Appeals court appears divided on Utah's gay marriage ban

By Kyle Johnson,

The three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals appeared divided during a hearing over Utah's same-sex marriage ban on Thursday.

The division amongst the three seems to stem from whether a state has a right to define marriage or whether gay couples have the right to marry. Though despite two more definitively appearing to side either with or against, the third judge seemed partially in favor of gay marriage though not completely, reports USA Today.

Judge Jerome Holmes appears split down the middle as he expressed some support of Utah's right to define marriage, but at the same time questioned whether the issue of banning gay marriage is any different to when the Supreme Court overturned interracial marriage bans.

Though Holmes expressed a point for both sides, the other two judges were more open on where they stood, notes The Associated Press. Judge Paul J. Kelly Jr. sided with Utah, who has decided to argue their law should remain on the books, while Judge Carolos F. Lucero went the other way.

Lucero said, "To argue that public policy can trump a declared constitutional right would be a remarkable position."

The three judges' decision likely won't come for another few months, and even their ruling can be appealed by either side.



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