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"I can't believe this is Utah," Noel said moments after a ceremony that took place about 3 miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church.
Others had a similar reaction after a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby that declared Utah's voter-approved ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. The recent appointee by President Obama said the ban violates the constitutional rights of gay couples and ruled Utah failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any way.
The ruling prompted a frenzy of activity by lawyers and gay couples. The Republican governor blasted the ruling as going against the will of the people. Gay couples rushed to the Salt Lake County Clerk's office en masse to secure marriage licenses, waiting in line by the dozens and getting married on the spot by the mayor and ministers.
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