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Married by Queen Latifah, with a musical number by Madonna, witnessed by a packed Staples Center and the rest of the country through live television, Sean Bishop, a Weber State University musical
theater alumnus, and Taylor Knuth, a WSU musical theater senior, exchanged wedding vows on stage at the Grammy Awards ceremony among 31 other diverse, now-wed couples.
Bishop and Knuth met in the theater program at WSU in Knuth’s freshman year. A year ago, Bishop and Knuth became engaged. They put a video of the proposal on YouTube, and a casting director for the Grammy Awards weddings contacted the couple with an offer for them to be married at the Grammy Awards ceremony.
“It was cool to be involved in a message that was more than just about gay marriage,” Knuth said. ”It was about all types of marriages and all types of people coming from different backgrounds, different races and different ethnicities, and they all came together to send out this big message of ‘Same Love.’ Other than being actually married, that was a really cool experience, to be a part of a message that will be remembered for generations to come.”
Bishop said the couple was in awe of the venue. “I was just looking across the aisle at Taylor, and he just started crying and I started crying, and we were just laughing and couldn’t believe it,” he said. “It was just such a high like you wouldn’t believe. We were just elated in that moment.”
Passed in the Nov. 2, 2004 election, Utah Constitutional Amendment 3 is an amendment to the Utah state constitution that sought to define marriage as a union exclusively between a man and woman. Due to Amendment 3, the Utah government does not currently recognize Knuth and Bishop’s marriage.
“We’re married federally and in the state of California, and any other state that recognizes same-sex marriage,” Knuth said.
Amendment 3 prevents same-sex couples from getting married in Utah. Further, the state is not constitutionally required to recognize Knuth and Bishop as a married couple.
Bishop said he was surprised by the sudden same-sex marriages in Utah. “. . . While it’s definitely frustrating that we had to take a step back, it’s still closer than I expected to be this soon. So that gives me a lot of hope and a lot of positivity about it, because it’s happening so quickly and so many states are falling in line.”
Knuth and Bishop are active members of the LGBT community in Ogden. They work with the OUTreach Resource Center, which provides a safe place for LGBT youth in Ogden.
“I think that there is a growing population of Utah, including Mormon, active LDS members, that see that gay marriage is not a morals issue anymore — it’s a rights issue,” Knuth said. “It’s about rights. It’s not about morals, it’s not about religion.”
Bishop and Knuth plan to move to New York in the next year, where their marriage will be recognized.
“There are so many people who take their lives for feeling inadequate, feeling different, and that’s so much more important than a family who doesn’t believe in homosexuality having to explain it to their kids,” Bishop said.