Gay Marriage: A Cause Worth Starving For — To Stop?

An ardent foe of gay marriage in Utah ended his two-week hunger strike today as the U.S. Supreme Court ordered what will be at least a temporary halt to same sex nuptials in that state.

He’s been called the “Gandhi of Hating Gay People” for what until January 6 had been a near-two-week fast to protest the legality of gay marriages in Utah, but Trestin Meacham asked someone to send him a pizza today after he heard the Supreme Court order, The Huffington Post reported.

“You can start a blog and you can complain on social networks until you’re blue in the face and nothing will happen, but actions speak louder than words and I’m taking action,” Meacham said on his own blog, quoted by KSLA TV, after a federal judge struck down Utah’s gay marriage ban, calling it unconstitutional.

On December 20, Judge Robert J. Shelby, of the United States District Court for the District of Utah ruled that the state’s prohibition on gay marriage “perpetuates inequality.”

“The State’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason,” Shelby wrote, declaring that law violated the U.S. Constitution.

But what was obviously a joyous day for Utah’s same sex couples and other gay marriage supporters was something like the apocalypse for Meacham.

“I cannot stand by and do nothing while this evil takes root in my home,” Meacham wrote. “Some things in life are worth sacrificing one’s health and even life if necessary. I am but a man, and do not have the money and power to make any noticeable influence in our corrupt system. Nevertheless, I can do something that people in power cannot ignore.”

That something was to commit suicide by starvation — though Meacham has now stopped short of realizing that outcome.

The hunger-striker called on Utah to “nullify” the federal ruling and pledged to refuse all food except water and some vitamins until this “nullification” was put into effect.

Unfortunately for Meacham, states may not “nullify” federal laws, or the constitution. As one constitutional lawyer told KSLA, “when the federal government grants someone a constitutional right, states must recognize it.”

But today the Supreme Court put the gay marriage ban back into effect, at least until the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has a chance to make its own ruling. The case is pending before that court. The Surpeme Court’s ruling gave Meacham a reason to call off his hunger strike, even though the law has not been “nullified.”

Since December 20, about 900 gay marriages have taken place in Utah. The couples who took advantage of briefly legal gay marriage will not have their unions erased and are still married under the law, according to a report in USA Today.