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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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Auburn Hills, MI

People opposed to equal legal rights for gay people sure are gluttons for punishment! Do you really want to go through this process again and again, state by state? Since it harms no one when same-sex marriage is legal, but merely ruffles some peoples' feathers by not having the government agree with them on whom should be allowed to marry, it would seem to me to be less painful to just get this over with, and legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states!

S. Jordan, UT

This is a great decision. We need to sort this out in an orderly fashion. Not with judicial trickery and prior precedence as has been used in other states. The lack of principal by the proponents of SSM is astounding.

We need this issue solved and put to rest. We need the SCOTUS to make a decision on this that will resolve the conflict for good. In order to do this, both sides need to put their collective best foot forward and make their case!

I personally am on the side of Utah and our present amendment 3. My belief is that SSM will prevail and we will move on. My hope is that the arguments against SSM can be articulated and convincing.

My opposition is born of my belief that same sex attraction is a disorder. It was classified as such until recently. The idea that a disorder making it difficult to participate in a protected act as foundational as marriage thus requiring a redefinition of the institution is, to me, absurd.

That being said, I grow weary of the issue and desire the courts to put it to rest.

Milwaukee, WI

Historically a marriage that has taken place in one state in the US has always been recognized as valid in all the other 49 states, even in cases where the marriage could not have taken place in one of those other states. Examples would be age restrictions or marriages between cousins.
I recently married my partner in Minnesota. We drove home to Wisconsin where our marriage is not valid under state law. How did that work, exactly?
Are we both now free to go out and find women willing to marry us here in Wisconsin? Is bigamy a state or federal crime?
14th Amendment:
"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
In Wisconsin I am being denied the equal protection of the laws that I am entitled to in Minnesota.

Springville, UT

Blaming a judge for not staying his own decision is preposterous. Let a higher court do that, which is what happened. Too many commenters are more about politics and not about judicial process.

sid 6.7
Holladay, UT


The Elementary School story could certainly work the other way couldn't it? What if it was offensive to gay parents of children of the school that there were books showing Heterosexuality in a positive light? What if they barged in and demanded all pro Heterosexual books be removed because they deemed them harmful to their children. Do you think they would have been arrested also? I think so. And if they were arrested would you be as outraged? No difference none. Please don't get statuesque confused with interpretation of the Constitution.

Also do some research on Gender Identity Confusion. I'll fill you in on a well known secret, Gender Identity Confusion has nothing to do with Homosexuality! People who have Gender Identity Confusion do not see them selves as Homosexual when they have relations with the same sex. Do you want to know why? They see themselves as opposite of the sex they were born. That's where the confusion part comes in.

So yea, I'm still wondering.

sid 6.7
Holladay, UT


Very good points one and all and I totally agree with you.

As I listed above I do not believe closely related people should have the ability to marry. The STD marriage is a no brainer to me. If both parties are aware of the contamination and still choose to marry why would you want to prevent that?

Now on to Polygamy. I whole heartedly disagree with Polygamy. I have numerous issues with it. In fact I believe it to be detrimental to society. I don't like it all but my belief regarding Polygamy has no baring on a Polygamists Constitutional rights. In my opinion if both parties are of CONSENTING age then I believe they should have the right to marry.

Provo, UT

Yay! Stop Gay Marriage!

Cedar Hills, UT

The US Supreme Court needs to just rule already. Geez - just rule that states have the power to control their own and let it be done. So tired of heavy handed federal judges trying to void states rights.

John Locke
Ivins, , UT

The Supreme Court voted 9-0 to delay the marriage of gay couples allowed by the actions of Judge Robert Shelby, whose personal political agenda got in the way of his deliberative judgment. He should have stayed his own decision, but he chose not to. Four liberal judges agreed that a methodical, legal review is necessary. That in itself is a judicial slap upside the head of any judge, and should, at the very least, give rise to a second thought in the future.

Whatever the ultimate outcome, the courts, and probably the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the issue, as it should in what it appears may be a dramatic reversal of public will, traditions and religious doctrine.

Through education, especially through current religious teachings and a growing acceptance the Bible's admonition to "...love thy neighbor as thyself..., many have come to the probably correct conclusion that we should not be critical or judge a person based on his or her determination of their own sexual persuasion.

Whatever the final ruling, we are now on the correct path to a rational decision, whether accepted by the majority of Americans, or not.

Eugene, OR

This may be discouraging, but it's best to let the process play out and allow this to be settled once and for all. The only argument the anti-equality crowd has been able to offer is that God thinks homosexuality is gross and that allowing gays to marry will hurt their feelings. If they had any legal maneuverings other than that, I think we would have seen them by now.

Feel free to gloat right now, guys. Amendment Three is still doomed.

