Gary Herbert | Gay Marriage | News | Supreme Court | Utah

Utah Says It Won't Recognize Validity of Gay Marriages Performed Before SCOTUS Stay

Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced on Wednesday that the state would not recognize same-sex marriages performed before the Supreme Court issued a stay on Judge Robert Shelby's ruling striking down the state's ban, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

HerbertIn a letter to state agencies, Derek Miller, chief of staff to Gov. Gary Herbert, said those marriages will be "on hold" while it appeals the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby.

Please understand this position is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages," the letter said. "That is for the courts to decide."

With a stay in place, the original laws governing marriage in Utah are again in effect.

"Wherever individuals are in the process of availing themselves of state services related to same-sex marital status, that process is on hold and will stay exactly in that position until a final court decision is issued," the letter said.

Utah's attorney general Sean Reyes says the state has been unable to determine the "ultimate validity" of the marriages and will let the Court decide. Meanwhile, state agencies are being advised by a review team on what action they should take.

Read the full text of the letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

Dear Cabinet,
    I’m sure you are all aware of the issuance of the stay regarding same-sex marriage in Utah from the United States Supreme Court yesterday. This stay effectively puts a hold on the decision of the district court, which found state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage in Utah to be unconstitutional.  
    After the district court decision was issued on Friday, December 20th, some same-sex couples availed themselves of the opportunity to marry and to the status granted by the state to married persons. This office sent an email to each of you soon after the district court decision, directing compliance.
    With the district court injunction now stayed, the original laws governing marriage in Utah return to effect pending final resolution by the courts. It is important to understand that those laws include not only a prohibition of performing same-sex marriages but also recognizing same-sex marriages.  
    Based on counsel from the Attorney General’s Office regarding the Supreme Court decision, state recognition of same-sex marital status is ON HOLD until further notice. Please understand this position is not intended to comment on the legal status of those same-sex marriages – that is for the courts to decide. The intent of this communication is to direct state agency compliance with current laws that prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages.
    Wherever individuals are in the process of availing themselves of state services related to same-sex marital status, that process is on hold and will stay exactly in that position until a final court decision is issued. For example, if a same-sex married couple previously changed their names on new drivers licenses, those licenses should not be revoked. If a same-sex couple seeks to change their names on drivers licenses now, the law does not allow the state agency to recognize the marriage therefore the new drivers licenses cannot be issued.
    We appreciate your patience and diligence in this matter. We recognize that different state agencies have specific questions and circumstances that will need to be worked through. Please do so with the Assistant Attorney General assigned to your respective agency in coordination with the Governor’s General Counsel. We also recognize that these changes affect real people’s lives. Let us carefully and considerately ensure that we, and our employees throughout the state, continue to treat all people with respect and understanding as we assist them.
    Derek B. Miller
    Chief of Staff
    Governor’s Office
    State of Utah

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  1. Yet another good reminder that they really do hate us......

    Posted by: bicuriousus | Jan 8, 2014 1:42:58 PM

  2. Ridiculous.

    Posted by: Mikey | Jan 8, 2014 1:46:47 PM

  3. It is the bellows of a dying beast..........

    Posted by: edude | Jan 8, 2014 1:49:48 PM

  4. Filthy pig-ph.ucking Mormons. May they all die in a plague.

    Posted by: Rick | Jan 8, 2014 1:51:19 PM

  5. How about a lawsuit for fraud? This is classic bait and switch - they sell you something and then give you something else.

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 8, 2014 1:53:31 PM

  6. I have 2 dear friends trapped in this morass. They were in all the TV coverage of Utah's Great Awakening. I worried that it was a ruse and now I was right: the LDS runs that show and will smile and shuffle and secretly stab LGBT folks in the back every time. Trying to follow the logic of "marrying/ un-marrying" is futile. I have trouble understanding why the hate is so pervasive, but Windsor will be a tip of a still-looming iceberg of tolerance. My heart breaks for my friends, whose joy was so authentic and so brief. Shame!

    Posted by: Wavin' Dave | Jan 8, 2014 1:54:06 PM

  7. We need to think of a way to punish Utah without boycotting it. Boycotts don't work and they end up embarrassing those involved. Something with teeth would be nice. LIke labor unions refusing to carry to Utah, that would be nice.

