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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Same-sex marriage ban creates bump in the road for U couple

Hundreds of protesters, including newlyweds Trista Emmer and her partner Kristin Midyett, gathered at the Capitol building Wednesday to take a final stand against the resolution banning same-sex marriage.

Legislators were unmoved, however. The resolution passed, defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. It reinforces last Friday’s bill, which declared that the state will only recognize such a union.

“This will be the first time in history an amendment has been made to the Constitution that will take away the rights of people,” Midyett said.

Emmer, a graduate student in the English department, and Midyett, a 2002 graduate from the U, obtained a marriage license and were married in San Francisco on Valentine’s Day. Because of the resolution and the bill, the state of Utah will not recognize their marriage.

That’s not the only thing affected by the decision, however.

“One big hope for the future is that we’re going to try to have a child and start a family,” Midyett said.

The legislators’ decision means Emmer will not be able to adopt once Midyett gives birth to their child. Emmer “won’t have any rights to the child that we plan on raising together,” Midyett said.

Midyett’s worries extend to the more distant future as well.

“If I were to die, my sister would inherit all my things. Trista wouldn’t, even though we’ve lived together for more than three years and have a committed relationship,” she said.

The couple hasn’t lost hope, however. Midyett hopes the ACLU will file a class-action lawsuit.

The couple also plans to stay active with Equality Utah-a local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political advocacy group-that sponsored the gathering Wednesday.

Midyett said it comes down to one seemingly simple goal: “that we have the same rights as everyone else.”

No one can take their wedding memories from them, though. Emmer and Midyett stood in line for hours to obtain the license after driving to the city after what Emmer called “a somewhat uncharacteristic act of spontaneity.”

“There was one straight couple in line behind us. They thought it was really funny that they were in that situation,” Midyett said. “They were there on the day that history was being made.”

Emmer and Midyett said they were the first same-sex couple to be married in San Francisco’s First Unitarian Universalist Church after receiving their license.

Many of their memories will be of the support they received from San Francisco residents and from the hundreds of other couples standing in line to get licenses as well.

“To look out over an entire church filled with people applauding our marriage was an amazing thing. We stood there in front of hundreds of strangers feeling our love celebrated,” Emmer said.

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