“We were just on cloud nine for a week. And then Stacia had severe chest pain on New Year’s Day, and we didn’t have to grab our legal papers,” Evans said.There's good reason to believe that Utah has, indeed, changed: A recent poll found an even split, with 48 percent of Utahns favoring marriage equality and 48 opposed. That's quite a shift from the 66 percent who voted for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2004.
“As soon as we got there, they asked me who JoNell was, and I said, ‘She’s my wife,” Ireland said. “Immediately, [they] let her sign papers. They took me back, but they allowed her to sign papers, talk to her, any of that. It was a very different feeling from the first time.”
“The change was just overwhelming to us almost,” Evans said, pausing for the first time in the interview. “I don’t know the right word for it. We were almost stunned by how easily they accepted that we were married. And, I think it’s because people really have changed over the last 10 years since Amendment 3 was passed. People don’t want to stand in the way of us taking care of each other and loving each other, and now the law, at that point, gave them the legal right to just accept our marriage.”
Utah's government is continuing to fight a losing battle against equality—if they don't lose right now, it won't be long before they do. But Utah's voters are catching up with the values of equality and justice.