News | Salt Lake City | Utah

75 Couples Still In Line To Get A Marriage License In Salt Lake City

As Alex Cabrero from KSL news reports, there are still 75 couples in line to receive marriage licenses in Salt Lake City today. However, a cut-off has already been imposed. Sheriff's have arrived to demarcate the cut-off point as people continue to arrive despite the fact that the clerks office closed at 5. 

Check out two more photos of the crowds that have shown up to say "I do" AFTER THE JUMP...



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  1. I hope everyone in the line is able to get married tonight. What about the other counties in Utah?

    Posted by: mitch reid | Dec 20, 2013 9:00:16 PM

  2. Does the mayor have authority to extend the office hours to accommodate the couples? Hopefully he can open the office on the weekend.

    Posted by: mitch reid | Dec 20, 2013 9:11:09 PM

  3. The offices are open to 7PM, so that means they'll be closing within the hour. Couples that weren't in line after 5PM won't be allowed to marry unfortunately. Today may be their last chance so hopefully the clerk's offices are open through the weekend.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 20, 2013 9:15:59 PM

  4. There is nothing that reinforces the concept of inequality like having police prevent loving committed couples from getting married.

    Posted by: bkmn | Dec 20, 2013 9:45:06 PM

  5. Honestly, though, anybody else arriving at 5:01 PM on a typical day would likely find the doors locked. I don't think we can call "discrimination" on this one; the line was cut off for everybody. Yes, lesbian and gay couples had a special interest in getting into the line; yes, there was no forewarning that this decison would come down today, I'll grant all of that. However ... 5:01 was equal. It didn't matter why you tried to get in line after the doors would normally have been locked (on a Friday nonetheless, especially this time of year). Now, should they choose to open over the weekend, "extra credit" is due.

    Posted by: SteveInSRQ | Dec 20, 2013 9:59:11 PM

  6. One never uses an apostrophe to indicate plural.

    The second sentence should begin with the word "Sheriffs", not "Sheriff's".

    Posted by: anon | Dec 20, 2013 10:29:45 PM

  7. @Anon These articles were written to cover a developing event. I'm sure they weren't subjected to much editorial scrutiny. This seems like a software generated error.

    Posted by: Jay | Dec 20, 2013 10:59:35 PM

  8. I don't think what time and the office and who is in line by then will ultimately matter. If this decision is overturned (as I feel it will given the Circuit it falls in), then I find it hard to see where they will still say those married before the decision to overturn will still be considered legal....but that's just my opinion.

    Posted by: wheelie81 | Dec 20, 2013 11:04:39 PM

  9. Go Homos Go !!

    Posted by: ME?IMALWAYSRIGHT | Dec 20, 2013 11:23:00 PM

  10. @Wheelie81: On what grounds do you believe the decision will be overturned? No matter which circuit, the Court would need to justify its decision. They can't just on a whim undo legal marriages.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 20, 2013 11:25:54 PM

  11. Ernie is right, and you combine that with the very strongly worded arguments Judge Shelby used in striking down the marriage ban, it's going to be pretty difficult for Utah to reverse this decision. Once the cap is off the bottle, the cap is off the bottle. Over 100 couples got married tonight. Any reversal of this decision won't come before a stay decision is issued to begin with, so the couples who married today---they're married, regardless of what happens with a stay being potentially issued sometime next week. The only way those marriages are invalidated is if the 10th Circuit (starting with a panel of three jurors) overrules today's ruling.

