The Utah Attorney General's Office said
Wednesday it was prepared to appeal a ruling striking down the
state's ban on gay marriage all the way to the Supreme Court.
In a split 2-1 decision, the Tenth
Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver affirmed a lower court's ruling
declaring the ban invalid. The court placed its decision on hold so
that it can be appealed.
court rules Utah's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.)
“The decision released this morning
by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in
Kitchen v. Herbert is currently being reviewed by the Utah
Attorney General's Office,” the agency said in a statement.
“Although the Court's 2-1 split decision does not favor the State,
we are pleased that the ruling has been issued and takes us one step
closer to reaching certainty and finality for all Utahns on such an
important issue with a decision from the highest court. For that to
happen, the Utah Attorney General's Office intends to file a Petition
for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. The Tenth
Circuit Court's issuance of a stay will avoid further uncertainty
until the case is finally resolved. Whether the Utah Attorney
General's Office seeks en banc review of the Tenth Circuit's
ruling has yet to be determined.”
As the first challenge to a state
marriage ban to reach the appellate level since the Supreme Court
struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
last year, Utah's case is being closely watched.