A spokesman for the Utah Attorney
General's Office announced Thursday that the office would coordinate
with outside counsel before filing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme
Court in a ruling handed down Friday declaring the state's gay
marriage ban invalid.
On Tuesday, the 10th Circuit
Court of Appeals in Denver denied the state's request for a stay as
an appeal in the case moves forward, concluding that “a stay is not
warranted.” In response, the state said that it would ask Justice
Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees the 10th Circuit Court, for
an emergency stay in the ruling on Thursday.
Attorney general's spokesman Ryan
Bruckman told Salt Lake City's Fox 13 News that the filing is not
expected “for a few days.”
“The attorney general's office is
working to prepare the appeal to the Supreme Court on the 10th
Circuit's denial of a stay,” Bruckman
said. “Due to the necessity of coordination with outside
counsel, the filing of the appeal may be delayed for a few days. It
is the intent of the AG's office to file with the Supreme Court as
soon as possible.”
Hundreds of gay couples have married in
Utah since U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby handed down his
ruling on Friday.
In his 52-page ruling, Shelby declared
Amendment 3, the state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment
which limits marriage to heterosexual unions, in violation of the
14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Several Utah counties initially refused
to abide by the order, saying that they would wait for the appeal
court's decision. As of Thursday, all counties except for Piute,
whose clerk is on vacation, are issuing marriage licenses to gay and
Utah counties now issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.)
Without the Supreme Court's
intervention, Utah, home of the Mormon Church, a staunch opponent of
marriage equality, will join the 17 states plus the District of
Columbia that allow gay couples to marry, at least until the appeals
court rules – a process expected to stretch into 2015.