U.S. Supreme Court puts same-sex marriage in Utah on hold
New A.G. says Utah gay couples who recently married are in 'legal limbo'
Herbert issued a statement saying the Supreme Court made the correct decision.
"As I have said all along, all Utahns deserve to have this issue resolved through a fair and complete judicial process," he said. "I firmly believe this is a state rights issue, and I will work to defend the position of the people of Utah and our state constitution."
Cody Craynor, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said regardless of court rulings that vary across the country, the church remains firm in its conviction that marriage between a man and a woman is deserving of protection because of its value to society.
“The action taken by the U.S. Supreme Court placing same-sex marriage on hold in Utah now allows for a more reasoned, thoughtful and mutually respectful discussion to take place," he said.
State Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis said Monday stopping gay marriages "is not a Utah value." He said the children of gay parents are being told, "'You know what? You're really a second-class citizen. Your parents are not a real family.'"
Dabakis, who married his longtime partner the day of the initial ruling striking down Utah's ban on gay marriage, said the stay puts same-sex couples in a legal limbo, a "kind of nether-netherland." He said he believes that the state will, in the end, "do what's right" and accept same-sex marriage.
The National Organization for Marriage commended the Supreme Court.
“The decision by a single federal judge to redefine marriage in Utah is lawless, and we are pleased that the Supreme Court has put this decision on hold to allow the state to appeal it in an orderly fashion," the organization's president, Brian Brown, said in a statement.
No matter how this case is decided, Brown said, it highlights the need to preserve marriage in the Constitution.
“Everyone in America should be concerned to see how easily activist judges can cavalierly toss out the will of overwhelming majorities of legislators and voters alike," he said. "It’s becoming increasingly clear that the people of America need to reclaim their sovereignty and amend the U.S. Constitution to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
The Utah Eagle Forum said Monday it was "grateful" for the high court's stay.
"The Supreme Court sent the message that activist federal judges, such as Judge Shelby, do not have the authority to invalidate state constitutional provisions. Amendments are added to the state constitution by a supermajority of Utah legislators and the voters of Utah jointly, and their will should not be set aside so easily by a single appointed judge," Ruzicka said in a prepared statement.
The ACLU also issued a statement on the stay.
“Despite today’s decision, we are hopeful that the lower court’s well-reasoned decision will be upheld in the end and that courts across the country will continue to recognize that all couples should have the freedom to marry," said Joshua Block, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project.
The ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Utah case and challenged similar marriage laws in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia and Oregon.
Contributing: Lisa Riley Roche
Twitter: dennisromboy; DNewsPolitics
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