Utah asks Supreme Court for emergency stay on same-sex marriage recognition

SALT LAKE CITY – The State of Utah appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday for an emergency stay on a lower court ruling that orders the state to recognize more than 1,200 same-sex marriages that were performed during a 17-day window last year.

The request for a stay comes on the wake of last week’s 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled against the state’s request for a stay pending the final results of the Amendment 3 court battle. However, the judges issued a temporary 10-day stay on the ruling to allow Utah officials a chance to appeal. The temporary stay ends Monday morning.

The ruling is related to Evans v. Herbert, a lawsuit in which the plaintiffs demand Utah recognize the legality of same-sex marriages performed between Dec. 20, 2013, and Jan. 6, 2014. Legal recognition of the marriages, an action that is currently prohibited under Amendment 3, would extend to same-sex couples the same privileges, protections and rights of marriage afforded to married heterosexual couples.

U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball oversaw Evans v. Herbert and ruled that Utah must recognize the marriages and grant them “all the protections, benefits and responsibilities given to all marriages under Utah law.”

Utah’s latest appeal will go to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. If Sotomayor chooses not to issue the stay, the state will seek to have the matter referred to the full Supreme Court.

Amendment 3, Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, was shot down as unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby on Dec. 20, 2013. Same-sex marriages were performed across the state until Jan. 6, when the Supreme Court issued a stay on Shelby’s ruling pending the outcome of an appeal.


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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.


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  • Dana July 17, 2014 at 5:29 am

    The headline should read “Utah Decides to Continue Their Hissy Fit and $pend More Taxpayer Dollar$ on a Lo$ing Battle.”

  • Really? July 17, 2014 at 9:15 am

    They have admitted it is an uphill battle and will most likely loose, why not spend that money on promoting acceptance campaigns . These laws are falling all over the US, it’s going to happen regardless of how much whining Utah does. Oh wait this is a political hot potato that nobody wants to be left with. If they stop the fight they will be booted from office next election.

  • St. George Resident July 17, 2014 at 11:42 am

    This is about institutionalized control of others. Once you are forced to recognize a (previously) marginalized segment of society as your equal, you can’t control them anymore. And not being able to control others seems to scare Republicans and religious fanatics (both of which are ubiquitous in this state) silly.

  • John July 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    10 reasons why same-sex “marriage” is not marriage.

    As logical as 2 + 2 = 4.

    • Mandy July 18, 2014 at 12:17 am

      That manifesto had so many logical fallacies I had to stop counting and just laugh.

    • St. George Resident July 18, 2014 at 12:36 am

      All of those “reasons” have either been disproven by factual studies, or are invalid because they are simply circular arguments relying on opinion rather than fact.

    • Super Grover July 18, 2014 at 7:19 am

      2+2=4 is not logical, it’s just plain factual. Huge difference.

      • Mandy July 18, 2014 at 9:03 am

        2+2=4 is the only factual part of John’s statement. However, it has nothing to do with any type marriage debate. The quoted manifesto relies on the procreation aspect of heterosexual marriage. That, of course would make marriages of people either too old, unwilling, or simply unable to conceive, invalid. Good luck with that.

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