Meet Utah Families

Across the state of Utah, thousands of families are building lives together – and many of these families are headed by same-sex couples. Until Utah overturns the state’s harmful marriage ban, these couples are denied the critical protections and respect only marriage can provide, depriving them of the same chance at happiness that so many other families receive. Read the stories of real Utah couples – same-sex couples and different-sex couples alike – who want to see the freedom to marry for all in their home state.

Mother Wants Her Son to Have the Freedom to Marry at Home
Wendy Matis • Millcreek
For Wendy Matis, a physician with a private medical practice in Salt Lake City, the 16 days that same-sex couples had the freedom to marry in Utah were an amazing glimpse into the future. As the mother of a gay son, for years she was uncertain if her home state would ever allow him the chance to stand before family members and friends and make a legal commitment to the person he loves.
Married in Our Pajamas, and Watching Inequality Crumble
Jo & Lindi Barney • Salt Lake City
On the first day of the freedom to marry in Utah - the afternoon of the historic ruling - Jo and Lindi Barney stood in the county recorder's office with dozens of same-sex couples. And that feeling - the feeling of legal respect in their home state and city - felt amazing.
This Mom Wants All of Her Sons Treated Equally
Janice Marcus • Salt Lake City, Utah
“My son and family deserve the same rights and treatment as everyone else in our state,” Janice said. “We can proudly introduce both boys as husband and husband, I can call Josh my son-in-law, and the boys are legally married as respected as such by the federal government and so many states across the country. Now, they need to be legally recognized in Utah. I want to feel secure that they have the same rights as my other sons in our home state.”
Promising Our Love, Building Our Lives in Utah
Marina Gomberg & Elenor Heyborne • Salt Lake City
Marina and Elenor contacted the ACLU, which was mounting a lawsuit to ensure the legally married couples like them would be respected and recognized by the state. "We know that every day that goes by is another day we're not protected and we need to speak up about that," Marina explained.
Reflections on Faith, Family and Freedom from a Gay Utahn’s Sister
Shana Elmer • Spanish Fork
"It didn't bother me that Dustin was gay," Shana Elmer said about her gay brother. "What bothered me was that as far as I knew, if you were gay you weren't going to Heaven. So I saw that Dustin was still who he had always been. I came to that realization: If it's not Heaven without Dustin, then Dustin will be in Heaven. He'll be there."
Mormon Law Student Wants All Couples to Have What He and His Wife Share
Bryant Brown • West Jordan
As a Utahn, a husband, a father, and an active member of the LDS community, Bryant Brown knows that supporting the freedom to marry is the right thing to do. He values the institution of marriage, and he knows that it should be available to all loving couples.
How We Became the First Same-Sex Couple to Marry in Utah
Seth Anderson and Michael Ferguson • Salt Lake City
It only took a few minutes for Seth Anderson and Michael Ferguson to act after they saw the news about the freedom to marry in Utah. The men didn't ask questions. They hurried over to the courthouse, nervous that the state would quickly get the ruling stayed while the case worked its way through the federal court process.
View More:
Looking Ahead to a Brighter Future in Utah
Kayla Porter & Megan Monroe • Salt Lake City
Megan and Kayla are one of many couples in Utah hoping to see the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rule in favor of marriage for same-sex couples in April. They hope that the court will stand on the right side of history, that their marriage will be recognized by their home state, that they can feel as secure as any other couple as they begin to build their family.
Our Valentine’s Day Marriage Proposal
Matthew Jacobson and Rus Huyo-a • St. George
Valentine's day is an important, romantic day for all loving couples - but for Matthew Jacobson and Rus Huyo-a, February 14 bears even greater significance. In 2009, it was the day that Matthew had his first crystal-clear moment of realization that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Rus. And in 2010, it was the day that Matthew asked Rus to marry him.
A 40-Year Journey to ‘I Do’
Richard Miller & Rion Locke • Sandy
On Jan. 2, Rion Locke and Richard Miller stood before a minister, exchanged vows, and said “I do.” Behind that "I do" stood the many commitments the couple have made to each other over the past 40 years: "I do" promise to love you for the rest of my life; "I do" vow to combine our passions, build a business, create a career alongside you; "I do" commit to standing beside you, to supporting you when it’s hard or when you’re sick or when the world seems stacked against us.