Jubilation in Utah over a gay marriage
ruling might come to an end on Monday as the state presses for an
emergency stay on the decision.
Hours after U.S. District Judge Robert
J. Shelby surprised everyone on Friday by handing down his ruling
more than 2 weeks before his January 7 self-imposed deadline, gay and
lesbian couples in the state rushed to marry.
Shelby said that Amendment 3, the
state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment which limits
marriage to heterosexual unions, violates the 14th
rush: Utah gay couples tie the knot.)
Hundreds of couples lined up to wed on
Friday in Salt Lake County, which includes Salt Lake City. Despite
extending hours to meet the demand, many couples were told to return
Legal marriage for gay couples in Utah,
however, will likely end on Monday or Tuesday as the state seeks an
emergency stay in the ruling, Carl Tobias, a constitutional law
professor at Virginia's University of Richmond, told
Judge Shelby will hold a hearing on the
issue Monday at 9 AM. The state has also filed an request with the
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Equality
on Trial reported.
One of the counties that on Friday
refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples is expected to
begin doing so on Monday.
Weber County Clerk Ricky Hatch told the
AP that the Weber County attorney's office told him late Friday night
they could proceed with issuing such licenses.
UPDATE: On Sunday, the 10th
Circuit Court of Appeals denied
the state's request for an emergency temporary stay.