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Utah same sex couples request marriage licenses on Valentine's Day

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - On this day of love when thousands of couples are getting ready to say "I do" dozens of gay and lesbian couples gathered at the Salt Lake County Clerk's office to fight for the right to get married.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - On this day of love when thousands of couples are getting ready to say "I do" dozens of gay and lesbian couples gathered at the Salt Lake County Clerk's office to fight for the right to get married.

This was the 15th year for the Freedom to Marry demonstration, which takes place across the nation, but it was the first time in Utah that gay couples appeared before the county clerk to request marriage licenses.

Russell and Joe Baker-Gorringe have been together since 2005. They were legally married in California in 2008, but want their home state of Utah to recognize their relationship.

Russell Baker-Gorringe said, "To be able to go and apply for a marriage license so that our love can be recognized and we can have the same opportunities and liberties as our heterosexual brothers and sisters."

Russell and Joe were joined by dozens of other couples and several clergy members from various local churches, all joining together to show support for the freedom to marry.

Rev. Tom Goldsmith from First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City said, “Everyone is entitled to very basic civil rights and human rights and the laws right now in the state of Utah are disgracefully discriminatory against a certain group of people."

Utah only recognizes marriages as between a man and woman, but that didn't stop the couples from requesting licenses to marry. As expected they were turned away, but they didn't leave discouraged, rather full of hope, that one day others will recognize their equality in love.

Baker-Gorringe explained, "To be able to be with a group of people who recognize and honor the dignity of our faith and our love, our commitment for each other."

Aside from the marriage license protest, Utah Pride is also in the process of filing a brief in the U.S Supreme Court in each of the pending cases involving the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.
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