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ACLU set to announce lawsuit over state not recognizing same-sex marriages

Published: Friday, Jan. 17 2014 10:05 p.m. MST

Dustin Lacy and his partner Jesse Gutierrez are first in line as they wait, holding hands, with hundreds of other gay couples to get marriage licenses in the parking garage of the Weber Center in Ogden on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Dustin Lacy and his partner Jesse Gutierrez are first in line as they wait, holding hands, with hundreds of other gay couples to get marriage licenses in the parking garage of the Weber Center in Ogden on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The ACLU of Utah is set Tuesday to announce a lawsuit against the state over the decision not to recognize marriages of same-sex couples performed before a stay was issued in the Amendment 3 case.

The civil liberties organization started looking for plaintiffs on Jan. 8, the same day Gov. Gary Herbert's office issued a directive putting state recognition of gay and lesbian newlyweds "on hold," based on counsel from Attorney General Sean Reyes.

The U.S. Supreme Court had issued a stay two days earlier of U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby's Dec. 20 ruling that struck down Utah's voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Reyes said his office was not making a determination of the validity of more than 1,000 marriages performed between the ruling and the stay but concluded the language of Amendment 3 did not allow state recognition of the marriages.

On Thursday, the Utah State Tax Commission said same-sex couples married in Utah or any other state before Dec. 31 are able to file their 2013 returns as married.

— Lisa Riley Roche

Email: lisa@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsPolitics

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