Utah Judge OK’s Gay Marriage
A federal judge said Monday he will allow gay marriage in Utah to continue, denying a request from the state to halt same-sex weddings until the appeals process plays out. U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby’s decision came three days after he overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, ruling it is unconstitutional. Utah lawyers are expected to ask a higher court to put the process on hold. The county clerk in Salt Lake City immediately began issuing licenses after Shelby’s ruling Friday, and hundreds more gay couples were lined up Monday to get married.The ruling has drawn attention given Utah’s long-standing opposition to gay marriage and its position as headquarters for the Mormon church. Lawyers for the state waged a legal battle on several fronts as they sought to stop the same-sex weddings. On Sunday, a federal appeals court rejected the state’s emergency request to stay the ruling, saying it couldn’t rule on a stay since Shelby had not yet acted on the motion before him. The court quickly rejected a second request from Utah on Monday.