Captain Green
Heber City, UT

Thank Heaven for a US Supreme Court that unanimously recognizes the validity of State law and the consideration that must be given to activist decisions which attempt to overturn it. Judge Shelby was wrong in what he did and he will pay a price for it, potentially damaging his career on the bench. States' rights are paramount in matters such as this. "32" States have similar laws prohibiting homosexual marriages, so Utah is not uniquely alone. If the federal government started violating the 10th Amendment, which grants States the right to make their own laws, it would be a serious problem for our entire nation. Fortunately, the level-headed Supreme Court recognizes this.

Murray, Utah

Sid 6.7

A few more points-

Most couples don't know they are sterile until after they have been married for a few years. The government could make all couples test for fertility but that is not very cost effective.

What about those who love each other and want to live as a couple and care for each other where sex is not part of the relationship. What if my unmarried sister who is in her 30's lives with my widowed mom. They obviously love each other. Can they get married so my sister can have access to my mom's health care benefits? She works for the school district and has great insurance. Can the government discriminate against this loving, caring relationship even though it is not based on sex?

Most polygamists in this day and age are Muslims. You are denying them freedom of their religion and freedom to marry who they want.

Steve C. Warren

The eventual judicial resolution will be in favor of same-sex marriage. Let's hope it's sooner rather than later because justice delayed is justice denied.

spring street

justice has been delayed but we will have full citizenship and full equality.

Vernal, UT

The ability to make laws regarding marriage and divorce are reserved by state governments, so Shelby shouldn't have been able to make the ruling anyway.


"Kindergartners were given picture books telling them that same-sex couples are just another kind of family, like their own parents."

The book "Who's in a family" included different kinds of families-grandparents, multi-racial families, single-parent families, animal families, and yes, families with gay or lesbian parents. The Boston Globe reported parents were given the opportunity to preview books at the beginning of the year, and it wasn't required reading.
David Parker was arrested because he refused to leave the building at closing time.

You are free to teach your children whatever you want about LGBT people or same-sex marriages. You are also free to teach your child about creation. And, most likely, your children will adopt your views. But your child may very well have a classmate(s) with same-sex parents. Actually, the school is doing you a service. You can even use the book to teach your values. When you get to the same-sex family you can point out that God doesn't approve of them. You can teach your child not to associate with children who have same-sex parents as well.

But I wonder:

Payson, UT

I find it funny that the Supreme Court allowed a federal court to overturn prop 8, allowing the federal government to take away a state's right to define marriage law and now they put a stay on this case, saying they need to explore further a state's right to define marriage laws. The hypocrisy is disgusting. Either states can define marriage laws or they can't, but please stay consistent.

Way too many corrupt judges (aka activist judges). That goes for both the right and the left fringes of the political spectrum.

Salt Lake City, UT

Steven S Jarvis: "I believe only one state allows first cousins to marry, and that is only after they reach the age of 65 or older."

Actually, half the states allow first cousin marriage, including Utah. Utah is among those that require first cousin couples to be infertile (age), but many do not.

IMAPatriot2: "How about where this "federal" dollars came from?"

Utah, like many "red" states is a net importer of federal tax dollars taken predominantly from citizens of the "blue" states. Those New York and Taxachusetts liberals are subsidizing the state.

Meckofahess: "Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law into effect on Monday afternoon affording students confused about their 'gender identity' a host of new rights..."

You bring this up repeatedly as if it is self-evident, but you have never demonstrated the alleged harm. Many of us see it as a positive development that will benefit the lives of transgender youth and reduce suicides and homicides.

Payson, UT

Eliminate marriage laws all together. Just get better estate transfer laws that allow you to indicate in a will who is your heir.

What else do the silly lgbt activists claim? That they're not allowed to be happy? In half the cases, marriage actually reduces happiness, so in reality, you are being protected from making yourself unhappy by not being allowed to wed.

I wish everyone would just tell the truth. Lgbt crowd state that you have an inferiority complex and opponents state you are scared of lgbt people. I love all of you, but the arguments are so silly. We should really be more worried by the federal government overstepping its bounds. There will come a time when you will be on the other side of a federal case and cry that states rights overrule federal laws (Mary Jane knows what I'm talking about.)

Utah Soldier
Bountiful, UT

I am pleasantly surprised at this ruling.

To those who say that Shelby couldn't have issue a stay on his ruling cause he wasn't asked are forgetting that he was asked to stay his ruling and he didn't. The lack of stay at that time is what is causing the legal limbo for SSM given the current stay.

Are there any states in the jurisdiction of the 10th circuit that also have state constitutions that prohibit SSM? If so, I would expect that they will file Amacus (sp?) briefs supporting Utah's cause. Nevertheless, this issue will go to the SCOTUS as whichever the 10th circuit rules, that ruling will be appealed. Once this hits SCOTUS, the many states whose constitutions prohibit SSM will support Utah in its case as the case will not only affect SSM, but also the 10th Ammendment to the Constitution which gives the states all rights and powers not listed in the US Constitution.

That shall make for an interesting day in SCOTUS history.

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