In a widely anticipated move, the Utah
Attorney General's Office asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to
block a lower court's order declaring the state's gay marriage ban
On December 20, U.S. District Judge
Robert Shelby struck down Amendment 3, the 2004 voter-approved
constitutional amendment which prohibited the state from recognizing
any union other than a heterosexual union.
The state has scrambled to block the
ruling, but four requests to three judges, including two at the
appellate level, were denied.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees
the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, will review the state's
25-page application for a stay.
More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples
have married in the state in the wake of the ruling.
“And each one is an affront not only
to the interests of the state and its citizens in being able to
define marriage through ordinary democratic channels, but also to
this court's unique role as a final arbiter for the profoundly
important constitutional question it so carefully preserved in
Windsor,” the application stated, referring to the June
ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“By contrast, this case involves not
just a refusal by the federal government to accommodate a state's
definition of marriage, but an outright abrogation of such a
definition – by a single federal court wielding a federal
injunction and acting under the banner of the federal Constitution.”