Federal Appeals Court Denies Emergency Stay of Utah Gay Marriage Ruling; Hearing Tomorrow

A federal appeals court has denied a request for an emergency stay of  U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby's decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

ShelbyOn Sunday, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver declined to issue the emergency stay requested by the state. It said the request did not meet criteria for a stay since it was merely a stopgap until the district court acts.

In written arguments filed during the weekend, attorneys for the plaintiffs who sued the state over Amendment 3, which ban same-sex marriages, say Shelby already found the law harmed gay couples and demeaned their children. That harm would be extended if a stay is granted, particularly given that more than 100 marriage licenses were issued on Friday to same-sex couples.

"The status quo in Utah is that same-sex couples are marrying and their marriages must be recognized," attorney Peggy A. Tomsic said in the plaintiffs’ response.

Shelby has scheduled a hearing for 9 am on Monday to hear requests for a stay on his ruling.


  1. bandanajack says

    one thing’s for sure. the government offices that dispense marriage licenses are going to have lines around the block when they open monday morning. i believe most open at 8am, and the hearing will commence at 9am. that puts the safe window at plus or minus 2 hours from doors being opened… unless some offices subversively open early.

  2. Steve says

    This judge is being branded as an “activist” by those whose unfounded complaints based on unsubstantiated fears have always been enough to sway judges in the past. Heaven forbid “traditional bigotry” is required to present EVIDENCE and TRUTH in a court of law! Happy Honor-days Judge Shelby, you have truly delivered Peace, Love and Joy to those seeking it. For those who are freaking out that their Christmas is ruined: Romans were meticulous record-keepers and there is NO recorded proof of a census requiring men to return to the birthplace of their fathers. There is no national record, city or township records, or incidental correspondence. IT NEVER HAPPENED, so you can relax and enjoy the colored lights and delicious treats.

  3. Wayne says

    This really will be a Christmas to remember here in Utah. I thought—after watching all of the other states gain marriage equality in 2013—we might have fairness under the law 5-10 years from now. Then to receive this news on Friday, I truly felt (sans sarcasm) this was our Christmas Miracle :)
    I have so many friends that have been getting married elsewhere or wanting to soon. This ruling will change so many lives for the better.
    I hope these judges deny the requests for a stay and that bigotry takes one more step to falling off a cliff across this nation. Absolutely amazing!

  4. simon says

    This may be called a “watershed” moment. The tide has turned. We will see the red states are going to fall one by one. Darn those activist judges. Jesus will weep and Brian Brown will cry.

  5. Francis says

    I’m extremely happy, but don’t quite celebrate victory here just yet—the 10th Circuit denied the stay on procedural grounds. They didn’t actually deny the stay on the merits, and whether they will or wont, could be a decision that comes as early as tomorrow afternoon from twitter reports. In any case, there are going to be couples getting married in Utah tomorrow, and there could be a lot of them. The more couples who marry, the harder the case for the state of Utah. Couples are already huddled up in the cold and camping out at clerk offices throughout the state. Exciting times for the gay community in Utah!

  6. Bob says


    It’s about 69% mormon, not all active.

    The mormon religion is based on their all being :”saints”, but they can be gods for eternity if they engage in temple-performed heterosexual marriage and pop out mormon kiddies.

    In the afterlife, you are all gods with your own planet and all of your ancestors, as well as all of your descendants

    The wife only gets all the way to the afterlife if the husband calls to her by her secret name.

    Major changes can only take place if the “prophet” — the current one was born in 1924 gets a revelation from God. There have been 2 major revelations:
    1— Armed soldiers of the USA forced end to polygamy in 1890
    2— Embarrassment and desire for BYU teams to be able to play other schools forced recognition of Black people as equals in 1978

    Some large % of mormons believe that all laws, including Federal laws, must agree with mormon doctrine — so the judge has made them angry.

    (Obvious since Romney) Many of them believe that nothing that defends the church and the faith is ever wrong, bad, or a lie


  7. Gay Guy says

    Good! This will no doubt hit the Supreme Court and soon.

    They should have just said this when they knocked down Prop 8. The court generally likes to limit cases to thew issue directly in front of it. However, since this was so certain to come up and very soon, they should have addressed this at that time. There is precedent to rule on a broader issue when it’s nearly certain to come up.

  8. says

    I hope the ‘tards in Utah do appeal this to SCOTUS. If SCOTUS rules that denying Teh Gays equal rights violates the 14th amendment, as Judge Shelby has found to be the case, then there will be great weeping and gnashing of teeth in Jesusland.

    If this completely ruins the holidays for bigots, tough titties.

    I bet when Jesus is born on Wednesday he will already have diaper rash because of this outbreak of equal rights.

  9. Bingo says

    That’s not an accurate account of what the tenth circuit did. It said the request was denied because the state did not address the points the rules say it must address in such a request. And it invited the state to resubmit the request with the proper points addressed. And the state has now submitted that revised request — so this story was out of date when it was posted.

    Keep up!

  10. JackFknTwist says

    The momentum on this issue is only going in one direction……Except for places like Uganda, Nigeria and Russia.
    The State will not be able to show any irreparable harm in this case that would justify the staying of the Order.

  11. anon says

    State law gets preferential treatment in federal courts, so a stay should be expected. The only reason to not grant a stay would be the prior ruling by the ninth circuit killing prop 8, but the 10th circuit does not have to accept their reasoning, and the SC overturned the ninth’s ruling (or more precisely, vacated it).

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