Appeals Court Denies Request For Emergency Ban On Gay Marriage In Utah

On Sunday, the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Utah officials' emergency request to stop same-sex couples from marrying.

The state had filed an emergency motion for temporary stay on Friday, following a Thursday federal court ruling that overturned the state's ban on gay marriage. In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby said the state's constitution failed to show that same-sex marriages would impede opposite-sex marriages in any way.

"In the absence of such evidence, the State's unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify the State's refusal to dignify the family relationships of its gay and lesbian citizens," Shelby wrote.

Immediately following the ruling, same-sex couples fled to the county clerk's office to receive marriage licenses. But Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) denounced the decision, threatening to take action to appeal it.

"I am very disappointed an activist federal judge is attempting to override the will of the people of Utah," Herbert said of the Thursday ruling. "I am working with my legal counsel and the acting attorney general to determine the best course to defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah."

The 10th Circuit Appeals Court denied the governor's emergency request "without prejudice."

"Because the motion before us does not meet the requirements of the Federal or local appellate rules governing a request for a stay, we deny the motion," the court held.

Read the appeals court's decision here.

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Gay Marriage In The United States