turning to the moral issue at stake.
He mentioned the fact that Supreme Court Justices still take oaths with their hands on the Bible. “It is part of the history, the sacred history that the other side is trying to dispel. And they cannot (dispel it),” he said.
But no rally on this issue is without opposition.
“I think you should be able to marry whoever you want, whoever you love. Why does it matter what gender I love?” said Jerusha Cobb, 15, from Salt Lake City. With a large rainbow-striped flag in hand, she joined a small group of opponents who stationed themselves behind the main speakers during the rally.
“We’re just here to show that we’re here, and we’re not leaving,” said Corbin Aoyagi, 14, West Valley, another supporter of same-sex marriage.
The rally speakers gave an enthusiastic call to Utah residents to stop being the “silent majority” and to come forward and defend what they stand for.
“With malice toward none and charity for all, I declare my unequivocal support for traditional marriage,” said Senator Stuart Reid, noting that he was advised against publicly declaring his support. “We shall not be cowered by advocacy groups or sympathetic allies or government officials for speaking out (about) what is morally right,” he said.