Appeals court denies Utah’s request to stay recognition of same-sex marriages

SALT LAKE CITY – A three-judge panel with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against issuing a stay on a lower court ruling that orders Utah to recognize the more than 1,200 same-sex marriages performed in the state during the 17 days those marriages were legal.

In a 2-1 decision, the panel decided Friday not to grant Utah’s request for a stay on the original ruling by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball on May 19. In that ruling, Kimball ordered the state government to “immediately recognize the marriages by the same-sex couples entered pursuant to Utah marriage licenses issued and solemized between Dec. 20, 2013 and Jan. 6, 2014, and afford these same-sex marriages all the protections, benefits and responsibilities given to all marriages under Utah law.”

The state subsequently appealed Kimball’s ruling and requested a stay pending the final outcome of the Amendment 3 court battle.

Earlier this week the Utah Attorney General’s Office announced it plans to take the Amendment 3 fight to the U.S. Supreme Court. The move skips a review and ruling of the case that could have taken place before the entirety of the 10th Court of Appeals, and not just a three-judge panel that issued the latest ruling.

The judges on the panel that ruled against Utah’s appeal of Kitchen v. Herbert, the original Amendment 3 case, are the same judges who ruled on this case, Evens v. Utah. They are Judges Paul J. Kelly, Carlos F. Lucero, and Jerome A. Holmes. Kelly dissented on the ruling.

However, the marriages performed during the 17-day window will not be immediately recognized by the state. The appeals court issued a temporary stay on its ruling that ends at 8 a.m., July 21. This has been done in order to allow the state time to take an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office issued the following statement to media in response to the ruling:

In response to the United States Court of Appeal for the Tenth Circuit denial of stay in Evans v. Utah, the State is prepared to file an Application for Stay before the United States Supreme Court in the coming days to avoid uncertainty, as noted by the dissenting Judge on the Tenth Circuit. The State recognizes that pending cases regarding same-sex marriage in Utah impact the lives of many individuals and families and is diligently seeking uniform certainty through proper and orderly legal processes until Kitchen v Herbert is resolved.

State Sen. James Dabakis, who was married during the 17-day window, also issued a statement regarding the ruling:

Issue before the court was limited to the 1352 marriages performed while same sex marriage was legal in Utah. Did the Governor have the right to unilaterally declare those marriages void? 10th Circuit said no. But, the court granted a stay on the recognition of those marriages–that stay expires July 21. Today the 10th Circuit in Denver said–no extension of the stay. Meaning, unless Herbert and Reyes get a stay from the Supreme Court, the 1352 marriages are legal and lawful on July 22 (great 24th present). Those folks are Utah married and entitled to all the benefits of every married couple.

I have only one question of the Governor and the Attorney General. How much more money are they going to spend on lawsuits? They have already have committed around $10 million to the Supreme Court case of Kitchen v Herbert. And now, will they open the taxpayers checkbook again? For another, separate appeal in another case? Clearly, that would be fiscally irresponsible and morally reprehensible.


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  • HUMMYNBYRD July 11, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Stop throwing away taxpayers money in a religious war that will not be won anyways….let the church pay for it if they insist on fighting this once again. Enough is enough!!!! This money could have gone to educating our children and grandchildren instead of using it to try to tell people who they can and cannot love, it could have gone to our law enforcement agencies and firefighters for more and better equipment….anything worthwhile instead of this nonsense.

  • Jen Lindley July 11, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Yay. 🙂 <3

  • Dana July 12, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Another step closer! : )
    But of course we all know Gov. Herbie and his hand picked sock puppet will appeal.
    More $$$ out the window.

    • Kiddy Town July 13, 2014 at 7:12 am

      You mean Puppet Herbert? Who is pulling that puppet’s strings? The temple?

  • uh huh July 12, 2014 at 6:39 am

    I agree. It is going to happen, why do we keep spending money on this. For all of you who wanted Swallow out and Reyes in, we are getting more of the same. Reyes needs to stop pandering to the people. It is not about religion, it is about human rights. Im not for it, but I can see that my religous beliefs do not dictate how others can live.

  • Judgemental People July 12, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Don’t the bible and bom thumpers have more important things to concern themselves with than two people wanting to be married, such as keeping their church brethren away from prostitutes?

    • YEP... July 12, 2014 at 10:32 am

      Hey, you dont know if they were members of any particular church.

  • E.K. July 12, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I agree. I wish they would quit wasting my tax dollars on this when our education system could obviously benefit from these funds
    . We all need to write to the Utah A.G.’s office and let him know how the tax payers feel on this issue.

  • Mark Vinclio July 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    We the people voted…Courts should have not authority when a issue like this is voted on. I wish we didn’t waste tax dollars but Everything now days is left to a Judge and that is wrong. The people need to take some power back from the system. The court system has involved itself into to many issues of this world.

    • Randy Thomson July 12, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      Luckily, Mark Vinclio, our founding fathers put in this complex system of 3 different branches of government for this specific reason, this is one the courts duties; to judge the constitutionality of laws. The votes of the majority cannot overrule the rights of the minority.

      • Kacee July 12, 2014 at 11:41 pm

        Well said Randy. But then again the constitution is only good when it favors someone’s point of view now days. In the case of Gay marriage, the majority of Utah is not interested in the bill of rights and the constitution.

