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Utah Gay Marriage Appeal View Count: 161

U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled last month that the state’s gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. The judge wrote, “The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason.” After this ruling, the state began handing out marriage licenses. But now gay couples will have to put their wedding plans on hold.

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a judge’s order that allowed for gay marriage in Utah. Utah changed its constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage in 2004. More than 900 gay and lesbian couples have married since the December 20 ruling. If a higher court should reverse Judge Shelby’s ruling, it is not clear what will happen to those marriages which have already taken place.

Judge Shelby was the second federal judge to strike down a state ban on same-sex marriages, along with Judge Vaughn R. Walker in San Francisco, according to the NY Times. The Mormon Church was one of the leading forces behind California’s short-lived ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8.

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Fox news reports that The U.S. District Court order will remain in effect until the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides whether to uphold Judge Robert J. Shelby’s ruling. The Utah attorney general’s office said it would issue a statement on the ruling at a later time.

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