Gay Marriage | News | Utah

Supreme Court Grants Utah Request for Stay of Gay Marriage Recognition

Utah will not have to recognize the marriages of approximately 1,000 gay couples who married after a federal judge struck down the state's ban on gay marriage while the case is appealed, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday.

SupremesThe NYT reports:

The court’s order was two sentences long and said only that a lower court’s ruling “is stayed pending the final disposition of the appeal” by the federal appeals court in Denver.

The marriages took place between Dec. 20, when Judge Robert J. Shelby of Federal District Court in Salt Lake City struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, and Jan. 6, when the Supreme Court issued a stay blocking that ruling while the decision was appealed.

Joshua Block, a staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, released a statement:

"We are deeply disappointed by the decision to grant a stay pending appeal, but despite this setback, we are confident that when the appellate process is completed we will prevail and these lawfully married same-sex couples will once again be given the same legal protections as ever other legally married Utah couple."

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  1. disgraceful..meanwhile - our neighbor to the north LAUGHS at Merikkka, it's Hypocritical CREEDS about Liberty this, and Freedom that, all BS....Canada has had REAL EQUALITY for ALL it's citicens for Over a Decade..while Merikkka EMBARRASSES itself Further!

    Posted by: disgusted american | Jul 18, 2014 6:39:01 PM


  2. Does the federal government recognize these marriages even if Utah does not?

    Posted by: Zlick | Jul 18, 2014 6:56:44 PM


  3. Canada does not have REAL EQUALITY for ALL it's "citicens".

    For one thing, gay male youth are subject to a higher age of consent (or "protection" as they call it now), because anal sex is treated differently from all other forms of sex.

    For another, "ALL" means all. Canada still requires taxpayer-funded Catholic education in Ontario, and no other religious education is taxpayer-funded there.

    Canada is different from the US, but is certainly not better.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 18, 2014 7:01:20 PM


  4. If it ends back in the Supreme Court, they could give equality to all 50 states.

    Posted by: Sam | Jul 18, 2014 7:15:14 PM


  5. It certainly stings but this is not unlike the process Prop 8 went through in CA. Each time they delayed felt like a punch to the gut, but by allowing it through all the possible legal machinations, it arrived at the SCOTUS and consequently had a further reaching effect.

    Hang in there, folks. We'll have our day.

    Posted by: pete n sfo | Jul 18, 2014 7:19:57 PM


  6. Does anyone take these people seriously anymore?
    Embarrassing.

    Posted by: sjorgl | Jul 18, 2014 7:38:15 PM


  7. So when they ultimately prevail will these same sex couples be able to sue, or be compensated, for the emotional damage and needless public humiliation and not to mention the egregious continued usurpation of their constitutional rights to equality before the law ?

    Who will vindicate the rights of these couples who are currently being maliciously and vindictively bullied ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jul 18, 2014 7:47:28 PM


  8. This was the expected result by anyone familiar with the Court. It granted Utah's earlier request with regard to issuing licenses, so it was probabke that it would also stay the recognition.

    All of this is meaningless in the long run (and the long run is less than one year away). The Court is just declining to open the floodgates before it gets a chance to decide how to handle the constitutional question. The reason it has denied other stay requests is because the people requesting those stays lacked standing under the Court's narrow interpretation of standing.

    Posted by: Court Truth | Jul 18, 2014 7:51:25 PM


  9. Keep in mind this was a ruling by Sonia Sotomayor, so not a rabid conservative.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 18, 2014 7:55:59 PM


  10. it's a stay pending an appeal. let's not get too worked up about the court's decision on this, it's not an unexpected decision. change, and the courts, take time.

    Posted by: northalabama | Jul 18, 2014 7:56:15 PM


  11. was this not done with other states?

    Posted by: Me | Jul 18, 2014 8:08:45 PM


  12. Memo to Fascist Justices:

    You will not always be on top. You will not always be in a position of authority. One day we will have power over you, and we will remember. Fear that day.

    Posted by: Whetstone | Jul 18, 2014 8:52:16 PM


  13. To ANON: This was not a decision by Justice Sotomayor alone, it was by the Court. The first sentence of the order (not included above) reads "The application for stay presented to Justice Sotomayor and by her referred to the Court is granted."

