Supreme Court Temporarily Halts Same Sex Marriages in Utah
The Supreme Court issued a temporary order today blocking new same-sex marriages in Utah in order to allow more time for a federal appeals court to consider the issue.
The order follows a ruling by US District Judge Robert Shelby that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage, added to the state's constitution in 2004, violates same sex couples' federal constitutional rights under United States v. Windsor. Utah subsequently filed an emergency request to stay the judge's ruling. Since the ruling on December 20, 900 gay and lesbian couples have married in the state.
The order will remain in effect until the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals decides whether or not to uphold Shelby's ruling. A date for argument has not been set yet, but the state's first brief is due January 27. If Shelby's ruling is upheld, Utah will join 17 other states and the District of Columbia that allow, or soon will allow, same sex marriage.