Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Offices Association is mad. He’s mad about what he sees as the “unconstitutionality” of gay marriage, mad over people in LGBTQ communities feelings they are entitled to due process and equal treatment under the law and more than anything else he’s sick of homosexuals jamming things down his throat.
Mack and friends have recently called for an “armed uprising” to contest and confront the recent federal court decision declaring Utah’s same sex marriage ban unconstitutional. According to Mack and the Utah chapter of his Sheriff’s association, federal law does not take precedence over Utah’s state laws and therefore the ruling in question is unconstitutional. Despite this being utter nonsense, Mack and his conservative comrades maintain their will must be done in the name of Christ, the bible and constitution, forever and ever, amen.
Accompanying his initial incoherent pseudo-legal ramblings and repeated references to armed uprisings, Mack went on to declare that it was county Sheriffs who served as “arbiters of the Constitution,” apparently further nullifying the role of courts, the legislature and the entire civil process that brings bills into law.
Utah has put up one of the most consistent fights against marriage equality with a largely theocratic conservative bend running through the largely Mormon state. Mormonism, which itself is steeped in a rich history of authoritarianism and violence, has been largely at the forefront of fighting against this modern civil rights battle, having plied as much influence as they could muster to prevent homosexuals from serving as scout leaders and pushing endlessly for passage of the state’s now overturned ban on same sex marriage.
During court proceedings, the state’s attorney arguing to uphold the ban, attempted to obfuscate the religious roots of the state’s homophobia, claiming instead that the ban was in fact constitutional in that same sex couples cannot procreate, therefore making their unions invalid. No word has come out yet if the state or their attorneys plan on banning infertile couples, or people over their childbearing years from marrying, but at the same time expectations for rational or logical consistency from the theocracy remain low.
Though this kind of bluster and noise is nothing new from the often militant, homophobic religious right, the increasingly erroneous invocations of presumed constitutional statutes and precedence without any grounding in reality remains troubling. Throughout history, bigots and hateful religious purists have made an art of morally or even rationally justifying their hate and violence. But with such devout ideological enthusiasm now coupling with such zealotry and in turn, cloaking itself in the false guise of constitutional law, the increasingly violent rhetoric coming from those who’ve latched on to what in many ways is the final bastion of semi-acceptable institutional bigotry, is beginning to raise alarms throughout the populations and communities they stand to threaten.
Though the Utah state supreme court has temporarily barred same-sex marriage pending further legal review, many in the legal community see the halt as little more than an effort to shift the burden of ruling on the matter to a higher court, lest the state further incur the wrath of the LGBTQ community who are struggling to have their marriages recognized in the Mormon autocracy, or the Mormon right wing who insist their will to dictate to others who they may love, is the very will of god above.