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Court lifts stay, but gives Utah chance to appeal same-sex marriage recognition

Published: Friday, July 11 2014 6:00 p.m. MDT

She referred to petitions delivered to Gov. Gary Herbert this week urging the state to end its court battle against same-sex marriage.

"We really need to just stop spending state taxpayer dollars this way," McCreary said. "I think it would really be helpful if that state would not appeal this."

Bill Duncan, director of the Marriage Law Center for the Utah-based Sutherland Institute, called Friday's decision a "serious mistake" and said he supports Utah's decision to appeal.

"My thought would be that the appropriate thing to do would be to go to Supreme Court and explain exactly the situation that the state is under, where they've been ordered to recognize marriages against the express law of the state," Duncan said.

He said the debate over same-sex marriage is a positive opportunity for the state to lead out on a national issue.

"The state of Utah has shown to this point that they're willing to make a full defense of the law. They're not going bow to political pressure," Duncan said. "That's exactly the kind of case the Supreme Court ought to hear, so I think it's good that they're also first in line in terms of making that defense."

Megan and Candice Berrett, who were married in the wake of Shelby’s decision, were denied their petition for joint custody of their daughter when the state refused to recognize the union.

They said they were "thrilled" to hear Friday's announcement and immediately began making calls to their lawyer about the adoption, Megan Barrett said.

"We’re always thrilled to hear about new cases that are finally coming out and some of the good news that is happening since Dec. 20," she said. "That Friday when we were able to get married, it wasn’t about us. We had had our wedding ceremony in New York earlier that summer. For us, it was for our daughter Quinn so that I could get those adoptive rights so that I could be her legal guardian and parent."

Gov. Herbert response

Herbert spokesman Marty Carpenter said the governor concurs with Kelly's dissent to maintain the status quo.

"The governor agrees with Judge Kelly who wrote in his dissent that the state and its citizens are better served by obtaining complete, final judicial resolution of these issues. The governor believes that such resolution can only come from the Supreme Court."

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com, Twitter: McKenzieRomero; DNewsCrimeTeam

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