A federal judge on Wednesday heard
arguments in a lawsuit seeking to force Utah 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
On December 20, 2013, U.S. District
Judge Robert J. Shelby struck down Amendment 3, the state's 2004
voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to
heterosexual couples. For 17 days before the Supreme Court granted a
stay in the ruling, Utah was the 18th state to legalize
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.
ACLU attorneys argued that the state's
denial causes “irreparable harm” to its clients.
Attorneys for the state said that the
couples' marriages should not be recognized until all appeals have
Judge Dale Kimball did not say when he
would issue his ruling.
Meanwhile, an initial state budget sets
aside $500,000 to pay outside attorneys defending Utah's ban, the