Utah appeals ruling forcing state to recognize 1,000 same-sex marriages

By Kyle Johnson,

Utah filed an appeal on Wednesday against a federal judge's ruling ordering the state to recognize more than 1,000 marriages performed after the state's gay marriage ban was struck down.

On Monday, June 9 the state has to begin recognizing marriages, but they also asked the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a stay against that ruling during the gay marriage ban appeals process, reports The Associated Press.

In May, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball ruled that it was an unfair burden for the couples already married in the state to wait during the appeals process. So starting on Monday, the state was ordered to issue benefits, such as child custody, medical decisions and others, for married couples.

For a span of 17 days, gay marriage was legal in Utah after a judge struck down the 2004 gay marriage ban, but the U.S. Supreme Court eventually stepped in and ordered a temporary halt until the Denver-based appellate court makes a ruling.

How the 10th Circuit will rule will be interesting as previously reported, the three-judge panel appeared divided on where they would side in April. They appeared split over whether or not a state can define marriage.

Two judges clearly sided either for or against allowing the state marriage ban to still stand, while the third judge, Jerome Holmes, could go either way. He noted that the state likely has some right to decide, but at the same time he compared gay marriage bans to that of past interracial marriage bans.



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