U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby on
Monday denied a stay in his ruling handed down Friday declaring
Utah's gay marriage ban invalid.
In his 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.
State officials also attempted to block
the order at the appellate level, but the 10th Circuit
Court of Appeals in Denver on Sunday and again on Monday denied an
emergency temporary stay on the order as an appeal moves forward.
During a hearing that lasted more than 2
hours, Shelby questioned why the state waited to file a request for a
“Just Shelby basically says the state
waited too long to seek a stay,” Fox 13's Ben Winslow tweeted.
The state said that it was
“disappointed” and would immediately file a request for a stay
with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Monday, hundreds of gay and lesbian
couples flooded county clerk offices to wed before Shelby's order is
blocked. At least one county, Cache, closed its doors for the day.
At least for now, gay couples can
continue to marry in Utah.