Coalition formed to grow support for marriage equality in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A new coalition is formed to increase support for marriage equality in Utah. You may recognize some of the faces leading the group.

The coalition called Utah Unites for Marriage met at the city and county building - to stand up for marriage equality at the same place hundreds of same sex couples married a couple months ago.

"If you are for equality and the 14th amendment then you need to be on this side the right side for marriage equality- Utah is ready American is ready its time to get on the right side of history.”

Familiar faces like Brett Tolman, the former U.S. attorney for the district of Utah, gathered in support of the freedom of marriage during the first of many public education campaigns aimed to broaden the marriage conversation across the state.

The group hopes to showcase the diversity of Utahns who support marriage equality and send the message that now is the time to allow everyone the right to marry the person they love.

“Marriage is more than just an agreement between those two people its about love commitment what I see in my sister and her wife Tammy I see in the same love the same commitment as my wife and me," said Tolman. 

Sharing the same views- former TV reporter and news anchor Terry Wood stood proudly defending same sex marriages including his son and son-in-law who married in California, but whose marriage is not legally recognized in Utah.

“No state has the right to discriminate, no state has the right to tell people who they can or cannot marry. It's none of their business,” said Wood.

After 9 years as a couple, Michelle Call and Kathy Harven both working professionals who contribute to the state, married during the brief period it was legal to do so here in Utah.

Five days later their marriage was no longer recognized and their family no longer has the same rights as opposite sex couples.

“If something were to happen to me these children would be considered orphans," said Call. “They don't receive any of the financial benefits of being her child, the medical benefits or the legal recognition of being a parent.”

The coalition’s next educational event will take place around April 10.

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