Governor says Utah will recognize same-sex marriage

SALT LAKE CITY – Though disappointed by the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear Utah’s request for decision on its marriage definition statute, Gov. Gary Herbert said in a press conference and resulting statement Monday that Utah will honor the decision and proceed to recognize same-sex marriages.

Earlier this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not take up cases from Utah and a handful of other states concerning district court challenges of marriage statutes banning same-sex marriage. This effectively upheld the decision of lower courts that ruled state-level laws prohibiting same-sex marriage unconstitutional. It also ended the stay that the high court had placed on those rulings.

Following the high court’s decision, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order to Utah and other states under its jurisdiction to recognize the same-sex marriages.

I am surprised and disappointed that the Supreme Court has made the decision not to consider Utah’s case, or any similar case from another state,” Herbert said, adding he believed the case deserved to be heard by the court.

“As I have said all along, the people of Utah and people across the country deserve clarity with respect to the law. It is best if that clarity comes from the nation’s highest court,” he said.

Herbert called the decision groundbreaking and historic, and that it would have a significant impact on the culture and laws of the land. However, he also said Utah is a state that believes in upholding the law, and the law has been determined.

“I believe states should have the right to determine their own laws regarding marriage,” Herbert said in a statement following Monday’s press conference. “That said, we are a society of laws and we will uphold the law. I have instructed state agencies to implement necessary changes in light of today’s news.”

The governor also asked people to be kind and respectful of others as the process moves forward.

“I encourage all Utahns – regardless of their personal beliefs on this issue – to treat each other with respect,” he said.

Southern Utah counties

Initially, a number of counties were holding off on issuing any new marriage licenses to same-sex couples until getting clearance from their respective  county attorneys.

Washington County Clerk Kim Hafen said that as for Washington County, though the situation was likely short-term, the county’s clerks would issue licenses to same-sex couples once it was cleared by the Utah Attorney General’s Office and filtered down to the counties.

It’s estimated that over 1,200 same-sex couples were issued marriage licenses between Dec. 20, 2013 and Jan 6, 2014 following the original ruling by a federal District Judge Robert Shelby that Utah’s prohibition on same-sex marriage is illegal; Justice Sonia Sotomayer for the Supreme Court eventually stayed that ruling pending final disposition of the appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. Utah deferred appeal through the 10th circuit, instead petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the issues, which, Monday, the high court denied.

Aside from Washington County, other counties, such as Garfield, Kane, Iron and Beaver, may not see a significant number of heterosexual or same-sex couples apply for marriage licenses due to their lower populations.

Iron County Clerk David Yardley said about four same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses during the 17-day window when same-sex marriage was originally legal in the state. As of early Monday afternoon, no couples had applied for any license, he said.

No same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses in Garfield County during the original window, its County Clerk Camille Moore said. On average, she said the county issues just around four marriage licenses a month.

In order to better accommodate same-sex couples who seek marriage lisences, Moore said the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics informs county clerks that it will have a new form issued within the next 24 hours.

It’s for legal purposes, Yardley said.

“For instance,” he said. “You would see applicant one and applicant two instead of bride and groom at the top of the form.”

Opposing views remain

Rep. Chris Stewart issued the following statement:

I am disappointed by the Supreme Court’s refusal to take up Utah’s marriage appeal today. I personally believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and believe that Utahns have the right to decide what’s best for Utah. I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has failed to provide certainty and clarity for Utahns on this issue.

From Equality Utah:

We are thrilled the Supreme Court is letting the Tenth Circuit victory stand, which means that same-sex couples in Utah and the rest of the Tenth Circuit, now have the freedom to marry and to have their marriages treated equally. This is a huge step forward for Utah and the entire country. A hearty congratulations to all of these couples!

The St. George branch of Equaility Utah is planning a celebration at the gazebo in Vernon Worthen Park in St. George at 6:30 p.m.

St. George News and KCSG Reporter Carin Miller contributed to this story.


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  • Dana October 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    “I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has failed to provide certainty and clarity for Utahns on this issue.” Rep. Chris Stewart . If you can’t see how clear this is, then perhaps you need to step aside. Let me give you the short version of what it means: YOU can’t discriminate any more.

  • Koolaid October 6, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    How much money did your Utah governor waste in fighting this battle? How much money was wasted in politics to further wage war on equal rights? How much did Utahans waste in their contributions toward Proposition 8? How could that money have been better used? Education? Utahans are a sad bunch of people when they’re mostly concerned about stray dogs and feral cats, get upset about gays getting married, and are worried that Obama will take their guns. These only prove that Educational requirements are highly needed in Utah.

  • Koolaid October 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I think it’s strange how Utah mormons are okay with dating and marrying their immediate relatives (first cousins), but will this open the door for gay Utah mormons to marry their gay Utah mormon first cousin?