    Posted by: AdamTh | Jul 18, 2014 8:52:49 PM


  14. The stay must be very frustrating for the married Utah couples, but it's not too surprising as it's in line with their earlier stay. Justice will prevail, just not as quickly as those deprived of equality would hope. Our perfect string of victories since Windsor stands.

    @Zlick: The federal government has already said it will recognize the marriages. Clearly, our DOJ believes the couples will ultimately win.

    @Anon: As ADAMTH says, it was the whole Court.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 18, 2014 9:02:52 PM


  15. @Randy ... On the subject of marriage equality, Canada is certainly better than the U.S.

    Posted by: RJ | Jul 18, 2014 9:15:15 PM


  16. The Supremes stayed this decision pending a ruling from the Denver circuit court on Utah's appeal. But the Denver court just ruled against Oklahoma's appeal. Why do the Supremes think Denver will do any different regarding Utah? Doesn't make sense.

    Posted by: woody | Jul 18, 2014 9:58:52 PM


  17. Relaxxxx people... it's just a stay, pending an appeal....

    Posted by: Chris | Jul 18, 2014 11:31:53 PM


  18. @Woody: The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has already upheld the Utah decision (in favor of equality), just as it did the Oklahoma ruling this week, so the only pending Utah decision is from the Supreme Court itself. Utah is appealing the decision directly to them; the only question is if and when they will take it up.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 18, 2014 11:37:05 PM


  19. If justice delayed is justice denied, than the Supreme Court, by virtue of the two stays it has granted in the Utah marriage cases, is denying justice for all same-sex couples.

    Or: it's sending a signal that it does indeed plan a States' Rights ruling in the upcoming marriage cases it'll be reviewing next term.

    Either way, I'm disquieted by the Supreme Court holdings.

    How much more indignity and harm will we have to suffer at their hands?

    Posted by: Joe the Cynic | Jul 18, 2014 11:39:41 PM


  20. Oops, scratch my last comment: this ACLU case concerns only the marriages that were performed in the Dec-Jan window and not the ban itself, so a decision is indeed still pending from the Appeals Court. (Which the article explains.) It's the marriage ban case that Utah is appealing directly to the Supreme Court. In the case of Oklahoma, no marriages were performed so there aren't couples in limbo.

    Interestingly, the Utah marriages are not only recognized by the federal government but also by several states, including my own. So, if a Utah couple moved to a state that already sees their marriage as valid, presto, they'd be married. Time for this nutty patchwork to end.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 18, 2014 11:51:08 PM


  21. Don't worry, everyone. The bigots can try to delay the inevitable all they want, but in the end there's going to be a thousand big 'ol gay and lesbian parties in Utah to celebrate when marriage is legal for all legal adults, regardless of sexual orientation.

    That wedding cake is going to taste good!

    Posted by: R | Jul 19, 2014 12:54:05 AM


  22. I believe the Supreme Court has asserted itself as being the final arbiter on this issue and that all marriages will be put on hold in the states where it is being appealed by the states, pending review by the Supreme Court. I assume that marriages will go forward in the states where the states have decided not to appeal the ruling, such as Pennsylvania. We already know that individual clerks don't have standing to appeal. If voters in a state overturn their ban, I assume those states won't have to wait for the appeals process.

    Posted by: Stan D | Jul 19, 2014 4:49:34 AM


  23. I am very concerned about this. The only part of the appeals process left in the Utah case is an appeal to the Supreme Court. If that same Supreme Court is putting legal at the time marriages on hold, that would seem to indicate that the Court believes it will rule against these couples on final appeal.

    I want to hear what Ari Waldman has to say about this.

    Posted by: IJelly | Jul 19, 2014 8:50:17 AM


  24. ARI!!!

    GET THAT MORNING COFFEE TOGETHER, AND START TYPING!!

    WE WAIT WITH BAITED BREATH!

    Posted by: BRAINS | Jul 19, 2014 9:32:35 AM


  25. I fear that, post Hobby Lobby, the five male reactionary Catholic justices will be ready to accept these appeals and rule against marriage equality. Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Roberts are vehemently against same-sex marriage. Kennedy is certainly ready to side with them. Be prepared for a major disappointment.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 19, 2014 10:17:40 AM


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