A federal appeals court on Friday
ordered Utah officials 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 state.
A 3-judge panel of the Tenth Circuit
Court of Appeals in Denver denied the state's request for a permanent
hold on recognizing the marriages as it appeals a December 20 ruling
striking down the state's ban on gay marriage to the Supreme Court.
In a 75-page ruling handed down May 19,
U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball said the state's refusal to
recognize the marriages causes harm to the families.
“These legal uncertainties and lost
rights cause harm each day that the marriage is not recognized,”
The court's temporary stay will expire
on July 21.
The Utah Attorney General's Office said
in a statement Friday it plans to appeal the decision to the Supreme
“In response to the United States
Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit denial of stay in Evans v.
Utah, the state is prepared to file an Application for Stay
before the United States Supreme Court in the coming days to avoid
uncertainty. The State recognizes that pending cases regarding
same-sex marriage in Utah impact the lives of many individuals and
families and is diligently seeking uniform certainty through proper
and orderly legal processes until Kitchen v. Herbert is
resolved,” the statement reads.
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.
Earlier this week, Utah officials
announced plans to appeal the Kitchen decision – handed down
by the same 3-judge panel – to the Supreme Court.
to appeal gay marriage ruling to Supreme Court.)