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Same-sex marriages continue as state prepares next move

SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – All Utah counties are now on board for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – All Utah counties are now on board for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The state is still vowing to fight it in court, but the next move is being delayed.

That’s why Bobbie Jensen and Chelsee Bennett rushed to the Salt Lake County building Thursday to exchange vows.

"We want to be married in our home state, so we feel like it's absolutely necessary to take advantage of this opportunity," said Jensen.

They are one of several gay and lesbian couples to make it official Thursday.

"You never know what's going to happen with an appeal, if they stay it while an appeal is going on, what's going to happen," said Jensen.

If the state had its way a stay would be in place by now, but the district court refused.

The next step for the state is to take the fight to the highest court in the land.

"Right now our attorneys are working together to prepare the filing of the appeal to the Supreme Court," said Acting Communications Director with the Utah Attorney General’s Office, Ryan Bruckman.

The AG's office had hoped to file first thing Thursday morning, but delayed that to buy time.

"Just making sure that we coordinate properly, making sure that everyone who is involved is given a chance to talk and be part of the discussion, so it's just coordinating with outside counsel now that we really need to take care of," said Bruckman.

When they will file is up in the air, it could be Friday or it could be next week.

What is clear is the states intent to defend traditional marriage.

"We feel that a stay should have been put in place in order to allow us the opportunity to appeal without the status quo being changed," said Bruckman.

The resolve on the other side is just as strong.

"I don't think people have the right to vote on someone else's civil rights and I think we'll prevail," said Jensen.

Three of the final holdouts, Utah, Box Elder and San Juan counties all began issuing licenses to same-sex couples Thursday morning.

Mark McIff, the County Attorney in Piute County tells ABC 4 Utah they had no intent to deny same-sex couples a license and will begin issuing them once the county clerk returns from vacation next week.

He also points out marriages, in general are few and far between in his county.

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