Filipinos in Utah take opposing sides on same-sex marriage

By Jared Bray, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Jan. 15, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – On Dec. 20, Utah, one of the most conservative and Christian states in the nation, became the 18th state to extend marriage rights to gays and lesbians when a federal judge struck down its ban on same-sex marriage.

The decision came as a shock to many of Utah’s 2.8 million residents, including those from its Filipino community.

“My roommates and I were like, ‘Is this for real? Can you pinch me?’ because this is happening in Utah,” same-sex marriage advocate Carl Navales said. “We really thought it will be the 48th, 49th, 50th state to legalize marriage.”

The decision to overturn the ban kicked off a wave of same-sex marriage throughout the state. Between Dec. 20 and Jan. 6, about 1,400 gay and lesbian couples tied the knot. But last week, the rush to exchange vows came to a stop.

On the 6th, the U.S. Supreme Court put a temporary block on same-sex marriage in Utah until the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the issue.

A final ruling could affect not just Utah but all states within the court’s jurisdiction, including Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Filipinos in Utah have taken opposing sides on the issue and disagree on what the final outcome should be.

“I believe that those people with same-gender attraction should be treated nicely. They are great people,” Filipino Mormon Ejay Alitagtag said. “But I truly believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

“I’m very open,” said Justine Tabligan, another Filipino Mormon. “I have friends who are homosexual, and I’m very accepting of that idea, but I’m just not completely accepting of the idea of marriage between a women and a women and a man and a man.”

“Love is love,” same-sex marriage advocate Heather Beale said. “You can’t put a gender on love. You can’t put any rules on love. You can’t help who you fall in love with. So I think eventually people will come around and people will see that marriage equality is just the way to go.”

“I’m very very optimistic about it, that it will still come back here in Utah,” Navales said. “Marriage equality will be back, and I know love and equality will prevail.”
The action now shifts to Denver, where later this year the appeals court will consider arguments from both sides.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • JD
    16 January 2014 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    I will stay away from gays, if I see gays I will look away from them like they not alive! That’s the answer to all this crazy thing about gays, look what the two gays did to a 98 years old lady in San Diego ? What a shame to the gays ! They are sick and they are not God kids !

  • Juan
    16 January 2014 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Today,CDC report said that, SYPHILIS and GONORHEA is on the rise for 11% among gays..This is the result of same sex marriage and MSM(male sex male). Dito mauubos ang mga Bakla, sa sakit na Syphilis(TOLU) “.Wa-Class kang Bakla, hindi kana soscial, kung magpapa-check ka nang tulo sa Doctor”. Kaya itatago yaan, parang sakit na AIDS sa mga Bakla, itina-tago hangat kamatayan. Mga Bakla na may TOLU, huwag kayong gagamit ng Mens toilet, deadly at malakas makahawa yaan……