With a thousand people expected to turn out for either side, both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage are today expected to protest in Utah.

The Stand for Marriage gathering, which encourages supporters to wear blue and pink, to represent opposite-sex marriage, is supporting Amendment 3, Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage.

It will begin at 7pm at the Capitol Rotunda this evening, and will feature speakers from the National Organization for Marriage, and a gay activist who is of the opinion that children should all have a mother and a father, in opposition to same-sex marriage and adoption.

Two hours earlier, at 5pm, the Rally for Equality will begin at another part of the state capitol.

Those in support of equal marriage will rally for the US Supreme Court to uphold a US District Judge’s ruling which deemed Amendment 3 unconstitutional, therefore opening the door to over 1,300 gay couples marrying.

Between 20 December and 6 January, some 1,300 couples married in the state as a US District Judge ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage violated the state’s constitution.

The US Supreme Court since put a stay on equal marriage in the US state, forbidding same-sex couples from being issued with marriage licences in the state during an appeal against a ruling to allow them.

The Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes advised Governor Gary Herbert that marriages between gay couples who married in that short period should not be recognised by the state for benefits purposes.

Herbert has since accused US District Judge Robert Shelby of being an “activist”, and said his strike-down of the same-sex marriage ban was one step away from a “dictatorship”.

The Governor also defended his decision to spend over $300,000 of taxpayers’ money towards recruiting out-of-state counsel to help defend Amendment 3.