Supreme Court stays same-sex marriage ruling in Utah

Jan. 6, 2014 at 11:25 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday blocked a judge's ruling permitting same-sex marriage in Utah.

The stay granted by the high court is "pending the final disposition of the appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit." The 10th Circuit is headquartered in Denver.

The short order was not accompanied by an opinion or dissents, but means same-sex marriages being conducted across Utah must end for now.

U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled Dec. 10 the state's ban violated the due process and equal protection provisions of the 14th amendment. Since then, 1,000 same-sex couples have married in Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune said Friday.

Utah's Amendment 3, approved by 66 percent of voters in 2004, banned same-sex marriage in the state.

Shelby refused to stay his ruling, and the federal appeals court turned down a stay three times. But the appeals court said it would hear expedited argument.

In the latest stay request to the Supreme Court, filed Dec. 27, Utah said the case presents a question left open in its decision last year in U.S. vs. Windsor -- whether states may bar same-sex couples from civil marriage and refuse to recognize marriages performed in other states.

In that decision, the Supreme Court struck down a provision in the federal Defense of Marriage Act that barred same-sex couples from being treated equally in terms of federal benefits even in states where they were legally married.

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