Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Same-Sex Marriages Move Ahead In Utah As State Continues Seeking Stay

The Salt Lake Tribune reported yesterday on the flurry of motions being filed by the state of Utah seeking to obtain a stay of the federal district court's decision handed down Friday (see prior posting) legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. On Friday morning, the district court denied a stay, and the state quickly filed its third motion with the 10th Circuit seeking a stay while it appeals the district court ruling.  The 10th Circuit had previously denied an emergency stay pending a decision by the district court on granting a stay, as well as denying an anticipatory request to stay the expected district court's refusal of a stay. (Full text of order.)  Meanwhile, according to yesterday's Deseret News, approximately 700 same-sex marriage licenses have been issued across the state since Friday.  Some county clerks, however, are still refusing to issue same-sex licenses, and a lawsuit has been filed by a same-sex couple against the Utah County clerk's office to force them to issue a license.  Cache County officials closed the Clerk's office completely, stopping issuing traditional marriage licenses as well.

UPDATE: The Salt Lake Tribune reports that around 6 p.m., Dec. 24, the 10th Circuit again denied the state's motion for a stay of the district court's order. A spokesman for the Utah attorney general's office said that any county clerks that continue to refuse to issue licences to same-sex couples risk being held in contempt of court. Here is the full text of the order denying a stay during appeal, and which also directs expedited consideration of the appeal of the district court decision. ScotusBlog reports that Utah will file an appeal of the denial of a stay with the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday.