Although a Utah court has ruled that same-sex marriages can proceed in the state, one politician there is taking it upon himself to try to stop them.
Trestin Meacham, who once ran for a state senate seat as a member of Utah’s extremist Constitution Party, is now drawing attention to himself by saying he will not eat until Utah’s legislature willingly disobeys the federal government by reinstating its ban on same-sex marriages.
“I cannot stand by and do nothing while this evil takes root in my home,” Meacham wrote in a blog post, adding, “It is time for the State to stop wasting time. Our so-called conservative lawmakers need to show some courage and stand against this judicial tyranny. They need to exert the will of the people.”
Meacham says he has not eaten since December 21st, and has lost 25 pounds. He will only begin eating again, he insists, once the state legislature nullifies federal law and passes another ban on same-sex marriages.
Nullification — a state claiming it holds the ultimate governmental authority, rather than the federal government — is frequently used approach that state Republican parties tend to favor. The Supreme Court has ruled, however, that it is unconstitutional.
Late last month, a Utah court ruled that same-sex marriages were legal under the constitution, citing the recent Supreme Court opinion of United States v. Windsor, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act on the grounds that it caused the government to treat gay and lesbian couples unequally. The Utah court decision has been appealed, though a federal court recently declined to put a stay on same-sex marriages in the state.
The state is already planning to spend $2 million of taxpayer money trying to defeat the ruling.