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Justices block gay marriage in Utah

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The Supreme Court of the United States issued an order Monday stopping gay marriage in Utah. The justices stayed a permanent injunction that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“The application for stay presented to Justice Sotomayor and by her referred to the Court is granted. The permanent injunction issued by the United States District Court for the District of Utah, case No. 2:13-cv-217, on December 20, 2013, is stayed pending final disposition of the appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit,” the justices wrote in the order in Herbert, Gov. of UT, et al. v. Kitchen, Derek, et al., 13A687.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, whose office asked for the stay, said in a statement, “There is not clear legal precedence for this particular situation. This is the uncertainty that we were trying to avoid by asking the District Court for a stay immediately after its decision.  It is very unfortunate that so many Utah citizens have been put into this legal limbo.

“Utah’s Office of Attorney General is carefully evaluating the legal status of the marriages that were performed since the District Court’s decision and will not rush to a decision that impacts Utah citizens so personally.

“I believe this was a correct decision by the Supreme Court.  There is an order to the legal process and this decision is just another step in that process.  Both legal teams have much work to do before the case is presented before the 10th Circuit Court on an expedited basis.  I believe the stay indicates an interest by the Supreme Court in this case and as I have said before, pursuing the legal process to get a final answer from the highest court benefits all citizens of Utah,” Reyes said.

More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples had gotten married since a federal judge ruled Dec. 20 that the ban on same-sex marriage violated gay and lesbian couples’ constitutional rights.
 

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