Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Utah Must Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Performed During 17-Days Before Stay; But This Order Temporarily Stayed Also

In Evans v. State of Utah, (D UT, May 19, 2014), a Utah federal district court granted a preliminary injunction requiring the state of Utah to recognize same-sex marriages solemnized under Utah marriage licenses between Dec. 20, 2013 when a federal district court struck down Utah's ban  on same-sex marriages, and Jan. 6, 2014 when the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay of that order, pending appeals. The court concluded:
Even though the Supreme Court’s Stay Order put Utah’s marriage bans back in place, to retroactively apply the bans to existing marriages, the State must demonstrate some state interest in divesting Plaintiffs of their already vested marriage rights. The State has failed to do so.
However the court granted a 21-day stay to allow the state to file an emergency motion with the 10th Circuit for review. Fox News reports that Utah's attorney general had not made an immediate determination of whether or not to pursue an appeal. The court's decision affects some 1200 marriages performed during the 17 days involved here.