    • Jose October 6, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      Why did you ask ? are you afraid that their offspring might look like you.

    • ladybugavenger October 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      There you are KOOLAID

    • B Carter October 6, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      I hope so. I’m all for equal rights.

    • stop bashing October 6, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      and koolaid I think its strange how you bash Mormons, are you a holyer than though saint your religion might has some stupid stuff do, get over it jerk

    • Koolaid October 6, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      I think it’s odd how this religion denounces a union between two consenting adults whereas past history shows it embraced polygamist unions which sometimes involved extremely young girls (preteens) pressed into marriage to much older men already owning several wives. That to me, is sick and not a natural union of one man and one woman. To think that some of those young spirit brides may have been younger than the children of his other wives. You still want to argue the justification of polygamy?

  • Angelbadspeller October 6, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Its a sad day when a perverted self serving minority group can Change a long estabished Christian sacred belief that marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman into a perversion . With the help of our federal government they have done just that.
    Gay used to mean happy now it’s a perversion . Marriage use to mean union between a man and a woman no it’s a perversion.
    What else has the federal government done to help use?
    Take god out of the schools .
    Free birth control
    Free abortions
    Government take over disguised as Health care
    This is our federal government leading use.

    • B Carter October 6, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      The sacredness and sanctity of marriage died the day divorce was legalized.

      • Koolaid October 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm

        Or when men took on multiples wives under the delusion of religious entitlement.

    • Dana October 7, 2014 at 5:22 am

      No one is changing your version of “…a long established Christian sacred belief…” But the keyword here is Christian. Not everyone is a Christian. Not everyone believes as you do. Marriage is not about religion. SSM now gives same sex couples the LEGAL protections as well as the LEGAL benefits that previously was not available to them, yet it was available to heterosexual married couples. Move on. Someone else’s marriage has NO effect on your life.

    • Matthew Sevald October 8, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      Don’t forget all the other perverse abominations the government has forced on us like letting women vote, allowing blacks to use the same drinking fountain as whites, disallowing slavery, forcing Utah to not be a theocratic holdout, apologizing to the Japanese-Americans forcibly imprisoned in internment camps, disallowing polygamy thereby coercing Utah to change its religious beliefs in order to get accepted into the Union as “quid pro quo”…..wait, that last one was because God changed his mind.
      Darn those heathens in Washington, darn them to heck!

      • Koolaid October 8, 2014 at 7:09 pm

        What would ole brigham say today?

        • Zing! October 8, 2014 at 8:51 pm

          It would probably contain a lot of “And it came to pass”es, thee’s and thou’s, and even some parts plagiarized directly from mistranslated King James bibles.

  • 375ultra October 6, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    the governor should arrest the judge and support the utah constitution

  • Billy October 6, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I personally dont care what two consenting adults do in their own home. I am not the one to judge. Yes I am a garment wearing active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Yes I am some what more liberal then my fellow members, but its not up to us here on earth to judge others. We all need to remember Elder Oakes talk about staying civil in all beliefs. I have always been that way with all people. So we are taught we must also obey man’s law too. We might disagree with some of man’s laws but we obey them. Yes I do agree alot of people’s morals have gotten bad, and not just gay people morals. So let us remember God and His Son, Jesus Christ will be the only ones to judge.

    • The Rest Of The Story October 6, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      But the Qur’an says that Allah is the true judge.

  • An actual Independent October 6, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    It would appear The Supreme Court DID provide clarity by essentially saying “this has been done to death, it’s obvious, and stop wasting our time.”

  • Dan Lester October 6, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    The governor should “arrest the judge”? Which one? There are NINE of them on the US Supreme Court. Good luck with going to Washington to do that.

    There are lots of laws I don’t like, but I still have to abide them or suffer the consequences. Time to get over it.

  • trdoubleee October 6, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Mormons are just as bad as any other religious group, they cherry pick what suits their agenda and ignore the bad bits. Granted nothing ever stated in the book of mormon has been historically verified other than it was came up with by a convicted con man but thats another issue entirely.

    • stop bashing October 7, 2014 at 9:25 am

      don’t start bashing trouble, you must be a freakin saint? cathlics are just as bad, and don’t start your bs, , your mouth must be really full from all the crap that is in that sentce, the church is nice

    • Nick October 7, 2014 at 9:45 am

      Hey, The Book of Mormon has helped millions upon millions become closer to God and Jesus Christ and live better lives! Fact or fiction that’s still very significant! What have you ever done?? This may not be what a lot of people wanted but we’ll respect the decision, as soon as the attention is drawn off it will die down anyways

  • Zonkerb October 6, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Ha ha ha ha. Utah and the racist bigoted dominant religion have to deal with same sex marriage Lmao. HA HA HA HA I love it the world is tired of your self righteous religious garbage. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

  • Bobber October 7, 2014 at 12:45 am

    At this rate those good ol’ boys up in hurricane or cedar will be able to marry a horse, donkey, or dog within just a few years. A dream come true right?…

    • KOOLAID October 7, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Maybe even one day date and marry their sisters. Woohoo!