    10th Circuit is a pretty conservative circuit by all accounts, but it's mixed between Clinton/Obama appointees and Bush appointees. We'll see if these conservatives/moderates are of the Kennedy persuasion or of the Scalia persuasion. If a stay isn't issued then that makes it all the more likely Utah is going to lose on this quickly.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 20, 2013 11:44:47 PM

  12. How the 10th circuit justifies grounds for a stay will be very interesting if not outright unconstitutional.

    Posted by: Jay | Dec 21, 2013 12:04:32 AM

  13. I think this is all wonderful and happening in the heart of Mormon country of all places.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Dec 21, 2013 2:50:21 AM

  14. Homosexuality blooms in the most arid of soils. UTAH!!!

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 21, 2013 2:50:37 AM

  15. answering questions:

    according to news reports a few couples were able to get licenses in Washington Co. (St. George), but couples were turned away in Utah County (Provo). The Utah County Clerk said he's waiting for "clarification" from county and state attorneys.

    i also heard that power to extend office hours rests with the elected Salt Lake County Clerk (office is usually closed on weekends).

    Posted by: palerobber | Dec 21, 2013 2:54:29 AM

  16. Maybe the police will have to use pepper spray and we'll have a national incident.

    Posted by: Bill Michael | Dec 21, 2013 3:26:23 AM

  17. Quite a few couples got married in SF and throughout CA, and that got overturned. Mormons obviously control a lot of Utah politics. This is going to be a drawn-out mess even though it will eventually turn out on our side.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 21, 2013 3:56:20 AM

  18. Did anyone get married in Park City? I know Provo is ultra conservative.

    The Deseret News isn't very helpful on this story. And who is this queen advertising for The Farley Family Christmas? Is this the Morman version of Madea?

    Posted by: mitch reid | Dec 21, 2013 8:40:15 AM

  19. @Francis, The breakdown on appointments to the 10th Circuit is 1 by HW, 2 by Clinton, 4 by W and 3 by Obama. But Obama's newest is the former AG of Wyoming, a position appointed by the Governor, so we might want to count him as a Republican. Tymovich (a W appointee) was the losing lawyer in Romer v. Evans. There are 2 vacancies with at least 1 unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and awaiting floor confirmation.
    On page 36, Judge Shelby's opinion references the 10th's footnote in Price-Cornelison v. Brooks putting the kibosh on any heightened scrutiny for the LGBT community.

    Posted by: John | Dec 21, 2013 9:25:41 AM

  20. PAUL R --- As I recall, the 8,000 or so pre-Prop 8 California marriages remained valid after Prop 8 passed. It only stopped new marriages and the *State* didn't want to invalidate the existing ones anyway.

    In this case the State (the Gov and AG for sure, and of course the mormon cult) may want to invalidate the existing marriages, but can they? Do State officials have standing to countermand a Federal court ruling? Does this need yet another lawsuit, this one on standing?

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Dec 21, 2013 10:02:59 AM

  21. Re: California. Yes, the same-sex marriages (think it was around 18,000) between the CA SC ruling and the passage of Prop 8 remained valid. The 2004 marriages that took place in San Francisco were void because Mayor Newsom didn't have the authority to bypass state law. (The latter a different situation than in Utah.)

    Though Utah (and equality opponents) will surely try everything they can to overturn the decision, it's not so easy to undo legal marriages. As Prop 8 supporters in CA found out, even if it took a long time. And now there's that precedent and a lot more momentum than when Prop 8 passed.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 21, 2013 11:11:31 AM

  22. Thanks for the rundown, John. Well, we're in a waiting game now, I guess. Wait and hope.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 21, 2013 11:37:29 AM

  23. Who is that tall Deputy in the middle of the first photo?

    Posted by: jsb | Dec 21, 2013 11:42:45 AM

  24. Every gay couple who gets married in Utah adds weight to this decision. The more of them there are, the harder it will be to overturn. In addition, no-one knows when or if a stay on the judges ruling will be imposed. This decision by US District Judge Robert Shelby could simply end up becoming a fait accompli.

    Posted by: RonCharles | Dec 21, 2013 2:06:21 PM

  25. Those poor Mormons....

    They lose polygamy.
    Then they lose their racial boundaries (institutionalized racism).
    And now, gay marriage in Utah!

    Can't they get ANY moral posture right?

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Dec 21, 2013 3:48:22 PM

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