Federal judges rule against gay marriage bans in Utah, Indiana

A federal appeals court on Wednesday struck down a constitutional amendment in Utah limiting marriage to a man and a woman, handing at least a temporary victory to gay rights advocates.

The ruling marks the first time a federal court of appeals has struck down a same-sex marriage ban since the Supreme Court's decision last summer.

"May a State of the Union constitutionally deny a citizen the benefit or protection of the laws of the State based solely upon the sex of the person that citizen chooses to marry? Having heard and carefully considered the argument of the litigants, we conclude that, consistent with the United States Constitution, the State of Utah may not do so," wrote the the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 10th Circuit.

The case can still be appealed to the Supreme Court, which would be the final word on the matter.

Separately, a federal judge on Wednesday struck down Indiana's ban on gay marriage.

"It is clear that the fundamental right to marry shall not be deprived to some individuals based solely on the person they choose to love," wrote U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young.

Sean Sullivan covers national politics for “The Fix.”
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Sean Sullivan | June 25