The 10th Circuit Court of
Appeals in Denver on Tuesday denied a third emergency stay in a lower
court's ruling declaring Utah's gay marriage ban invalid.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert
J. 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. Shelby also denied the state's request for a stay on
of gay couples marry in Utah; 6 counties refuse to abide marriage
“Having considered the district
court's decision and the parties' arguments concerning the stay
factors, we conclude that a stay is not warranted,” the court wrote
in its brief
2-page ruling. “Accordingly, we deny Defendants-Appellants'
emergency motions for a stay pending appeal and for a temporary stay.
In addition, we direct expedited consideration of this appeal.”
The court handed down its ruling
shortly after 5 PM.
The decision means gay couples in Utah
can continue marrying as an appeal moves forward, at least for now.
It also signals that the court does not see the state's appeal as
“This is truly history we are
living,” Equality Utah, the state's largest LGBT rights advocate,
said in a tweet to supporters. “Marriage continues!!”
Attorneys for the state confirmed to
13 News that they would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees the 10th U.S.
Circuit Court, is expected to receive the request for an emergency
stay on Thursday.
This is a breaking story. Check back
for additional details.