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Monday, January 6, 2014




ARTICLE: "Supreme Court Blocks Same-Sex Marriage In Utah"

The Supreme Court filed an order Monday that blocks gay marriages in Utah, giving state officials time to appeal a federal judge's ruling against Utah's same-sex marriage ban.

The high court issued a stay “pending final disposition,” according to the order issued Monday. State officials have been appealing to a federal appeals court to reverse a recent ruling that allowed same-sex marriages to continue.

The temporary stay on Monday effectively reinstates an earlier ban the state imposed on such marriages. The order doesn’t indicate that any justices dissented, thereby suggesting the full Court supported the stay, according to SCOTUSblog.

This decision comes just two weeks after a federal district court Judge Robert J. Shelby struck down a ban on same-sex marriages in the state.

Shelby said the ban violated the U.S. Constitution’s due process and equal protection clauses.

Utah became the 18th state, in addition to Washington, D.C., to allow gay marriages when Shelby overturned the ban on Dec. 20.

Just a few days later, a federal appeals court upheld Shelby’s decision, and rejected an emergency request by Utah officials to block the marriages. The panel said issuing a stay on the ruling was “not warranted” as Utah officials could go through the appeals process.

Last Tuesday, however, Utah officials filed an emergency appeal to prevent the marriages from continuing.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor oversees such requests and ordered a group of same-sex couples challenging that appeal to respond to the state by noon last Friday.

As of last Tuesday, at least 900 same-sex couples were able to get married since Shelby had issued his decision, according to multiple reports.

Shelby’s ruling came as a surprise, and was heavily praised by gay rights groups. He is only the second federal judge to reverse a state ban on same-sex marriage, as The New York Times notes.

Judge Vaughn R. Walker in San Francisco was the first when he struck down California’s proposition 8 in 2010.

Sources: CNN, The Hill

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