Utah officials announced on Wednesday
that the state will appeal a federal appeals court ruling striking
down the state's ban on gay marriage to the Supreme Court, bypassing
a full hearing from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
Wednesday was the 14-day deadline for
the state to ask for an en banc hearing in the case, titled
Kitchen v. Herbert, from the
“To obtain clarity and resolution
from the highest court, the Utah Attorney General's Office will not
seek en banc review of the Kitchen v. Herbert Tenth
Circuit decision, but will file a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to
the United States Supreme Court in the coming weeks,” Utah Attorney
General Sean Reyes' office said in a statement. “Attorney General
Reyes has a sworn duty to defend the laws of our state. Utah's
Constitutional Amendment 3 is presumed to be constitutional unless
the highest court deems otherwise.”
The Tenth Circuit currently includes
Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma. Gay couples can
currently marry in New Mexico, which is also in the circuit.
William Eskidge, a law professor at
Yale University, told
the AP that he believes the high court won't act soon, but rather
will wait for additional rulings from appeals courts.
“Why make a decision on the Utah case
until they see what other circuits are going to do?” he said.
Appeals courts have already heard
arguments from cases challenging bans in Oklahoma and Virginia.
Additional hearings are scheduled to take place in August and
September in cases out of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Nevada