    • Grass July 13, 2014 at 8:00 am

      I didn’t vote for it, and I think it’s discriminatory and hateful. I’m glad the US government is protecting people’s freedoms and rights from dictatorship and controlling state governments like Utah.

    • Hunter July 13, 2014 at 10:37 am

      So, Mark…when we all get together and vote by majority that your lack of understanding of our nation’s form of government and lawmaking should result in you losing all your property rights you’ll be cool with that? Right?

  • rdunski93 July 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Its not telling people who they can and cant love its saying that the stste doesnt want same sex marriage. Leave the state if u dont like the religious views. This state was founded by mormons so it will remain that way. Two dudes can live, sleep , and be with whoever but wont have a piece of paper to prove it. Get over it. We dont want to allow such a apostasy to be legal here, so……. leave if u dont like it. Or go to a diff state and get married.

    • Jen Lindley July 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      No. The tides if change are rising in Utah. Gay marriage is going to be legal soon. I hope Kitchen v Herbert will be the landmark case that brings marriage equality to the nation. To be honest i don’t want to leave because I want to be able to see first hand the horrified reactions of goody goody Mormons when the decision finally comes down in favor of freedom and equality for all.

    • Dana July 12, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      Wow. Aren’t you original. Do you even know what apostasy means? Let me help you:
      .a·pos·ta·sy [uh-pos-tuh-see]
      noun, plural a·pos·ta·sies.
      a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc.
      Now, since I’m not a Mo, NEVER have been and Thank God Never will be, well then I am not in a state of apostasy. Times are changing. Discrimination in any form should not be tolerated. Bigotry in any form should not be tolerated. The LDS Church has changed and revised their own little game every time the head old man has a “revelation.” Wait for it. As soon as the LDS church finds a way to make money from SSM, well, some old man will have a “revelation.” Until that happens, try not to get your undies in a twist.

    • Super Grover July 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      Alternately…..If you don’t like it here ANYMORE, you are also welcome to leave.

      • makkie July 12, 2014 at 10:50 pm

        This was all predicted a long time ago as to what will happen in the end times.Perversions will run rampant,the nation and the world will turn from god.Eventually we will face judgement just like sodom and gomorrah.I just hope those that relish in godlessness are ready for what is to come and the price they WILL pay.This is one of the fundamentals of the satanic bible.Live the way you want now because their is no afterlife.Me personally I am NOT willing to bet MY eternity on anything but the teachings of christ.

        • Kiddy Town July 13, 2014 at 7:14 am

          You mean the perversion of Joe Smith and his sleeping with other men’s wives and taking on child brides? Oh yeah, that’s wholesome and moral.

        • Dana July 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm

          You’re worrying more about the hereafter than the here and now. Any good god would want you to be kind to everyone…not just those that agree with your way of thinking. If that is not your god, I suggest you do your own research and soul search until you find the one true God. Here’s a hint: God does not belong to any denomination.

      • sing4money July 13, 2014 at 9:40 am

        And so are you. Just cuz your mormon doesn’t mean you have the lock on Utah. It is changing and level headed people are taking over.

    • Kacee July 12, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      Wow that’s your view? I am enthralled please tell me more. And don’t put all Mormons in your narrow little view. I for one resent being grouped into your view because I am Mormon. I also know other Mormons who don’t share your view. So what do we do now?

      • Super Grover July 13, 2014 at 7:58 am

        Think you missed my point completely. The constant refrain around here (as evidenced by multiple posts on this very thread) is from Mormons telling everybody else to just leave. It’s stupid, and it gets old. I’m just noting the ironic possibility that as things inevitably change, they may find themselves outside their little comfort zone as well.

      • sing4money July 13, 2014 at 9:41 am

        Get over yourself. No one cares if your Mormon. Only you do.

      • Jen Lindley July 15, 2014 at 12:00 am

        Easy. You accept it. 🙂

    • Kiddy Town July 13, 2014 at 7:13 am

      Better yet, if you don’t like the equality that the Constitution guarantees everyone, you … out of this country!
      Ed. ellipsis.

  • zacii July 13, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Why is the state involved in marriage at all? It’s a religious rite, leave it up to the private churches. If homosexuals want to marry, let them create or join a church that allows it.

    • Hunter July 13, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Marriage is not exclusively a religious rite. It certainly didn’t start out as one either. The marriage in question is the legal contract that bestows a big long list of federal and state benefits and protections, including the ability to act on behalf of your incapacitated spouse, pass property to your surviving spouse (the basis for the Windsor lawsuit and decision), adopting, etc. I think you’re on the right track that the religious ceremony and churches’ involvement should be separate from the legal marriage aspect. But, don’t fool yourself that marriage is some legacy religious rite. The churches saw an opportunity to control people and stole marriage from the public sector long ago.

    • Mike July 13, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Honey, no US state requires a religious ceremony for marriage. You can have your marriage solemnized in 1000 churches. Without the civil paperwork, no state will consider you married. You can, on the other hand, head off to city hall, provide identification, fill out some paperwork, pay a small fee. A state official will marry you, and the state will recognize your marriage.

      Marriage in the US is secular.

    • Super Grover July 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      From a n historical standpoint, marriage was an economic/political institution created to ensure that property ( or kingdoms) were passed on to the legally rightful heir. Infidelity was an expected fact of life, but the children it created were not heirs. Religions based on monogamy picked it up afterward, as it was certainly a convenient fit.

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