Supreme Court pauses same-sex marriages in Utah pending appeal

Robert Barnes reports:

The Supreme Court put same-sex marriages in Utah on hold Monday morning while the state appeals a federal judge’s order that allowed them.

Hundreds of couples have been married since U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled Dec. 20 that the state’s ban on such unions violated constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. But Utah said each marriage was an “affront” to the state’s ability to define marriage as only between and man and a woman, and asked the high court to intervene.

“This is very disappointing for same-sex couples in Utah,” said Clifford Rosky, a law professor at the University of Utah and a same-sex marriage backer who performed two wedding ceremonies. But, he added: “Because the Supreme Court did not offer any explanation for granting the stay, we shouldn’t assume that the state is likely to win the appeal.  Instead, the Justices may have concluded that it was more prudent to press ‘pause’ for the moment, so that the courts have an opportunity to hear the appeal.”

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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