  • ProudMom October 7, 2014 at 9:04 am

    To answer mr Aids that is KOOl. You blame the disease you received in Africa. You say it was passed down from grandparents to parents to you . A beautiful cycle of life that they enjoy there. Yes it’s okay to marry your cousin thier are no biblical teaching against it. How ever in your case, it is shameful, harmful and hurtful for you to have sexual relation with your little bro, are your little boy cousins and monkey eat, in which I believe you mention on an earlier post. We understand that’s normal behavior in your line of family history as you have mentioned in the past also. We hope and pray that you can break this sickening cycle of life and start a new. Like you’ve said in the past your proud of the tribe your from and the underachieving country that raised you as a child. But please for the safety of the children break the cycle and change your life. I Believe all this that you have mentioned in earlier post is a cry for help and we are all here to help you. But first you must admit your mistakes and your perversions so if you post anything other than an apology for this immoral actions we all will understand that you are not sorry and do not want to change. Because we all take to heart the things you post. We are waiting.

    • DAVE RABBITT October 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      PROUD MOM:
      You stated: [Yes it’s okay to marry your cousin there are no biblical teaching against it].

      I would assume that you’ve never actually read the Holy Bible, because in
      Leviticus 18:6 (KJV), it states:

      “None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord”.

      If you’re going to go off on a rant (like I always do) to try and prove a point, then please back your statements with facts, rather than conjecture.

  • Zootoolooloo October 7, 2014 at 9:19 am

    I too would like to have KOOl aids change their life. After reading earlier posts I too believe they have expressed the same discussing sickness that Bobber enjoys. Koolaid and bobbers you have both posted in the past of how you where abused by family at a very young age be I can remember. As you have told us about the abuse and how you enjoyed it it has cast a negative way you both think. Please try and change about you both believing abuse is good. This is not your day but it gay pride day. Be happy not negitive. And please respond with a retentive attitude and change from being abusive mollesting people who love be negative more than positive. If you wish to change and hope to change you can. You still may be poor, unintelligent, unclean, perverts, non God fearing, people we want to keep away from children, dark in thought and color, brain washed be the devil, embarrassed of your family. But it will be a start. So make a positive post and admit to all that your earlier postings are because of who you say you are ask for forgiveness and it will begin anew. And on today especially today hold hands lean cheek to cheek anf say for give me world for give me world. And we will. Just stop telling us about being young and molested it does no good for the both of you. Forgive you first lover least just say.

  • choppedliver October 7, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Zoo and Proud mom, (you’re probably the same person), your grammar and spelling is so bad that I cannot make sense of what you are posting. If you can make sense of your posts, please translate your previous post(s) into English.

  • free Utah October 7, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Oh god, not free birth control next! Haha that would be tragic in a state leading in teen pregnacies! I am so happy this passed. Equality for all! Don’t worry mormons, the gay community is an untapped 10 percent recourse and as they grow in numbers, I’m sure your prophet will have a modern day revelation to allow them in to your church as well. After all, Jesus said love everyone. Congrats to all those who can now enjoy the same rights as everyone else. It’s a long over due start!

    • DAVE RABBITT October 7, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      FREE UTAH:
      “If God’s love were unconditional, there would be no Hell and all the unrepentant sinners, no matter how evil, would go to Heaven. Having a right relationship with God begins with acknowledging your sin”.

      Our Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, as he said: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”. Because he died for our sins, this allows us to repent and ask forgiveness for what we do that is against the Scriptures. Whether it be unknowingly, or perhaps just out of spiteful arrogance, you can always ask for forgiveness.

      Unless – ““I promise you that any of the sinful things you say or do can be forgiven, no matter how terrible those things are. But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven. That sin will be held against you forever.”

  • free Utah October 7, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    It’s so nice to see this pass because it is fair and constitutional and not just because it’s a popular vote. I hope it is a stepping stone for things to come.

  • Insid Ehm October 7, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    You say gay community hasn’t been tapped. Now that’s funny.

  • Mark October 7, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    I would rather have two responsible people L or G , paying taxes and not on welfare instead of those dumb Hilly Dale chicks that are raping the system, but maybe them chicks in HD are changing I am seeing them wear sunglasses now.

  • AnnoyingCustomer October 7, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Good. State shouldnt have say of who can be together based on a stupid book. Same stuff happened when black people couldnt be ordained into the priesthood and that happened when some of you were alive. Worry about yourselves and not what makes others happy. I know thats impossible for some of you, but theres a million things worse to worry about.

    • B Carter October 8, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      Exactly. Very well said.

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