Utah Politician Goes On Hunger Strike To Stop Gay Marriage
Some activists go on hunger strike to bring together warring factions in India or protest the conflict in Darfur, others choose self-imposed starvation to try and stop the progression of human rights in America. Trestin Meacham, a former senate hopeful from Utah, has chosen to fast until Utah’s legislature reinstates its ban on same-sex marriage, because, gosh darn it, somebody hasn't been crazy enough to try that yet. Shockingly.
Meacham, who ran for a state senate seat in 2012 under Utah’s Constitution Party, has not ingested anything but water and vitamin pills since December 21st. He's already lost 25 pounds, but he's refusing to eat anything until Utah overturns its recent court decision to allow same-sex marriage.
“I cannot stand by and do nothing while this evil takes root in my home,” Meacham writes on his somewhat terrifying blog. He adds: “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.”
Less than two weeks ago, a federal judge declared Utah’s voter-enacted ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, and clerks started issuing marriage licenses. For a short while after, Governor Gary Herbert began desperately petitioning courts to block the ruling, even issuing emergency appeals to stop the issuance of marriage licenses to gay couples. Luckily, though, none of those efforts were in any way successful, with a federal court ultimately declining to put a stay on same-sex marriages while the law was appealed.
"This has nothing to do with hatred of a group of people. I have friends and relatives who practice a homosexual lifestyle and I treat them with the same respect and kindness that I would anyone," writes Meacham, apparently unaware that refusing to eat because these gay friends and relatives have been allowed the same rights as him is perhaps sending a different message. "This is about religious freedom, and an out of control federal government."
Meacham's demand, specifically? That the state legislature nullify federal law and pass another ban on gay marriage. Even though nullification — which involves a state claiming to hold ultimate power, over that of the federal government — has been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
He's live-tweeting his whole process, and the hashtag #Trestinsfast is already trending on Twitter. One online campaign has even been started to help Meacham break his fast by going out to dinner with a few gay couples in Utah.
In 1924, Ghandi went on a three-week fast in an effort to bring together Hindus and Muslims. In 2014, we bring you Trestin Meacham. God help us all.