    Posted by: Enchantra | Jan 8, 2014 1:57:16 PM

  8. @Enchantra: Why is an embargo any more effective than a boycott?


    Posted by: Rick | Jan 8, 2014 1:59:20 PM

  9. Yet another piece of evidence to be used in fighting this law. I think we need to flood the state with money and workers to give the 'saints' a taste of the medicine they imposed on us in California. Let them see how they like outsiders' money and politics entering into their little 'Zion'.

    Posted by: Burt | Jan 8, 2014 2:00:03 PM

  10. kicking and screaming...

    Posted by: woody | Jan 8, 2014 2:00:34 PM

  11. Can't believe LGBTQ people fell for this....

    Posted by: Rowan | Jan 8, 2014 2:01:07 PM

  12. Sorry, but the marriages performed were legal. The state has to recognize them.

    Posted by: e.c. | Jan 8, 2014 2:02:12 PM

  13. your friends may still be married in the eyes of the feds, dave. we've yet to see if a host of federal agencies will honor the utah marriages.

    Posted by: woody | Jan 8, 2014 2:02:50 PM

  14. Wow, the legal branch of Utah (and now the executive) has failed at every turn. They forgot to include a request for a stay in case the court ruled against them (which is why marriages were granted immediately). Now they are deliberately violating the 14th Amendment when one of their main arguments is that allowing states to enforce marriage inequality does not violate the 14th Amendment. All they are doing is ensuring a sweeter legal victory for us in the future.

    Posted by: joosy | Jan 8, 2014 2:03:26 PM

  15. Well no sh*t. If it was up to Utah they would send every gay born to a concentration camp or something. Thankfully sometime after June we will see the US Supreme Court take on
    Same Sex Marriage and then it shall be the law of the land.

    Posted by: Jay | Jan 8, 2014 2:03:29 PM

  16. Impeach him.

    The stay relates to future ceremonies of marriage not ones already performed.
    If this tool advocates breaking the law he should not hold office.
    Draw up the Impeachment Articles now.

    In the alternative apply for an immediate injunction to enforce the law as it is.....application to made only to a Federal judge.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jan 8, 2014 2:05:05 PM

  17. They can do it if they also declare null and void all of the straight marriages that were performed during that time period, including Mormon marriages.

    Posted by: Jack M | Jan 8, 2014 2:06:06 PM

  18. This tool is not a lawyer and does not understand the law.
    His second paragraph is wrong; it is not a prohibition on 'recognizing' same sex marriages.
    And it is not up to him to interpret what the courts have said.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jan 8, 2014 2:08:33 PM

  19. None of you expected anything less than a denial, did you? Really?

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Jan 8, 2014 2:14:44 PM

  20. Any marriages prior to the stay are legal according to the law at that time, now any marriages performed after the stay would be illegal. Of course, I am speaking in common sense terms which this Governor knows nothing about.

    Posted by: THurts | Jan 8, 2014 2:24:26 PM

  21. Herbert has no legal authority to do this. Let the lawsuits begin.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Jan 8, 2014 2:24:53 PM

  22. His directive will be stayed.

    The marriages were legal when they were performed in Utah, thus they must be recognized.

    Posted by: Rick | Jan 8, 2014 2:34:15 PM

  23. The state ordered the county clerks to issue marriage licenses. It cannot now claim that those marriages are illegal.

    I thought my state of Arizona was run by idiots. Utah politicians seem remarkably dumber.

    Posted by: homer | Jan 8, 2014 2:39:48 PM

  24. What did they expect from Justice Sotomayor, and now this guy? It's obvious neither of them want to follow constitutional law over their own personal beliefs. By granting this fool's wish, she knew this would, and allowed it to, happen. Doing her job, instead of passing the buck like so many others, she created a situation that places the burden upon the people, not the state where it belongs.

    Posted by: Robert | Jan 8, 2014 2:42:16 PM

  25. I meant 'Not doing her job'.

    Posted by: Robert | Jan 8, 2014 2:43:10 PM

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