Appeals court denies Utah stay in same-sex marriage recognition case

Appeals court denies Utah stay in same-sex marriage recognition case

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled 2-1 to deny the state's application for a stay in a same-sex marriage recognition case. The court gives the state 10 days or until July 21 to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled 2-1 to deny the state's application for a stay in a same-sex marriage recognition case. The court gives the state 10 days or until July 21 to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office announced back in June that the state would appeal recognition of same-sex marriages performed in the state.

Around 1,300 gay and lesbian couples were married in Utah between December 20, 2013 when Judge Robert Shelby overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage and January 6 when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay, halting further marriages pending an appeal of the Kitchen vs. Herbert case in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball said in a written ruling handed down on May 19 that Governor Gary Herbert and Attorney General Sean Reyes cannot retroactively void those marriages.

The Attorney General's Office released this statement Friday.

"In response to the United States Court of Appeal for the Tenth Circuit denial of stay in Evans v. Utah, the State is prepared to file an Application for Stay before the United States Supreme Court in the coming days to avoid uncertainty, as noted by the dissenting Judge on the Tenth Circuit. The State recognizes that pending cases regarding same-sex marriage in Utah impact the lives of many individuals and families and is diligently seeking uniform certainty through proper and orderly legal processes until Kitchen v Herbert is resolved."


Senator Jim Dabakis issued the following statement:

"Issue before the court was limited to the 1352 marriages performed while same sex marriage was legal in Utah. Did the Governor have the right to unilaterally declare those marriages void? 10th Circuit said no. But, the court granted a stay on the recognition of those marriages--that stay expires July 21. Today the 10th Circuit in Denver said--no extension of the stay. Meaning, unless Governor Herbert and AG Reyes get a stay from the Supreme Court, the 1352 marriages are legal and lawful on July 22 (great 24th present). Those folks are Utah married and entitled to all the benefits of every married couple."

"I have only one question of the Governor and the Attorney General. How much more money are they going to spend on lawsuits? They have already have committed around $10 million to the Supreme Court case of Kitchen v Herbert. And now, will they open the taxpayers checkbook again? For another, separate appeal in another case? Clearly, that would be fiscally irresponsible and morally reprehensible."

The governor's office released this statement Friday. 

"The governor agrees with Judge Kelly who wrote in his dissent that the state and its citizens are better served by obtaining complete, final judicial resolution of these issues. The governor believes that such resolution can only come from the Supreme Court."


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