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New A.G. says Utah gay couples who recently married are in 'legal limbo'

Published: Monday, Jan. 6 2014 10:10 a.m. MST

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Logan, UT

For the ruling of prop 8, Judge Walker granted stay because opposing counsels requested stay instantly, unlike Utah state attorneys, they didn’t wait AFTER gay marriage resumed in CA and THEN asked the court for a stay. It was Utah state attorneys who made a big mistake back then. You can not blame their own incompetency on other people.

Kearns, UT

Also Joe, the state attys asked for an immediate stay after the ruling. Shelby said no. They went back the next monday and asked for another one. He again said no.

Salt Lake City, UT

@History Freak
"I'm so tired of all the emotionalism the gay community always brings into this issue...like "love is a crime," and "gay families are in limbo.""

As opposed to the emotionalism the other side that brings into the issue laments about the supposed end of religious freedom and destruction of the family if same-sex couples were to marry?

"States have the right to determine their marriage laws. Marriage is not a right and is not regulated by the federal government. If it was a right, you wouldn't have to get a license."

Loving vs Virginia wouldn't have gone the way it did if you were correct.

Ft Thomas, KY

Wow!! Thank you SCOTUS!!!!! At least for the time being order is restored. I'll bet judge Shelby is a little embarrassed this morning.

Ft Thomas, KY

Even if marriage between a man and a woman is eventually jettisoned. Even if the Boy Scouts of America is run roughshod over. We don't have to worry. In the world we will have tribulation but we can all be of good cheer because their is one who has overcome the world. All we have to do is keep our eyes on HIM.

Durham, NC

"Marriage is not a right ...."

If ones right to marry isn't a "right", I am not sure what basic core aspects of humanity is. Again, not a supporter of gay marriage, but honestly marriage is one of the most basic aspects of civility. It is one of the things that separates us humans from other species that inhabit this earth. If having the right to choose whom you will associate with, and create a committed relationship with, regardless of the nature of that relationship so long as it is not criminal in nature, is not a secured right - what is.

To me, marriage does have a certain connotation of a man and woman coming together to create a family... whether that family includes kids or not. I understand that other groups of people would like to create "committed" relationships. I really do get that. But to me, that is something other than a marriage. Should have all the same legal rights...but it just isn't marriage to me. Call it semantics.... but words do matter.

Florida Boy
Melbourne/USA, FL

How ironic. This is the same State of Utah that abhors the federal government's meddling into state affairs, yet NEVER turns down an opportunity to take federal money - i.e. educational funds, tobacco settlement funds, preservation funds, Hill AFB funds, etc.

Now the State of Utah is crawling back to that very same federal government (the one that it abhors) and is seeking its assistance in overturning a ruling on same-sex marriage. What a piece of work.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

The religiously motivated opponents of marriage equality are making this a State's Rights fight. Their interpretation of "Federalism" simplistically presumes that The definition and regulation of marriage is solely and absolutely the legal and Constitutional domain of the State Legislatures. In short, they argue that such a federalist interpretation of the Tenth Amendment means that State Legislative and Constitutional authority trumps Federal authority.

But precedent says otherwise, based on the COTUS principle that individual rights trump both Federal and State authority.

Rock, paper, scissors anyone?

Citizens of the United States have inherent rights that exist and do not need to be "enumerated" in order to be rights and in order to be guaranteed by the Constitution. This fact is explicitly and deliberately recognized in the Ninth Amendment:

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

In other words, the right to marry is an un enumerated individual right that must be afforded equal protection and due process.

Shelby's ruling eloquently articulated this, and will be upheld. Sotomayor's stay is just to buy time for SCOTUS to prepare to rock the worlds of religious zealots.

Provo, UT

Joe Carlin,

"Please, every one detail every way your convention family and conventional marriage are now being harmed in tangible ways. I'm waiting. We're all waiting."

Many "traditional" families are reporting being "very sad".

Does that count?

Uncle Rico
Sandy, UT

Where did my comment go? Why do i even waste my time posting when you guys "lose them" . Hard to find good workers these days.

History Freak
Somewhere in Time, UT

Dear Schnee:

If you don't think same-sex marriage harms the rest of us, you'd better take a look at what has happened in Massachussetts over the last ten years that so-called SSM has existed there. This, again, was forced on the population by the court and the majority of the state was shocked and outraged by it. Polls showed that, even in liberal Massachussetts, the population didn't want it. When they tried to get it on the ballot to overturn it, the court wouldn't even allow them to vote on it.

It has adversely effected almost all aspects of life including schools, churches, employment, healthcare, etc. EVERYONE needs to take a close look at Massachussetts to see how much damage it has caused. Gays got what they wanted at the expense of children, parents and everyone else.

Riverton, UT

Is being Gay a Constitutional Right? I think not, nowhere is it written,, just interpreted, by many as a religious freedom. It is a choice that is not recognized by the majority of citizens in the State of Utah.

This is a state issue,, the majority here in Utah do not want it..... This is no more a Constitutional right than Marijuana, Alcohol,, Otherwise,, Polygamy should never have been made illegal and should be legalized as a Constitutional Right... long before Gay's came out of the closet..

