SLC Mayor proclaims ‘Freedom to Marry Day’ on anniversary of Amendment 3 ruling

Posted at 10:19 AM, Dec 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-21 19:40:52-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Mayor Ralph Becker declared Dec. 20 "Freedom to Marry Day," recognizing the one-year anniversary of the ruling that struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage.

FOX 13 News spoke with the first couple to be married on the day same-sex marriage first become legal in Utah, see the video above for their interview and comments on the historic anniversary.

The proclamation, issued on Saturday, reads:

The proclamation issued by SLC Mayor Ralph Becker declaring Dec. 20 "Freedom to Marry Day."

The proclamation comes on the anniversary of a ruling last year by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby, striking down Amendment 3, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman and did not recognize anything else. Shelby's ruling declared Utah's voter-approved ban violated gay and lesbian couples' right to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling cleared the way for hundreds of same-sex couples to wed in Utah as the case made its way through federal appeals courts. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider Utah's appeal of Amendment 3 and same-sex marriage is now legal in the state.

"This ruling was a long overdue correction of a state law that was both discriminatory and unfairly created a second-class group of citizens. I continue to celebrate the appropriate extension of marriage rights to all of our residents and look forward to a time when we, as a society, stop battling over our differences and simply appreciate and respect one another," Mayor Becker said in a statement issued Saturday.

The gay rights groups Equality Utah and the Utah Pride Center, as well as the ACLU of Utah, were planning a celebration party on Saturday for the same-sex couples who raced to county clerks offices to marry in the hours after Shelby's ruling.

RELATED: See FOX 13's complete coverage of the Amendment 3 case here