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Utah wants more time to file same-sex marriage appeal

Published: Wednesday, July 1 2015 3:31 p.m. MDT

Diana Smith fills out a marriage license on the back of Karen Brinkerhoff  outside the county clerks office after a federal judge ruled that Amendment 3, Utah's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional on Friday, December 20, 2013. Utah intends to ask a federal appeals court to extend the deadline for initial arguments in the same-sex marriage case, Attorney General Sean Reyes said Friday. (Matt Gade, Deseret News) Diana Smith fills out a marriage license on the back of Karen Brinkerhoff outside the county clerks office after a federal judge ruled that Amendment 3, Utah's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional on Friday, December 20, 2013. Utah intends to ask a federal appeals court to extend the deadline for initial arguments in the same-sex marriage case, Attorney General Sean Reyes said Friday. (Matt Gade, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah wants more time to file its appeal of a court ruling that lifted the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Attorneys for the state asked the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday for a 10-day extension of a Jan. 27 deadline for initial arguments.

In its motion, the state says it needs an extension to complete a "fulsome, detailed and quality" brief on the constitutional questions surrounding Utah's definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman. It also says the state needs help from its newly hired outside counsel to prepare and file the brief.

The 10th Circuit put the case on a fast track after receiving Utah's notice of appeal last month.

"It's a close deadline," Attorney General Sean Reyes said Friday on KSL NewsRadio's "The Doug Wright Show."

Reyes on Thursday named constitutional and appellate law expert Gene C. Schaerr to lead Utah's appeal, along with former Michigan Solicitor General John Bursch and Boise-based attorney Monte Stewart.

— Dennis Romboy

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