Filipinos react one week after same-sex marriage ban lifted in Utah

By Jared Bray, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 15, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY – From the Republican-dominated capitol to marriage equality rallies, many Filipino-Utahans are getting used to the idea that same-sex marriage is now a part of their state.

“It’s a time of healing,” said Carl Navales, “And we need to work and move forward for the state of Utah.”

The right to tie the knot was given back to same-gender couples last week after the U.S. Supreme Court let stand an appeals court ruling in favor of gay marriage.

“It doesn’t matter who you love,” said Heather Beale, a same-sex marriage advocate. “It’s the love that’s important, and that is what should be protected.”

After leading the fight to protect Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, the state’s Filipino-American Attorney General Sean Reyes has accepted in the new law.

Since the decision, Reyes has told all of the state’s county clerks to recognize all legally performed same-sex marriages.

Reyes told the media, “It’s time for people of goodwill on both sides of the issue to come together now and heal any rifts that occurred.”

There are those who expressed agreement, including those who come from faiths that don’t support same-sex marriage.

“I love them. I respect them,” said Joseph Buenaflor, a Filipino Mormon, “Because they are still our brothers and sisters.”

Last December, Utah became the 18th state to permit gays and lesbians to wed. Now, it’s one 29 states that have legalized same sex marriage.

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