A federal appeals court on Thursday
granted Utah a stay in a ruling ordering the state to recognize the
marriages of more than 1,300 gay and lesbian couples who exchanged
vows during the 17-day window when such unions were legal in the
“We grant a temporary stay of the
district court's order,” the 10th Circuit Court of
Appeals said in its 1-page ruling. “The temporary stay will be in
effect until further order of this court.”
In a 75-page ruling handed down May 19,
U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball said the state's refusal to
recognize the marriages of gay couples married after a federal judge
overturned Utah's ban on December 20 causes harm to the families.
“These legal uncertainties and lost
rights cause harm each day that the marriage is not recognized,”
Kimball's ruling was set to take effect
On Wednesday, Governor Gary Herbert and
state Attorney General Sean Reyes, both Republicans, announced they
would appeal Kimball's ruling.
Plaintiffs in the case, four gay
couples who married in Utah, are represented by the ACLU.
Tony Milner and Matt Barraza, one of
the couples involved in the case, told The Salt Lake Tribune
that adoption proceedings were stopped after the state decided it
would not recognize the marriages that had already taken place as it
pursues an appeal.
A 10th Circuit panel has
already heard arguments in the ruling striking down Utah's
restrictive marriage ban, and a decision is expected soon.