New York, NY

Everyone says "traditional" marriage, as if the fairytale where "boy meets girl, wedding bells, babies and soon we're a cute old couple rocking at the sunset" version is ONLY version of "marriage" that is, was, or ever shall be. Marriage has many more warts than that. We all know marriages come in many forms and have many meanings.

So they must mean "Idealized" marriage-- but it's only ideal if you happen to think it is and are lucky enough to get it.

It's hardly ideal for gay people. Their story usually starts out "boy meets boy" or "girl meets girl." You don't have to relate, but you can if you want to: be born, grow up, discover who you desire and who you love, meet someone, fall in love, be together, have kids or don't, build a life. Not that hard.

"But.. religion?" You have yours. Other people have theirs.

How nosy and selfish to think someone else should live the life YOU want rather than their own. Nobody actually needs anyone else to "believe" in their marriage, and they don't need your permission. Just try to be a good neighbor.

Chubbuck, ID

“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,"
I can't agree more with this statement. I am very grateful the supreme court ruled the way they have.

Inis Magrath
Fort Kent Mills, ME

Dipping my toe into the prediction game -- the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold the trial court decision supporting same-sex marriage. Period. Full Stop.

This is because the appeals courts must adhere to Supreme Court precedence. And -- in light of Lawrence v. Texas, Romer v. Evans, U.S. v. Windsor and a SLEW of other highly relevant cases (Meyer v. Nebraska, Skinner v. Oklahoma, Brown v. Board of Ed., McLaughlin v. Florida, and many many more -- there is one and only one decision that the appeals court can reach, namely, that the civil right of marriage cannot be denied to persons merely on account of their sex because doing so violates the equal protection and/or due process clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Maybe if the case gets to the Supreme Court for a decision on the merits, marriage equality could be shot down. That's unlikely, but possible. Nevertheless, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will have no choice but to uphold marriage equality.

sid 6.7
Holladay, UT

For those of you expressing how Marriage is not a right, can any of you tell me if a Male/Female couple have ever been denied a Marriage license? I'm serious, I honestly don't know. I suspect licenses have been denied based on the age of the applicants but I can't think of any other reason. What about atheists? They don't believe in God and marriage is sanctioned by God and he doesn't believe in SSM, can they get a license? I'm thinking marrage is a right at least male/female couples

History Freak, I was wondering if YOU can elaborate and give me some of the problems the people of MA are suffering and why all of them are lamenting their decision to make Gay Marriage legal?

Just remember, the Constitution works both ways and you never know when your going to be on the wrong side of a Constitutional issue. Now that there is a stay I hope cooler heads prevail and the right thing is done. Congrats on the temporary victory same sex couples!

It's a shame really, we all lose on this one.

Salt Lake City, UT

Voice of the people vs. one judge!


"The state's request to the Supreme Court was filed with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from Utah and the five other states in the 10th Circuit. Sotomayor turned the matter over to the entire court.

The action now shifts to Denver, where the appeals court will consider arguments from the state against same-sex marriage as well as from the three gay and lesbian couples who challenged the ban in support of Shelby's ruling. Shelby and the appeals court had previously rebuffed the state's plea to stop gay weddings pending appeal.

The 10th Circuit has set short deadlines for both sides to file their written arguments, with the state's first brief due on January 27. No date for argument has been set yet."
(MarkSherman, Associated Press)

Salt Lake City, UT

@History Freak

"Dear Schnee:
If you don't think same-sex marriage harms the rest of us"

I don't.

"Polls showed that, even in liberal Massachussetts, the population didn't want it."

The majority want it now.

"It has adversely effected almost all aspects of life including schools, churches, employment, healthcare, etc."

Would you like to provide examples? I have no idea what you can even be referring to with respect to employment (since firing someone just because they're gay is bigotry) and healthcare (I'm going to assume you don't oppose hospital visitation rights). Having schools acknowledge that some families includes two dads or two moms isn't a bad thing in my opinion (especially for the kids raised in those families). And for churches... the only thing I can think of Massachusetts related that you'd even refer to is Catholic Charities not being allowed to receive state funding unless they adopt to same-sex couples which is no intrusion on religion since there's no religious right to gov't funding. They are able to still adopt to only opposite-sex couples with their own funds (just like LDSFS). So... I see no issues.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

I am quite sure that those in the legal limbo this has all been caused by Judge Shelby's personal actions to not grant the stay immediately are still considered legally married for purposes of Federal Government functions and protections. The State probably has had people married outside of Utah where the laws allowed it who were able to file Federal taxes as a married couple since moving or returning to Utah without being allowed to file as a couple for State taxes.

This issue needs to go before the Supreme Court. I believe both sides of the issue want that to happen so we can all move on. There are certain arguments I feel BOTH sides have made that have validity. For example, the right to be with someone who is near death is probably the most compelling one. That right should be EXTENDED to include more than family if the person who is ill wishes it to be so. On the other hand, the state should be able to continue to designate acceptable family situations for foster and adoptive care for child placement.

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