Utah seeks Supreme Court order to halt same-sex unions


Laurie Wood, left, and Kody Partridge, embrace after being told they are officially married by the Rev. Curtis L. Price in the lobby of the Salt Lake County offices, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, in Salt Lake City. A federal judge struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban Friday in a decision that marks a drastic shift toward gay marriage in a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Scott Sommerdorf)

Utah’s newly-installed attorney general on Tuesday formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop same-sex marriages in the state, eleven days after a District Court judge overturned the state’s ban on gay weddings. The Associated Press reports:

In papers filed Tuesday with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the state asked her to overturn court decisions to let the marriages go forward. Sotomayor handles emergency requests from Utah and other Rocky Mountain states. She can act by herself or get the rest of the court involved.

Federal appellate judges have so far refused to put U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby’s ruling on hold while the state appeals. Shelby ruled Dec. 20 that Utah’s ban violated gay couples’ right to equal treatment under the law. More than 900 gay couples in Utah have gotten marriage licenses since the December ruling overturning a voter-approved ban on gay marriages in 2004.

The move was expected; the attorney general’s office said last week it would file the request.

The filing is one of the first actions taken by Sean Reyes, who was sworn in Monday as Utah’s new attorney general. Reyes was appointed earlier this month by Gov. Gary Herbert (R) after the elected attorney general, John Swallow, was forced to step down amid scandal.

Reid Wilson covers national politics and Congress for The Washington Post. He is the author of Read In, The Post’s morning tip sheet on politics.

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Reid Wilson · December 31, 2013

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